The Conway Tigers have grown accustomed to lopsided scores this year.
But the perennial playoff program uncharacteristically has been on the losing end of a few this season.
With a probable playoff berth on the line for both teams Friday night, the Tigers reverted to their playoff form of old with a 56-14 blowout of county and Region VI-AAAA rival Carolina Forest.
"The bottom line is we try to play off our tradition. I mean, it's what you do," Tigers coach Chuck Jordan said. "And we've really been challenging kids along that line as, `Hey guys, we're Conway and you're not playing like it.'
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"I think they thought we had something to prove, and they did. We played well and we played with the kind of emotion that you've got to play with."
Conway(5-6, 2-3 region) is expected to get into the AAAA playoffs as an at-large team after South Florence (6-5, 2-3) captured the third and final automatic berth from the region with a 41-13 win over West Florence on Friday. Carolina Forest (3-8, 1-4) would have finished third in the region with a win.
"It's always exciting to have one more game. I don't want the season to end," said Conway senior receiver Spencer Goffigan. "We had a lot to prove. It's always a pride thing around Horry County. We really had to step it up this week in practice. It was either do or die, and we put on a show tonight."
Conway had the Panthers looking up from the opening kickoff, which the Tigers returned to the Carolina Forest 48. Conway freshman quarterback Mykal Moody scored on a 48-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and the Tigers were off and running.
A 17-yard scoring run by Moody, blocked punt and recovery at the Panthers' 17 by Deonta Gore, and 42-yard interception return for a touchdown by Damone Sherman contributed to a 28-0 Conway lead just 8:14 into the game.
"We were there in the (playoff) hunt. I really thought our team was ready to play," Panthers coach Drew Hummel said. "It couldn't have been a worse start. ... When things happen that fast in a game, momentum has shifted."
The Panthers couldn't stop Moody. He gained 105 yards and scored three touchdowns on 12 carries, and completed 6 of 12 passes for 169 yards and three scores, helping the Tigers improve to 11-0 against Carolina Forest and apparently reach the playoffs again.
"It's been a long year, and yet we're still playing," Jordan said. "We're going to limp into the playoffs but we're going to limp in with a win and that's always good. You're always trying to create momentum, and this was a good game for us tonight, there's no question about it. We controlled the game from beginning to end."