Region 7-4A: Chiefs win, take piece of region title

The No. 2-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team apparently couldn’t wait to earn a share of the Region 7-4A title, because the Chiefs (9-0 overall, 3-0 region) wasted little time clinching the repeat in Friday night’s 48-20 road victory over Marlboro County.

North Myrtle Beach erupted for five first-half touchdowns to put the Bulldogs away early, with quarterback Cason McClendon rushing for a pair of scores and throwing for one more. His TD pass to Naseem Harrison made it 7-0 out of the gate, and a defensive fumble recovery set the table for a TD dive by McClendon for a quick 14-0 lead.

Marlboro County got on the board on quarterback Elijah Blair’s wild TD run, that saw him leap a defender and stumble into the end zone. But the Chiefs got back-to-back TD runs by Kered Class and McClendon made it 28-6. Marlboro County scored late to cut into the deficit but Tyron Stockdale returned the ensuing kickoff to the house for a 35-12 halftime lead.

The Chiefs got a pair of field goals from Zane Smith and a TD run by TJ Gore in the second half to put the finishing touches on the win. They close out the regular season next week against visiting St. James with a chance to complete an undefeated regular season and claim the region title outright.

* Wilson 34, St. James 14: For more than one half the Sharks made a strong homecoming stand, but the high-flying Tigers eventually broke the game open and pulled away for the win.

The Sharks answered Wilson’s opening TD drive with one of their own, but Wilson responded by taking the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead. Wake Forest commit and Shrine Bowl receiver Zion Keith caught the first of his two long TD passes, but St. James refused to go away when Patrick Murphy recovered a fumble in the end zone to cut the deficit to 21-14 at halftime.

Wilson added a pair of second-half TD passes to put the game away. The Sharks (2-7, 0-3) visit North Myrtle Beach next week.

Photo by Louis E. Keiner

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