Late in the third quarter, Socastee had the ball trailing Conway by only seven points and the underdog Braves looked primed to take the Tigers down to the wire in this old Horry County rivalry.
The Braves promptly lost fumbles on their next two possessions, gift-wrapping 10 points for Conway as the Tigers left Braves Field with another victory, 31-14, in the lopsided series.
Socastee (1-3) trailed only 21-14 when Conway's Kendrick Evans recovered a botched Braves hand-off at the Socastee 22-yard line. On the first play of the fourth quarter Ashton McCants booted a 26-yard field goal with 11:56 left in the game for a 24-14 Conway lead.
Then came the killer for the Braves when P.J. Brave fumbled from the Conway 33-yard line on Socastee's ensuing possession.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sun News
Chris Bryant snatched the ball out of the air and rambled 65 yards for a touchdown, escorted by a host of Tigers. In a span of 1:47, Conway had taken complete charge with a 31-14 lead with 10:09 left in the game.
"I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage up front very well in the first half," said Conway coach Chuck Jordan. "I thought we played real well on defense other than the fact that we just gave up some opportunities to get off the field and didn't [due to penalties]. We did not control the line of scrimmage in the second half and that's a tribute to [Socastee]."
Socastee had its moments on the ground, compiling 190 yards on 47 carries versus a tough Tigers defense, but was stung by the two fumbles.
"Our kids did play hard and there are some things we've got to continue to work on," said Socastee coach Tim Renfrow. "Again, hopefully we'll continue to get better before region starts."
The Braves jumped out to a 7-0 lead when they converted a fumbled punt by Conway's Dominique Chatman into an 18-yard TD drive, capped by a one-yard sneak by quarterback Jordan Renfrow with 6:04 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers bounced back with three straight scoring drives - capped by a 5-yard run by Malcolm Murphy, a 31-yard pass from Robert Nelson to Brandon Campbell and a 4-yard run by Murphy - to take a 21-7 lead with 2:41 left in the first half.
Socastee pulled within 21-14 at halftime with a quick 47-yard drive in 2:19 to end the half. Michquan Brown capped the 8-play march with a 2-yard run with 19 seconds left in the half.
Robert Nelson continued as the starting quarterback for the Tigers, as Mykal Moody continues to recover from an ankle injury.
"He's out until they tell me he can play," said Jordan. "He was on crutches with a splint tonight. They won't let him put any weight on it yet. I keep hearing two weeks, three weeks, 10 weeks - I don't know. We're just trying to drive on as best we can without him. I thought Robert did a good job tonight."