Chiefs shock Tigers with last-second touchdown

The first game of the high school football season may turn out to be one of the most exciting.

North Myrtle Beach’s Naseem Harrison scored the game-winning touchdown on a 12-yard pass from Cason McClendon with 3 seconds left in the game to give the Chiefs a 16-14 victory over host Conway in The Backyard on Thursday night.

The Chiefs erased a double-digit deficit in the second half behind a pair of TD passes from McClendon in the final 5 minutes. The game-winner came following a sack with the clock running down and no timeouts remaining. The senior calmly connected with Harrison, who battled past two defenders to get in the end zone.

The Chiefs struck first in a defensive first half on a field goal by Zane Smith, but the Tigers got on the board midway through the second half on a nice catch-and-move by Quancey Bennett for a 13-yard touchdown pass from Daquinton Grady and a 7-3 lead. Conway made it a 14-3 lead into halftime on a 5-yard TD run by Justin Sherman.

North Myrtle Beach scored its first touchdown on the season on a 28-yard strike from McClendon to Zyer Belle to cut the deficit to 14-9 following a missed PAT attempt by Smith.

Conway had a chance to put the game away with a first down in the waning minutes but was forced to punt on a fourth-and-5 with 2:13 remaining. North Myrtle Beach’s Naseem Harrison made a nice punt return near the red zone and running back Ramsey Lewis delivered a big run to set up first and goal to the Tigers’ 4.

On third and goal with the final seconds ticking down, McClendon hit Harrison on a short pass and he outbattled two defenders to find the end zone for the game-winner. After starting the game 0-for-11, McClendon completed 5 of his final 6 passes for two TDs.

Conway controlled most of the game and outgained the Chiefs in total yardage 249-182. But the North Myrtle Beach defense took control until McClendon could get on track. He completed only 5 of 17 passes for 83 yards but hit the key ones when it counted.

First-year Conway QB Grady had a better statistical night, completing 18 of 25 throws for 160 yards.

The Tigers (0-1) hit the road next week to face Nation Ford. The Chiefs (1-0) play their home opener against Loris.

Photo by Chuck Silvey

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