Moody-less Conway rallies in second half to top Sumter

Conway once again proved that it should never be counted out on Friday night by rallying for a 34-24 victory over visiting Sumter.

The Tigers (5-5 overall, 2-1 Region 6-4A) lost star quarterback Mykal Moody on the opening series and trailed the Gamecocks (4-6, 1-2) 24-7 at halftime. But Conway scored 27 unanswered points in the second half, including three touchdown runs by Jaquail Crosland, to score an impressive comeback victory over Sumter.

Sumter got on the board first on a 1-yard run by Reggie Jones, but backup quarterback Ethan Smith came on for the injured Moody to throw a 6-yard TD to freshman Bryan Edwards and tie it up. But Sumter used a pair of TD tosses to John Tyler and a last-second field goal by Cody Lee to take a 24-7 lead into the intermission.

The Tigers, who have been known for making second-half comebacks this season, did it again without their top weapon in Moody. Smith hit Edwards for a 19-yard TD strike before being injured, then third-string QB Sawyer Jordan came on and connected with Malcolm Green to set up Crosland’s 1-yard dive that cut the deficit to 24-20.

The Conway defense shut down the Gamecocks in the fourth quarter and Crosland took advantage of good field position and a tired Sumter defense. Following a fumble recovery by Conway, Crosland scored on a 19-yard TD run to give the Tigers their first lead, then he extended the margin with a 52-yard breakaway TD to ice the game.

The Tigers took the driver’s seat for the region title heading into next week’s season finale against rival Carolina Forest (1-9, 0-3), which suffered a 44-7 defeat at the hands of West Florence, Conway’s biggest rival for the region title.

Photo by Chuck Silvey

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