Victory Bell tolls for MB as Keane throws for eight TDs

For all of the great games and moments in the Battle for the Victory Bell series, this one might have topped them all.

In a rivalry that saw five ties and lead changes, 111 total points, more than 1,000 combined yards of total offense, this one was so close it came down to a decision to go for a 2-point conversion in the final minute.

After Conway quarterback Mykal Moody scored on a 12-yard touchdown run, Tigers coach Chuck Jordan eschewed the chance to tie it with a PAT to go for the win. But Conway tight end Nathaniel Nesbitt dropped the 2-point pass from Moody and the Seahawks held on for a wild 56-55 victory at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

Myrtle Beach quarterback Tyler Keane threw eight touchdown passes – three apiece to CJ Cooper and Trell Harrell – and the Seahawks (5-0) dodged the final bullet from Moody to regain possession of the Victory Bell. The rivalry’s trophy returns to the beach after a one-year stay in Conway (2-4), which leads the all-time series 34-11.

The Battle for the Victory Bell began more like a comedy of errors as the Seahawks drove downfield only to have a Max Huggins field goal blocked. Conway drove deep into Myrtle Beach territory before Moody was intercepted by Kelton Greene, but the Seahawks fumbled it back on the next play on its own 6.

Moody made four runs at the goal before finally getting into the end zone from 1 yard out in a touchdown that was contested by the defense. The Seahawks fumbled the ball back on the ensuing kickoff to set the Tigers up in prime field position again. Moody threw a 9-yard TD pass to Bryan Edwards for a 14-0 lead.

The Seahawks answered immediately by driving the length of the field and cutting the lead in half. Tyler Keane hit CJ Cooper for a touchdown pass and Huggins added to PAT to make it 14-7 in the final minutes of the action-packed first quarter, but it was only the beginning of the madness on the evening.

Conway started its possession deep in Myrtle Beach territory after Malcolm Green returned the kickoff to the 6. After Moody was forced to leave the field for losing his helmet on a play, running back Tyreke Phillips stepped in to replace him in the wildcat formation and ran one in from 3 yards out to make it 21-7.

The two-touchdown deficit didn’t last long as the Seahawks once again made a sustained drive, capped by another Keane to Cooper connection. Conway fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Seahawks quickly took advantage with a TD pass from Keane to Trell Harrell that tied it at 21-21 midway through the second period.

Following a three-and-out by the Tigers, the Seahawks made it three TDs over a two-minute span when Keane hit Harrell out of the backfield for a 52-yard TD strike, giving Myrtle Beach its first lead of the game at 28-21.

Conway answered with a late TD drive to make it 28-all but left the Seahawks too much time. Keane and Cooper connected for the third time of the night for a 41-yard TD pass that put the Seahawks on top 35-28 at the half. After 30 minutes, 63 points, more than 500 combined yards of offense, the best half was yet to come.

Myrtle Beach fumbled a punt early in the second half and Conway’s Demar Williams recovered the fumble and returned it 44 yards for a tying TD at 35-all. The offenses went back to playing “top this.” Keane hit Malik Waring for a go-ahead TD pass, but the Tigers responded quickly with a 71-yard TD pass from Moody to Green to tie it at 42-all. Moody found a streaking Green for a 29-yard TD strike to regain the lead at 49-42.

Conway’s lead didn’t last long as Keane found Renard Pointer for a big pass play and then hooked up again with Pointer from 31 yards out for his seventh TD pass of the game to even the score at 49-all. Keane threw his eighth TD of the night came on a 15-yarder to Harrell on a jump ball that put the Seahawks on top 56-49.

The Tigers got the ball back with 4 minutes remaining and Moody led them on a drive deep into Myrtle Beach territory. Moody broke free around the end for a 12-yard TD run with 1:18 remaining, but his 2-point conversion pass was dropped in the end zone by Nesbitt and the Seahawks recovered the onside kick to end the game.

Photo by Rancier Photography

 

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