If someone were to use a title to describe Thursday night’s game, “The Mud Bowl” would be totally appropriate. It is rare that a game is rescheduled because of upcoming weather only to still be played in the middle of a major storm. There would be no escape from the terrible conditions as a large amount of horizontal rain and wind rolled through the Hank Hester Sports Complex on Senior Night.
In a first half that was one of the fastest that I had seen all year, the Chiefs managed just 63 yards of total offense in a 0-0 deadlock. Junior tailback Zyon Belle had 46 of the 63 on the ground. Both the Chiefs and Bulldogs had gotten themselves into scoring position, but turned over the ball. Marlboro County drove all the way down to the North Myrtle Beach 9 yard line only to lose possession as quarterback Elijah Blair was sacked by a host of Chiefs.
Despite the minimal offensive production, it was the Chiefs defense that held strong, putting them in position to take control late in the fourth quarter. On the following possession, the Chiefs were driving deep into Marlboro County territory. With the ball at the 32, head coach Matt Reel took a chance by picking up key yardage through the air instead of going to the always dependable running game to move the chains.
Senior quarterback Cason McClendon found Naseem Harrison on a short slant. Harrison did his best imitation of newly acquired Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate, rolling with the yards after the catch, spinning away from one defender and finding running room. Harrison would run all the way down to the 1 yard line, setting up a 1st and Goal. On the very next play, McClendon handed off to sophomore Devin Montgomery who finished the job putting the Chiefs up 6-0.
Great drive for the Chiefs. Naseem Harrison set up the touchdown run with an outstanding play on the reception. Montgomery finished the job. Now it's up to the Chiefs defense to preserve the lead and get out of here tonight!
— NMB Athletics Media (@NMBAthletics) November 2, 2018
After the score, the defense held up again and kept Marlboro County from getting anything going. Once the offense was back on the field, they were able to run down nearly two minutes off the clock with designed runs from both Montgomery and Belle. With the game on the line, North Myrtle Beach was able to rip the hearts right out of the visiting team.
On 4th and 2 from the 30 yard line, McClendon lined up in the pistol formation and gave the ball back to Montgomery. Montgomery showed off his gamebreaking speed by cruising right through the defense, sprinting down the field before crossing the goal line to make this a two possession game. Montgomery is going to be a very exciting player to watch over the next two years. He has excellent field vision and agility. He really knows how to make people miss.
The Bulldogs would get one last opportunity as Elijah Blair tried his hardest to make something happen. Unfortunately for Blair, he ended up being taken down for a sack by Garrett Perlstein which resulted in a significant loss. Two plays later, it was Derrien Holmes who would put the final nail in the coffin. Blair threw up what looked to be a heave of desperation and Holmes saw the ball and made an outstanding play. 12-0 would be the final score in the mud.
With the win, the North Myrtle Beach Chiefs improve to 6-3 overall on the season and have clinched the No 3 seed in the South Carolina Class 4A playoffs. The Chiefs were able to secure the #3 seed by keeping their opponent under 20 points. The postseason will begin with a three and a half hour road trip to South Aiken next Friday night.
North Myrtle Beach (6-3) 12, Marlboro County (6-4) 0
NMB – Devin Montgomery – 1 yard run. (PAT failed)
NMB – Devin Montgomery – 30 yard run. (PAT failed)
Passing: NMB – McClendon 4-14-1-60. MB – Blair 10-24-1-71.
Rushing: NMB – Zyon Belle 19-85, Montgomery 12-77, McClendon 2- -5. MB – Blair 21-74,
Riggins 6-16, Hicks 5-9, Sloan 1-0, Eaddy 2- -3, Stanback 1- -4.
Receiving: NMB – Harrison 2-40, Holmes 1-14, Hardee 1-6. MB – Eaddy 4-7, Thomas 2-25, McInnis 2-25, Hicks 2-14.
Interceptions: NMB – Holmes 1-24 MB – Sloan 1-0.
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