High School Football

Short-handed Conway plagued by turnovers in loss to Wando

In the end, Wando's option attack simply had more options as the opportunistic Warriors pounded out a 21-7 win over short-handed Conway on Friday night.

Quarterback Sam Norton rushed for three touchdowns as Wando took advantage of three Tigers turnovers, while the Warriors defense stymied the Tigers' attack. Conway was without starting quarterback Mykal Moody, who did not dress for the game after suffering a high ankle sprain in last week's loss to Summerville.

With Robert Nelson stepping under center to replace Moody, Conway (1-2) was able to sustain drives in its own half, but struggled nearly every time it crossed the 50-yard line.

The Tigers' first possession started at their own 24-yard line and built into a 12-play drive down to the Wando 35 before a pair of incomplete passes and a short ground gain forced the team to punt.

Wando answered with a scoring drive capped by a 20-yard run from Norton, and Conway's next drive was stopped quickly when a Nelson pass was tipped at the line and picked off by Wando's Alec Westman at the Conway 19 and returned to the 10. Two plays later Norton carried it in from a yard out for a 14-0 Warriors lead just before the end of the first quarter.

"The difference was that we turned the ball over," Conway coach Chuck Jordan said. "With a ball-control team like they are, turnovers are extremely important. They scored when they got in the red zone and we didn't, and we turned the ball over and they didn't.

"That was the difference."

Conway's next possession built into a 10-play drive into Wando territory, but Nelson could never quite get a handle on the ball and Wando took control again.

The Tigers got on the board with an 18-play, 90-yard drive that ate nearly seven minutes off the clock with Nelson running it 13 times before finding Malcolm Green in the end zone from 4-yards out on a fourth-and-3 play to cut the lead in half.

The Warriors scored on their first possession of the second half when Norton capped a 61-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown on another option keeper before the Conway defense finally began to settle down.

Nelson finished with 20 carries for 110 yards and went 9-for-17 passing for 42 yards with a touchdown and the interception while leading the Tigers' run-first version of the spread offense, while Chris Brantley had 80 yards rushing.

"I think we did some good things offensively and Robert did some good things, but he hasn't had enough reps to be able to make some of the plays we're asking him to make," Jordan said.

Jordan said the timetable for Moody's return is uncertain, and that the sophomore is currently game-to-game. Conway could also be without H-back Rory Howard, who left the game with an apparent rib injury.