PIEDMONT, S.C. — Sidelined after suffering a hamstring injury late in the game, all Daniel quarterback and Clemson commit Tyler Venables could do was watch and hope for the best as his team trailed Wren by one point in the final moments of the fourth quarter at Wren High School on Friday night in Piedmont, South Carolina.
The best is exactly what happened, as Daniel’s backup quarterback, Jackson Crosby, heaved a touchdown pass with one second left on the clock to give the Lions a dramatic 34-28 region victory that upped their record to 6-0 on the season.
Daniel led 27-7 in the fourth quarter — thanks to four touchdowns from Venables — before Wren made a furious comeback which set the stage for the last-second heroics.
The Clemson Insider attended the game to see Venables play as part of our Tour of Champions and spoke with the future Tiger after Daniel’s big win.
“We came in really prepared,” he said. “We knew Wren was going to be an amazing team. I think our defense really stepped up, really took the challenge and they ran with it, holding them to 14 points until the fourth quarter. But they did a great job. And of course, I went down, Jackson stepped up … Next-man-up mentality, and he prevailed. He did a great job.”
Venables threw three touchdown passes, including two in the second half, and also scored on a rushing touchdown that saw him flip into the end zone after leaping and being hit low by a defender near the goal line.
“That was a weird experience,” said Venables, who finished with 325 passing yards and 44 rushing yards. “I didn’t really know where I was in the air. But that was fun.”
Venables had to leave the contest after pulling his left hamstring with less than five minutes remaining. Although he was on crutches after the game, Venables is optimistic the injury won’t keep him out for long.
“Just thankful for the win, and I would say Monday I’ll be back practicing,” he said.
A quarterback, safety and punter for Daniel, Venables will be a safety for Clemson when he joins the team next year.
Venables committed to Dabo Swinney and the Tigers this past June and feels honored to be a part of Clemson’s historically talented 2020 recruiting class, which is ranked No. 1 nationally by all the major recruiting services.
“I’m very grateful just to be considered in that class,” Venables said. “They’re great guys, great players too of course. But I’m so thankful for Coach Swinney for the opportunity.”
Venables will join his father, defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and his brother, redshirt freshman linebacker Jake Venables, at Clemson.
“It’ll be a weird experience, especially with Jake there,” Tyler said of playing for his dad.
“But I’ll try to not be on his bad side,” he added jokingly.
What kind of player are the Tigers getting in Tyler?
“Just relentless, hard-working,” he said. “Just that athlete, just relentless.”
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Fanatics. This is great news for Tiger fans as they have the officially licensed Clemson gear.
The Clemson Insider will get a portion of all sales so get ready for another championship season by ordering your Clemson gear today and help support TCI.