Chiefs use ‘next man up’ motto for record 10th win

nmbfoot-dreherNorth Myrtle Beach might want to change its initial to NMU – as in “Next Man Up.” The Chiefs are perfecting the concept this season, cruising to a 40-14 victory over visiting Dreher in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs despite losing three key starters earlier in the day.

North Myrtle Beach senior quarterback Ronnie Bass, senior offensive lineman Garrett Long, and junior defensive back/wide receiver Reece Finch were dismissed from the team Friday, forcing several inexperienced players to fill in the holes. The Chiefs (10-1) stepped up their play in all three phases of the game to post the program’s first 10-win season in school history.

Third-string sophomore Cason McClendon, earning another start after the Chiefs dismissed their second QB of the season, played like a seasoned veteran in leading the offense. He threw three touchdown passes, including one to fellow JV standout Tyrone Stockdale, and ran for another to advance the Chiefs into the second round for another home playoff game against Cane Bay.

North Myrtle Beach got another standout performance from the defense, which saw its streak of 13 scoreless quarters snapped in the fourth quarter on a pair of TD passes while the Chiefs had emptied the bench of younger players. North Myrtle Beach also had a solid showing in special team as Andrew Smith booted a pair of field goals for a complete team win by the Chiefs.

McClendon sneaked into the end zone from 1 yard out to open the scoring. Following a pair of Smith field goals from 35 and 39 yards out and a 6-yard TD run by Kered Class, McClendon hooked up on a bomb to Stockdale shortly before halftime for a 26-0 lead. McClendon found Xavier Clarida and Tyler Gore for second half TDs as the Chiefs built a 40-0 lead.

Photo by Louis E. Keiner and Lesley M. Etherson

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