Things came a bit too easily for Conway in the season’s first three weeks.
So when Hartsville erased a 21-point first half deficit to tie things up in the third quarter on Friday night, Tiger coaches were eager to see how their players reacted to a little adversity.
The group can only come away impressed by what they saw.
Conway answered the Red Foxes’ score with one of their own, going 53 yards on six plays to take a 28-21 lead on a Tate Finklea 3-yard touchdown run. On their next drive, it would salt the game away, offering healthy doses of its power and finesse to salt the game away, another Finklea score giving the Tigers a two-score lead.
Conway interim football coach Carlton Terry said he and his coaching staff prepared the team for the gridiron equivalent of a 12-round fight. Seeing his squad be able to take a punch and keep ticking proved rather assuring.
“Any time you can face adversity and rise to the top, it says a lot about your team’s character,” Terry said. “We have resilience, we’ll fight to the end.”
With the win over Class 4A heavyweight Hartsville, the Tigers not only validated their being ranked fourth in Class 5A in the latest state media poll, but also put their name on the short list of teams that can contend for a championship.
▪ Numbers can sometimes lie: Despite not coming away with a win, Carvers Bay has to be thrilled with its showing against Class 4A’s No. 3 team, North Myrtle Beach. Up one in the fourth, the Bears eventually were outclassed in the fourth, giving up the game’s final 20 points en route to a 40-21 loss. In stretches, Carvers Bay was the better team, with turnovers at key moments keeping it from putting a further dent on the scoreboard. Expect the Bears to get that straightened out before its clash with rival Andrews in both teams’ Region 7-2A opener.
▪ What’s got into Socastee?: With track stars all over its roster, guess it’s only right that the Braves challenge opponents to a race. After three games, Socastee is averaging more than 44 points and 400 yards per contest. More importantly, it is still undefeated. The Braves are 3-0 for the first time in three years, this after a 51-34 drubbing of rival Myrtle Beach. With the victory, they avenged a 70-0 thrashing at the hand of the Seahawks a season ago. Though its defense is prone to give up its share of points, Socastee’s ability to score a boatload of its own could allow it to contend in every game.
▪ Myrtle Beach growing pains more pronounced than expected: Mickey Wilson expected his team to struggle a bit, particularly with the likes of Byrnes and Charlotte Christian (N.C.) on its non-conference slate early on. But Friday’s loss against Socastee probably served as the Seahawks’ biggest wake-up call, a 51-34 loss dropping them to 1-3 on the season. The Braves rolled up 429 yards of total offense, while forcing Myrtle Beach into six turnovers. Only on one occasion have the Seahawks given up less than 50 points in a game, a 21-19 win over West Florence. Things don’t get much easier in coming weeks, taking on Carolina Forest, Conway and North Myrtle Beach in their next three games.