Chiefs win wild shootout against Colleton County

The North Myrtle Beach High football team extended its undefeated campaign into the postseason Friday night, outshooting fourth-seeded Colleton County 59-36 in a wild Class 4A playoff opener.

North Myrtle Beach quarterback Cason McClendon threw five touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the top-seeded Chiefs (11-0), but the defense surrendered more than 500 yards and struggled to put the game away until the fourth quarter.

Led by quarterback Craig Grant, Colleton County’s quick-strike offense got on the scoreboard first. But North Myrtle Beach counterpart McClendon responded with three unanswered touchdown tosses to Tyler Gore, Tyron Stockdale and Derion Conyers for a 21-7 edge.

North Myrtle Beach running back Kered Class, who rushed for more than 250 yards, ran one in from 9 yards out. Following a red zone stop by the Chiefs’ defense, freshman kicker Zane Smith booted a 43-yard field goal at the horn for a 31-14 halftime advantage.

The North Myrtle Beach defense got into the act again in the second half as Rahsaan Vereen’s fumble recovery and 20-yard TD return appeared to put the game away. But Colleton County quickly responded with a kickoff return for a TD and a 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to 38-22.

McClendon threw a pair of fourth-quarter TD passes to Naseem Harrison and Stockdale to keep Colleton County at bay and advance to the second round. The Chiefs will host Crestwood in the second round next Friday.

Photo by Louis E. Keiner

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