NMB Chiefs claim Region 7-4A title
By Tyler Watkins
The North Myrtle Beach Chiefs varsity football team defeated region opponent Wilson High School on homecoming night, Friday night, in front of a packed crowed to claim the region 7-4A title, set the record for most wins in the regular season and secure home field advantage in the playoffs. The final score gave the Chiefs (9-1, 3-1) their second shutout win in a row at 47-0.
The Chiefs special teams began the high scoring affair when Xavier Clarida scooped up a short punt and returned it 43 yards halfway through the first quarter. Reece Finch added six more before the end of the first off a five yard pass from senior quarterback Ronnie Bass, Jr. to put the Chiefs up 13-0.
Continuing the season long theme of including as many people as possible, second quarter action saw Tyler Gore, Cullin Mitchell and Kered Class all score to put the Chiefs up 34-0 at the half.
A scoreless third quarter turned into a pile on during the fourth as Ronnie Bass threw for his fourth touchdown of the night, finding Mitchell to put the Chiefs up 41-0. Sophomore Nick Vereen scored off a 25 yard run late in the fourth to set the final at 47-0.
The Chiefs were led by Class, with 78 yards rushing on six carries. Bass threw 8-11 for 103 yards, and Mitchell had two receptions for 56 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, Kevliq Bryant was the Bubba Collins Insurance Premier Performer winner with five solo tackles and eight assists. Steven Bryant added five solo and three assists on tackles as well.
The shutout win, combined with a loss by previously undefeated Myrtle Beach, to Marlboro County, gave region 7-4A a three-way tie for the title of region champions. Playoff seeding looked at defensive points allowed and with the two season ending shutouts, the Chiefs grabbed first place. That left Myrtle Beach and Marlboro County vying for the home field, second place finish and based on a head to head matchup, the Bulldogs from Marlboro County grabbed second with the win, placing Myrtle Beach in third, with a difficult road series playoff route.
The Chiefs set the record for most wins in the regular season at nine. The 2002 and 2013 Chiefs also had nine wins in a season, but that ninth win came during postseason play.
The Chiefs are home Friday night for the first round of the South Carolina High School League playoffs against Dreher High School. Dreher, out of Columbia, comes in with a 6-4 record. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. If you canít make it to the game, you can catch all the action live on WRNN 99.5 FM or online at NMBChiefs.com with streaming audio/video provided by Sandhills Bank. Airtime is set for 7 p.m.