Region 6-5A: Tigers lose in triple OT; Braves falter late

confoot-5runGrand Strand football fans were hungry for some football following a two-week layoff, but it was worth the wait for those who stayed for the end of Friday night’s triple-overtime thriller between Sumter and Conway.

Unfortunately for the home fans at the Backyard, the Tigers (3-4 overall, 1-1 region) came out on the short end of the wild, back-and-forth contest by a 38-31 score in a tough Region 6-5A showdown with the No. 7-ranked Gamecocks (7-1, 2-0).

Conway trailed the entire game before Peyton Derrick hit Darren Stanley for a touchdown pass late in the fourth. After a pair of Sumter penalties moved the point-after try, Conway coach Chuck Jordan ran out on the field to try to call a timeout for a possible 2-point conversion try but officials didn’t make the call and Will Smith calmly kicked the PAT toe tie it up at 17-all. Jordan later used the timeout to ice Sumter kicker Roman Childers, who made and then missed a field goal with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.

Overtime became a see-saw affair as each team scored touchdowns on their first two attempts. Derrick connected with Juwon Moody for both Conway TDs, the latter giving Conway a 31-24 lead. But the Gamecocks scored on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 to force a third OT, and Dajon Butts scored the game-winning touchdown on a 5-yard run to open the third as Conway couldn’t answer.

Sumter jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but Derrick threw the first of his four TD passes on the night to Malachi Miller to cut the deficit to 10-7 at halftime. Smith’s 21-yard field goal and Derrick’s TD toss to Stanley allowed the Tigers to force overtime.

The Tigers travel to rival Carolina Forest next week.

* South Florence 47, Socastee 44: The Braves’ bad luck continued in a tough loss to the Bruins, who used a fluke interception late in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback win.

Leading 44-40 with just over 2 minutes remaining, Socastee quarter Hunter Illing’s pass attempt bounced off the intended receiver’s leg and into the hands of South Florence’s Fred Sparks, who rumbled 40 yards for the game-winning touchdown. The Braves were unable to get into field goal range on their final drive for a potential game-tying field goal.

Socastee controlled most of the game, building an early 15-0 lead on Illing’s TD tosses to Aeneas to Dashaun Myers. An offensive shootout ensued in the second quarter, capped by a Socastee touchdown on a botched punt attempt with 1 second left in the half for a 36-27 advantage at intermission.

South Florence scored two unanswered touchdowns to open the second half for its first lead of the game at 40-36, but the Braves responded in the fourth. Illing’s TD pass to Green put Socastee back on top, and the Braves defense stopped the Bruins on fourth-and-goal with 5 minutes left to play. Socastee was trying to run out the clock when the bad bounce led to the pick-six.

Socastee travels to Sumter next Friday.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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