Well after players and coaches had left the field, D’Wuan Grainger took a final stroll on the fabled turf of “The Backyard.”
A dream season for the Conway football team had come to a sudden and abrupt end.
Down 21 points at halftime, the Tigers nearly erased the deficit in the second half. However, the hill proved too tall to climb, as Spring Valley left Conway with a 35-28 win.
“We didn’t play our best four quarters, simple as that,” said Conway interim football coach Carlton Terry. “We dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t get out of. We didn’t quit and fought to the end, but we made too many self-inflicted wounds to win this game tonight.”
Conway lost four turnovers in the contest, two of which were converted into touchdowns by the Vikings.
For the first 24 minutes, Spring Valley quarterback Quincy Hill had Tiger tacklers sucking wind – whether through the air or on the ground. He finished with 187 total yards and two touchdowns.
In the second half, the Vikings were held scoreless, allowing Conway to steadily get back in contention. A 49-yard touchdown pass from Grainger to wideout Xavier Kinlaw drew the Tigers within 14, while Antonio Long’s 2-yard touchdown plunge cut the Spring Valley lead to 35-28.
With just under two minutes remaining, Conway took over at its own 31 seeking to tie the game. The Vikings were having none of it, though, batting down Grainger’s final pass to seal the win.
“We knew (Conway) had a run in them. They are too good and have too many good players not to,” said Spring Valley football coach Robin Bacon. “We felt last year Conway made a play or two more than we did. Tonight, we made one more.”
Conway’s season ends at 10-2. Meanwhile, Spring Valley advances to the Lower State 5A semifinals, where it will meet Fort Dorchester.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Spring Valley quarterback Quincy Hill gave the Vikings a 35-14 lead in the second quarter. It would wind up being all they needed to hold on for the victory.
Quincy Hill, Spring Valley: Rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown, along with completing 4 of 6 passes for 90 yards and another score in the Vikings’ win.
D’Wuan Grainger, Conway: In his final game at Conway, he accounted for 282 yards and a touchdown pass in the Tigers’ 35-28 loss.
By the numbers
Points scored by Spring Valley in the second half, though it wouldn’t need them.
Turnovers by the Conway offense on the night.
Total yards by Conway’s D’Wuan Grainger.
They said it
“All we could do is keep praying … someone was going to make a play. Thankfully, we did and we’re on to Fort Dorchester.” — Spring Valley quarterback Quincy Hill
“I basically told them in life you’re going to have ups and downs, and go through adversity. But when that time comes, you have to win the day. Life is a war, and you have different battles within it, but the goal is to win the war. … Our seniors endured so much and did a good job of leading this team.” — Conway interim football coach Carlton Terry
“I played for Chuck Jordan at Richland Northeast. And to come to a field that he had been on for more than 30 years and win, it really meant a lot to me personally.” — Spring Valley football coach Robin Bacon
Spring Valley: at Fort Dorchester
Conway: season over
SV — Tate Iaulualo 1 run ( Alex Hererra kick)
CON — Daiquawn Clark 1 run (Will Smith kick)
SV — Jaylon Morris 18 run (Herrera kick)
SV — Quincy Hill 49 pass to Malik Wesley (Herrera kick)
CON — Antonio Long 3 run (Smith kick)
SV — Jacquez Terrell 1 run (Herrera kick)
SV — Hill 5 run (Herrera kick)
CON — D’Wuan Grainger 49 pass to Xavier Kinlaw (Smith kick)
CON — Long 2 run (Smith kick)
Rushing: SV — Quincy Hill 16-97, Jacquez Terrell 9-59; CON — D’Wuan Grainger 16-108, Antonio Long 9-40.
Passing: SV: Hill 4-6-1, 90 yards; Grainger 9-23-2, 174 yards.
Receiving: SV: Malik Wesley 2-54, Jaylon Morris 2-36; CON — Pooh Brantley 3-73, Juwan Moody 4-48.