Chiefs make history with perfect record, region title

The North Myrtle Beach High football team made school history in Friday night’s 41-7 victory over visiting St. James, putting the finishing touches on the program’s first undefeated regular season and outright Region 7-4A championship under first-year head coach Matt Reel.

The No. 2-ranked Chiefs (10-0 overall, 4-0 region) took care of business like they have all season long, using a balanced offensive attack to build a 27-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Cason McClendon threw a pair of touchdown passes, both in the first half, and punched one in on the ground in the second half to lead the offense.

Also in the first half, senior running back Kered Class ran for a touchdown and freshman Zane Smith booted a pair of field goals as the packed house at the Hank Hester Sports Complex began celebrating Senior Night early.

One of the few mistakes the Chiefs made on the night was a fumble that set up the Sharks’ lone score on a 1-yard dive by running back Ames Fowble. But when St. James found itself with a first-and-goal from the 1 in the second half, North Myrtle Beach’s defense bowed up and held. The Chiefs answered with a 99-yard drive capped by McClendon’s TD dive. Nick Vereen added the final TD and female kicker Renee Urbaniak added the PAT.

The Chiefs, who were region co-champions last season but earned the No. 1 seed via a tiebreaker, left no doubt about the title this time. They will host a first-round playoff game next week against Colleton County.

The Sharks (2-8, 0-4) are done for the season after winning two more games than last season.

Photo by Louis E. Keiner

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