Prep notebook | Conway offense rolling as postseason approaches

October 15, 2012 

  • More information Friday’s high school football games CLASS AAAA • Sumter (3-5, 1-1) at Carolina Forest (1-7, 0-1) • Conway (4-4, 1-0) at South Florence (6-2, 1-1) CLASS AAA • Myrtle Beach (7-1, 2-1) at Georgetown (5-3, 2-1) • St. James (2-6, 1-2) at North Myrtle Beach (4-4, 0-3) • Wilson (3-5, 1-2) at Socastee (8-0, 3-0) CLASS AA • Dillon 7-1, 3-0) at Loris (6-2, 3-0) • Mullins (2-6, 1-2) at Aynor (6-2, 2-1) • Waccamaw (3-5, 0-3) at Marion (1-7, 0-3) • Timberland (7-1, 3-0) at Andrews (2-6, 1-2) CLASS A • East Clarendon (4-4, 2-1) at Carvers Bay (7-1, 3-0) Lake View (5-3, 2-1) at Green Sea Floyds (2-6, 1-2)

Since a loss to Socastee on Sept. 7, Conway’s offense has been on a roll.

The Tigers dropped 42 in a win against Marlboro County the next week. Then there was the 55 points in a one-point loss to Myrtle Beach, followed by a 35-point outing against defending Region VI-AAAA champion West Florence.

The run continued last week, when – playing its final non-region game of the regular season – Conway scored a season-high 56 against West Ashley.

That’s a very healthy 47 points per game, and behind it, the Tigers are 3-1 in the stretch. While quarterback Mykal Moody is the centerpiece, he’s not the only reason for all those points.

“Our goal has been to have everyone on the offensive side of the ball contribute,” coach Chuck Jordan said. “Are we getting closer to that? I hope so. We had three receivers catch touchdowns last week.”

In that win over West Ashley, Moody accounted for seven touchdowns, including five through the air. Malcolm Green caught three of the scores, while freshman Bryan Edwards and senior Sawyer Jordan each added one. Tailback Jaquail Crosland also had 135 yards and a touchdown rushing.

Part of the distribution can be attributed to a pieced-together offensive line that has started to play better overall. The Tigers have had several injuries from the preseason through last week’s game, but replacements are gelling. Moody is being forced to scramble less than in years past.

The outburst against West Ashley allowed Conway to rest most of its starters in the fourth quarter.

The last three games of the regular season, however, are even bigger. Conway rounds out the region schedule by heading to South Florence this Friday, with games at home against Sumter and then the short trip to Carolina Forest.

The remainder of the slate also sets up the Tigers for at least one more potential shootout. South Florence is averaging better than 36 points per game. Sumter (22 ppg) and Carolina Forest (21 ppg) haven’t been as consistently effective over the course of the season. However, both have also shown glimpses of putting up solid point totals.

In many ways, Conway has started to do the things that have been major hang-ups in recent seasons. The Tigers were not flagged for a single offensive penalty in more than 50 plays against West Florence. They also had just one turnover, a Moody interception.

As for the quarterback, he’s continued to add to his already impressive numbers.

Last week, he threw for 208 yards and ran for another 129. He’s already thrown for 1,434 yards and 19 touchdowns this season, figures that eclipsed his junior season totals.

Still, Jordan is focusing on what else his team can do.

“We’re missing a lot of blocks up front,” he said. “We’re busting on some protection issues. We’re busting a route here and there. The quarterback is missing a read here and there.”

Jordan wants his team playing its best ball when the playoffs start. In the meantime, Conway (4-4 overall and 1-0 in Region VI-AAA) is very much in the hunt for a region title.

Continuing to score so many points won’t hurt the Tigers’ chances.

Standings watch

With only two weeks left in the regular season for the state’s lower three classes, teams are running out of time to make their final playoff push.

In Class AAA, only three teams from Region VII-AAA are guaranteed a spot in the postseason. The new format has 28 teams in the Upper State compared to only 24 in the Lower State. In the four Lower State region, the top three seeds in each are given automatic seeds. The four fourth-place teams in those regions are then fighting for three spots.

If the regular season ended today, Socastee, Myrtle Beach and Georgetown would hold those three guaranteed spots from Region VII-AAA. St. James, Wilson and North Myrtle Beach, then, are competing for an at-large position. It won’t be easy, given how some of the other regions are shaking out.

The at-large bids will be given upon an overall point system similar to the Class AAAA seedings process. Currently, Wilson – having played a pair of Class AAAA opponents with winning records – is leading North Myrtle Beach and St. James in that system. However, St. James has the head-to-head tie breaker over Wilson. So if those two teams finish with the same amount of region victories, the Sharks would move into the fourth spot.

Assuming that happens, St. James will have no easy task beating out all three fourth-place teams from the other Lower State regions.

The current fourth-place teams from Regions V, VI and VIII all have at least three overall victories through their first eight games. St. James is 2-6.

The Class AA area teams are in a cluster of their own. All of them will make the postseason, but the seeding is nowhere near determined.

Loris, which will play perennial power Dillon at home on Friday, could shake things up considerably with a win over the Wildcats. Loris is 3-0 in region play so far, tied with Dillon for the lead. Aynor (2-1 in region play) is in third place and can solidify a top-half finish with a win this week at home against Mullins.

Loris will then head to Aynor next week for the regular-season finale. Should Loris win this week and then lose next week at Aynor, it would set up a three-way tie for first. If Dillon beats Loris, next week’s game between the Lions and Aynor would determine second place.

Either way, both teams could end up in solid position for the postseason. Loris will be playing in the Class AA, Division I playoffs, while the smaller Aynor will be heading to the Class AA, Division II bracket.

In Region VII-A, Carvers Bay has rattled off seven straight victories since losing the season opener to Johnsonville.

Regardless of what happens in the Bears’ game against East Clarendon this week, they will play for at least a share of the region title next Friday at Timmonsville, the other 3-0 team in the division. If Carvers Bay wins both games, it would likely secure a top-three seed in the Class A, Division I Lower State playoff bracket.

Carvers Bay hoops jamboree

Carvers Bay will give area basketball fans a chance to get a glimpse of a handful of boys and girls teams on Nov. 10 in the second annual Bear Jam at the high school.

The event will feature 28 teams from this side of the state. Included in the field on the boys side is area teams Andrews, Carolina Forest, Carvers Bay, Georgetown, North Myrtle Beach, St. James and Waccamaw.

On the girls side, area teams participating in the jamboree are Andrews, Carvers Bay, Georgetown, Loris, North Myrtle Beach, St. James and Waccamaw.

The abbreviated games will not count toward regular-season records. All games will be varsity level, with the exception of the Carvers Bay junior varsity playing Summerville’s JV squad.

The first contest will start at 10:45 a.m., and the day will be capped with a Carvers Bay-Carolina Forest boys game at 8:30 p.m.

SCISA swim champ

Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach seventh-grader Emie Jackson won a pair of individual state titles on Saturday at the SCISA swimming championships.

Jackson took first place in both the 100 backstroke (1:08.04) and 500 freestyle (5:49.86).

Jackson was the third area swimmer to win an individual state title as Waccamaw’s Adam Dear and Socastee’s Walker Harwell took home titles in Class AAA the week before.

Contact IAN GUERIN at ian@ianguerin.com.

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