Braves beat clock, Chiefs with last-minute TD drive

socfoot-2jumpillingThe big knock on Socastee’s powerful triple-option attack has been how it could handle must-score, late-game situations. The Braves answered that question when it counted in Friday night’s 15-10 victory over visiting North Myrtle Beach.

In a game that saw both teams struggle to score throughout 3 1/2 quarters and wait out a 30-minute lightning delay, the hard-fought, see-saw contest saw two lead changes in the final 78 seconds. The Chiefs (1-4) took a 10-8 lead with 1:18 remaining on a 29-yard field goal by Christian Buis, but it was short lived.

The Braves (4-1) got in the last blow on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Hodge to 6-foot-5 tight end Max Kjosa, who outjumped North Myrtle Beach’s Mike Gore in the back corner of the end zone for the game-winner with 20 seconds left. The TD catch capped a four-play drive that saw all passes and a big kickoff return by Sam McKinney to set up the score.

Both teams were able to move the ball deep into enemy territory but turnovers proved costly. Socastee turned the ball over three times, two on interceptions by Hodge, and the Chiefs lost a scoring opportunity on a picked-off pass. The Chiefs did score on their first drive on a TD pass from Kendrick Furness to Kyle Cooper.

Both of Socastee’s scores came in the final seconds of each half as Angelo Sauter powered his way into the end zone with 18 seconds left. The Braves used a quick snap on the PAT to take an 8-7 lead on a 2-point conversion by Hodge. Lightning struck a few seconds later and the two teams had to sit out the final seconds until the skies cleared.

Socastee controlled the ball in the second half but couldn’t turn the yards into points. That allowed the Chiefs to mount an impressive drive of their own in the final minutes. Furness hit Colby Gore on a pair of big passes to the Braves’ 15 and the Chiefs turned to Buis to win it with his foot. But his unintentional squib kick on the ensuing kickoff set the table for Socastee.

McKinney’s return put the ball in Chiefs’ territory, and Hodge hit Kjosa for 30 yards to put the Braves in field goal range. But with starting kicker Braxton Elvis out for the night, Socastee opted to put it in the hands of Kjosa and he paid off with a game-saving grab.

Photo by Nancy Thompson

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