High School Football

Having missed last year’s playoff game, Conway’s Grainger makes most of this year’s

Conway's Darren Grainger celebrates a touchdown over Wando with team mate Gunner Britton. Conway defeated Wando in the first round of the playoffs, 34-10. November 3, 2017.
Conway's Darren Grainger celebrates a touchdown over Wando with team mate Gunner Britton. Conway defeated Wando in the first round of the playoffs, 34-10. November 3, 2017. jlee@thesunnews.com

A car accident last fall forced D’Wuan Grainger to be a spectator during Conway’s run to the Lower State 5A semifinals a season ago.

So in his first playoff game under center for the Tigers, the senior quarterback did all he could to make up for lost time.

Grainger accounted for 307 yards of total offense and four touchdowns on Friday night as Conway ran away with a 34-10 first-round victory over Wando.

“It felt good for my first playoff game as a quarterback,” he said. “We got the win, but we got to keep working and move on to the next one.”

The Tigers scored each of the game’s first 28 points. However, a pesky Wando squad did its part to keep things interesting into the third quarter, threatening to cut their lead in half.

But as has been the case all season, the Conway defense turned out the lights on another opponent. For the game, the Tigers limited Wando to a total of 37 yards rushing.

“I’ve been pleased with our defensive effort all year, and tonight was no different,” said Conway interim football coach Carlton Terry. “They’ve done a good job of stopping opposing offenses. And aside from one play, a touchdown right before halftime, they gave up next to nothing.”

Conway will host Spring Valley next week in a battle of two of Class 5A’s top teams.

“They’re well-coached and tough. They’re going to come with a lot of poise and confidence, and we look forward to the challenge of playing a great team,” Terry said.

Turning point

After throwing an interception deep in Wando territory on Conway’s initial drive, Grainger shook off the mistake to fire a pass to Juwan Moody for a 20-yard touchdown.

Key performers

D’Wuan Grainger, Conway: Finished 15 of 21 for 214 yards passing and three touchdowns, while rushing for 93 yards and another score.

Juwan Moody, Conway: Caught four passes for 116 yards and a touchdown.

Pooh Brantley, Conway: Had three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Conner McCarthy, Wando: Caught seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.

By the numbers

2

For the second straight season, Conway has won its first round game. It will also host Spring Valley in “The Backyard” for the second year in a row.

37

Total yards rushing for Wando in the game.

265

Total rushing yards for Conway in the game.

They said it

“(Grainger) controlled the offense… he’s the general. And he took over the game in the first half.” — Conway interim football coach Carlton Terry

“We’re an energetic team. We have a playoff game in front of our fans … we got to show out.” — Conway quarterback D’Wuan Grainger

“Our mindset was to stay positive and have a positive attitude, and come into this game with no fear. … They had us before in the first game, so we knew we had to come out and make positive plays.” — Conway wideout Pooh Brantley

Up next

Wando: season over

Conway: vs. Spring Valley

Wando

0

7

3

0

10

Conway

7

21

0

6

34

First quarter

CON — D’Wuan Grainger 20 pass to Juwan Moody (Will Smith kick)

Second quarter

CON — Antonio Long 1 run (Smith kick)

CON — Grainger 19 run (Smith kick)

CON — Grainger 30 pass to Rakim Bellamy (Smith kick)

WAN — Cale Lewis 57 pass to Conner McCarthy (Andrew Weil kick)

Third quarter

WAN — Weil 28 kick

Fourth quarter

CON — Grainger 25 pass to Pooh Brantley (kick failed)

Individual leaders

Rushing: WAN — Andrew Hamilton 16-32; CON — Darren Grainger 12-93, Antonio Long 15-83.

Passing: WAN — Cale Lewis 16-35-0, 211 yards; CON — Grainger 15-21-1, 214 yards.

Receiving: WAN — Conner McCarthy 7-125; CON — Juwan Moody 4-116; Pooh Brantley 3-51.

Joe L. Hughes II: 843-444-1702, @thejournalist44

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