The Keep Chopping slogan couldn’t have been more prophetic for Lower Richland in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Tevaughn Higgins threw five second half touchdowns, including the game-winning 45-yard Hail Mary to Deonta Jacobs as time expired to give the Diamonds an improbable 34-31 come-from-behind victory over Myrtle Beach on Friday night.
“The kids kept fighting,” Lower Richland coach Rodney Barr said. “They kept chopping; they kept believing. We wanted to give our kids a chance to make a play ... and we made a play.”
Lower Richland (7-5) trailed by 17 at halftime and 31-22 with less than two minutes remaining. Higgins connected with Karl Scott on a 60-yard touchdown with 1:39 remaining. The two-point conversion try failed to make it 31-28.
The Diamonds attempted an onside kick, but it went out of bounds before it went the required 10 yards to give the Seahawks possession near midfield. Lower Richland called its final two time outs and forced Myrtle Beach (7-5) to punt with 9.8 seconds to go. Instead of taking a safety and getting a free kick, the punt went 9 yards to give the Diamonds possession at the 50 with six seconds remaining.
After an offsides call on the Seahawks, Higgins took the snap and had to roll to his right when pressure came up the middle, and he launched a missile down the sideline that found the hands of Jacobs in the corner of the end zone.
“We knew we had a limited amount of time to put the ball in the air,” Higgins said. “Jacobs has been making plays all year. He ran his route and came up with a big play like he usually does.”
Jacobs was just hoping for a chance.
“When I saw Tavaughn roll out, I turned my head and saw him throw it. There was no safety over top and made a good play on the ball.”
Jamal Henderson caught 7 passes for 191 yards for Lower Richland
Lawson Cribb: The Myrtle Beach senior quarterback 21 of 35 for 289 yards and touchdowns
Tevaughn Higgins: Higgins didn’t have his most accurate night but still managed to throw for 358 yards and five touchdowns. He finished 15 of 36 with 340 of those yards coming in the second half.
37: Lower Richland only had 37 yards of total offense at the half. The Diamonds had only one first down in their first six drives and didn’t cross into Myrtle Beach territory until 2:56 remained in the half.
340: Total number of passing yards for Tevaughn Higgins in the second half. He only had 18 yards at halftime.
THEY SAID IT
“At halftime, we talked to the kids about enjoying the moment and not playing scored. They came out with fighting hearts and kept chugging. Myrtle Beach made it tough but somehow pulled it out.” — LR coach Rodney Barr
“They looked at film and saw we had a big rushing game last week. We knew we had to put the ball in the air to win the game, and we did that in the second half and came out victorious.” — LR QB Tevaughn Higgins
HOW THEY SCORED
MB – Chad Toone 28 FG 5:47
MB – Marcus Grissett 6 pass from Lawson Cribb (Toone kick) 2:30
MB – Jermani Green 6 run (Toone kick) 11:22
MB – Green 1 run (Toone kick) 6:48
LR – Jamal Henderson 39 pass from Tevaughn Higgins (kick failed) 5:27
LR – Henderson 53 pass from Higgins (Henderson pass from Higgins) 1:06
MB – Luke Doty 24 pass from Cribb (Toone kick) 9:59
LR – Henderson 70 pass from Higgins (Karl Scott pass from Higgins) 9:14
LR – Karl Scott 60 pass from Higgins (run failed) 1:39
LR – Deonta Jacobs 45 pass from Higgins (No PAT) 0:00
Rushing: MB: green 29-80. LR: Tevaughn Higgins 13-9, Keyshawn Capers 7-18.
Passing: MB: Cribb 21-35-1-289. LR: Higgins 15-35-1-358.
Receiving: MB: Finkley 6-150, Grissett 4-18, Doty 4-46, Green 6-39. LR: Jamal Henderson 7-191, Karl Scott 1-60, Deonta Jacobs 3-82, Trent Higgins 3-29.