Sumter High School won the Region VI-5A football title outright with a 35-0 victory over Conway on Friday at Sumter Memorial Stadium’s Freddie Solomon Field.
The Gamecocks improved to 5-0 on the season and finished region play with a 4-0 record. It was the fifth time in head coach Mark Barnes’ six years at SHS that it has won the undisputed region title.
Conway fell to 1-4 overall and finished 1-3 in region play.
Sumter had clinched a share of the region title last week with a 50-7 victory over St. James along with the region’s No. 1 seed in the state playoffs. That means the Gamecocks will be hosting a first-round game in the playoffs.
SHS forced a three-and-out series after the Tigers received the opening kickoff. Sumter started at the CHS 46-yard line following a 16-yard return by Marcus Lane.
The Gamecocks needed eight plays to reach the end zone, with running back Nathan Harris-Waynick going the final two yards for the touchdown. Place kicker Jehu McCray added the extra point to make it 7-0 with 7:05 remaining in the first quarter.
SHS was driving in the second quarter when Harris-Waynick fumbled the ball with Conway recovering at its 36. The Tigers returned the favor, though, with Sumter recovering, again at the 36.
The Gamecocks reached the end zone with an 11-yard pass from quarterback Hayden Vasquez on third down and nine yards to go, keeping the drive alive with a first down at the 4. Harris-Waynick took the direct snap on the next play to make it 14-0 with 4:56 left in the first half.
That would be the halftime score. Conway had a chance to get back in the game early in the second half when it intercepted a pass that went off a Sumter receiver’s hands. The Tigers took over at the SHS 32, but an intentional grounding and a 10-yard loss let Sumter take over at its 40.
Still, the Gamecocks didn’t take control until cornerback Anteon China intercepted a Carlton Terry pass and returned 30 yards for a score with 4:10 left in the third quarter.
SHS had a 58-yard scoring drive early in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Harris-Waynick scores on another four-yard run to make it 28-0 with 8:16 to go.
Sumter’s final score was a three-yard run by backup quarterback Ryan McCants. He had a 58-yard run to set up the score.