High School Football

High school football notebook: Conway back in action this week, but Moody not

Chuck Jordan is getting a little annoyed with the questions.

But you can tell he's doing his best to be a good sport about it.

The Conway coach is heading into his team's fifth game without starting quarterback Mykal Moody. And it's starting to appear there's a chance Moody won't be back at all this season.

"The status is the same with Mykal," Jordan said. "Basically, it's one of those things I don't know if we'll get him back or not. I don't know if the orthopedic [doctor] can tell you that right now.

"I'm preparing as if you gotta drive on. That's what you got to do. I hope he'll be available before the season's out."

Moody suffered a severely sprained right ankle in a Week 1 loss to Summerville. Shortly after, he had two temporary screws inserted into his ankle to speed up the recovery process.

Still, neither the coach, the player nor apparently the team doctors are able to put a finger on a return date. It certainly won't be this week's Region VI-AAAA opener against West Florence -- despite original hopes to the contrary, given Conway had its off week last week. Next week's region home opener against Lugoff-Elgin looks extremely doubtful, too.

Meanwhile, Jordan said the sophomore quarterback is trying to keep his spirits up and stay as involved as possible.

"Mykal is just a great kid. He's handled this thing about as much as he could," Jordan said. "He misses those Friday nights.

"He's in our quarterback meetings. He's watching film and doing those kind of things. All is not lost."

Relative unknown

Denzell Strayhorne shares a backfield with one of the top running backs in the area in Loris teammate R.J. Brown.

That often means not only sharing the spotlight, but giving it up almost entirely. Case in point: Brown scored the winning touchdown in overtime in Friday's win over Marion in the Region VIII-AA opener.

But Strayhorne, a 6-foot, 215-pound fullback, may have been the bigger reason the Lions ended up beating the Swamp Foxes. He finished the game with 17 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a catch for 15 yards out of the backfield.

Strayhorne's biggest contributions came immediately after halftime. The Lions started the second half trailing 13-7. Strayhorne and Co. made sure that lead wasn't going to stand.

Starting at their own 35-yard line, the Lions drove 65 yards in 7 minutes, 25 seconds. And it wasn't just the fact that Strayhorne scored the game-tying touchdown from two yards out.

Along the way, he carried the ball five times for 27 yards. On the Lions' next-to-last play of the drive, Stayhorne fought off tacklers for a tough six-yard run that pushed Loris down to the two-yard line, giving coach Jimmy Longerbeam an easy decision to go for it on 4th and goal.

Now, here's the kicker for opposing defenses -- Strayhorne generally lines up as a fullback, but he's just as likely to be in the halfback position on any given play.

As if worrying about Brown wasn't enough.

Off week preparation

Of the 13 schools in The Sun News' coverage area, all but two - Class A teams Carvers Bay and Green Sea Floyds - have now had their off weeks.

Carolina Forest and Conway were the last two schools to have their byes, which came last week. But a look at how most area teams responded immediately after that extra week of preparation is pretty surprising. If you count Myrtle Beach's win over Carolina Forest (the Seahawks took their open week the first week of play), local schools are 4-5 following their open weeks.

Andrews, Aynor, North Myrtle Beach, St. James and Waccamaw all fell in their first games back in action. Georgetown, Loris and Socastee joined Myrtle Beach in the win column.