The T.C. Williams football team has bigger goals in mind, but running back Robert Carter understood the significance of what the Titans accomplished Friday.
T.C. Williams defeated South County 17-10 on Friday at SCSS, giving the Titans their first five-win season since 1996. A win over Robert E. Lee in Saturday’s regular season finale would assure T.C. Williams of its first winning season since 1995, and could earn the Titans their first playoff berth since 1990.
Carter rushed for 73 yards a touchdown as T.C. Williams (5-4 overall, 3-3 Patriot District) captured its third win in four weeks.
“I’m speechless,” Carter said. “This is history right here because we haven’t been over.500 in  years. … I’m glad to be a part of this.”
The Titans took the lead for good when Carter’s 28-yard touchdown run with 7:29 remaining in the third quarter gave them a 14-7 advantage. South County (6-3, 3-3) cut its deficit to four on an Edwin Curtade 28-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, but failed to get past its own 32-yard line during its final three possessions.
Manuel Benites’ 38-yard field goal extended the T.C. Williams lead to 17-10 with 5:56 remaining in the game.
“They way they coach me (is) just hit it and the crowd will let me know if it goes in,” Benites said. “It went in, everybody went wild. It felt good.”
T.C. Williams quarterback Joe Hargrove played in his second game since missing seven weeks with a fractured right, non-throwing wrist. He completed 6 of 20 passes for 94 yards and was intercepted twice --- a far cry from his Oct. 24 debut against West Potomac, when he set the school record for passing yards in a game (297) and tied the record for single-game passing touchdowns (4). Still, Hargrove’s presence on the field made South County respect the pass, which opened up the run.
“Having the Hargrove kid just gives them another dimension,” South County head coach Pete Bendorf said.
Hargrove scored the Titans’ first touchdown on a 1-yard run with 31 seconds left in the first half. After misfiring on 10 of his first 12 passes, the senior connected with receiver Will Rossi for gains of 51 and 13 yards down the South County 2. Two plays later, Hargrove scored the first rushing touchdown of his brief career to tie the score at 7.
T.C. Williams head coach Dennis Randolph said Hargrove was trying to make too many big plays.
“In the first half he tried to go too deep,” the coach said. “I think he was pressing. It’s his second game.”
The T.C. Williams defense forced four South County turnovers and limited the Stallions to 177 total yards. Titans safety Israel Richardson intercepted two passes.
South County quarterback Aaron Andrews completed 14 of 27 passes for 116 yards and was intercepted twice. He also rushed 12 times for 22 yards, giving the Stallions a 7-0 lead with a 6-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.
South County's David Jordan rushed for a team-high 39 yards.
T.C. Williams hosts Lee at 3 p.m. Saturday.
T.C. Williams 17, South County 10
T.C. Williams 0 7 7 3 --- 17
South County 7 0 0 3 --- 10
SC --- Aaron Andrews 6 run (Edwin Curtade kick), 3:34
TC --- Joe Hargrove 1 run (Manuel Benites kick), :31
TC --- Robert Carter 28 run (Benites kick), 7:29
SC --- Curtade 28 field goal, 11:56
TC --- Benites 38 field goal, 5:56
First Downs 12 10
Rushes-Yards 38-66 28-61
Comp-Att-Int 6-20-2 14-28-3
Passing Yards 94 116
Total Yards 160 177
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 2-1
Turnovers 3 4
RUSHING: T.C. Williams: Carter 20-73; Charles Garner 9-23; Hargrove 7-6; Doug Murphy 1-(minus-9). South County: David Jordan 13-39; Andrews 12-22; Andre Simmons 3-0.
PASSING: T.C. Williams: Hargrove 6-20-2 94. South County: Andrews 14-27-2 116; Evan Beal 0-1-1 0.
RECEIVING: T.C. Williams: Will Rossi 3-75; Aziz Coker 1-13; Tyrell Sitton 1-7; Benny Jenkins 1-1. South County: Derek Stein 5-41; Michael Vane 3-29; Oyinemi Iyebote 3-23; Jordan 1-17; Simmons 1-7.