MYRTLE BEACH — Mickey Wilson’s offense struggled about as much as he has seen in his time at Myrtle Beach.
Thankfully, his defense put on one heck of a show.
The Seahawks scored two defensive touchdowns – including one that stopped a surging South Florence team in its tracks – to defeat the Bruins 27-13 Friday night at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. The match-up many believed would be a high-scoring game turned out to be anything but.
Instead, Myrtle Beach won an ugly one to improve to stay undefeated and hand South its first defeat of the season.
“Defensively, they’re carrying the load this week, but they’re also getting better every week,” Wilson said. “They’re playing well. If we can continue to grow on offense and stop shooting ourselves in the foot, we’ve got a chance to be a pretty good team before this thing’s all said and done.”
At least on one side of the ball, that’s already the case.
South Florence came into the game averaging 45 points per game. They had also jumped all over their first three opponents, outscoring them by a combined figured 94-3.
In the Seahawks’ house, however, South Florence’s offense never got enough to put a valid scare into the state’s top-ranked team in Class AAA. The closest they got was when the score was 17-13 in the third quarter and the Bruins took over just inside Myrtle Beach territory and had an opportunity to take the lead. On the second play of the drive, though, senior linebacker Octavius Thomas stripped the ball from South quarterback Josh Johnson and took it back 53 yards.
It killed the little bit of momentum the Bruins had put together at the end of the first half and early in the third quarter.
“That was big,” said teammate Renard Pointer, who scored the team’s first defensive touchdown of the night. “That put us to a point where we knew we could win the game.”
Until then, it almost looked as if one team was going to lose it more than one was going to earn a victory. South Florence and Myrtle Beach combined for five first-half turnovers. The Bruins actually fumbled six times before halftime, but they were fortunate to jump on four of those.
Myrtle Beach added a blocked punt just before halftime, and South returned the favor on a blocked field goal attempt moments later. There was also the fact that the Seahawks’ normally high-flying offense put up only 101 yards the entire night.
In the second and third quarters, Wilson’s bunch was in the negative.
That’s where Max Huggins came in.
The senior place kicker/punter had a monster night that was nearly as influential as the defense. He pinned South Florence inside its own 10 with a pair of booming punts that totaled 50 and 52 yards. He also had a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 37-yard field goal in the final quarter.
It was a another huge difference for a team that obviously working out the kinks on offense.
“Our offense, we’re getting better, believe it or not,” Wilson said. “We’ve still got a ways to go. We’re growing, but we just continue to make mistakes and shoot ourselves in the foot.”
MB – Trell Harrell 31 rec from Tyler Keane (Max Huggins kick)
MB – Max Huggins 47 field goal
MB – Renard Pointer 19 fumble return (Huggins kick)
SF – Jamall Cain 4 run (A.J. Lowry kick)
SF – Cain 28 run (kick blocked)
MB – Octavius Thomas 53 fumble return (Huggins kick)
MB – Huggins 37 field goal
RUSHING—SF – Jamall Cain 17-117, Josh Johnson 17-48. MB – Tyler Keane 3-14, C.J. Cooper 6-12, Trell Harrell 2-8, Brandon Sinclair 9-(-)1.
PASSING—SF –Johnson 3-8-1, 65 yards; Nick Jones 3-7-1, 50 yards. MB – Keane 14-25-1, 105 yards.
RECEIVING—SF – Fabian Jefferson 1-27, Mason Edwards 1-36, Tabari Hines 1-4, Cain 2-23, Joey Felder 1-15 . MB – Trell Harell 5-35, Cooper 4-6, Renard Pointer 2-20, Sean Michael Orcutt 2-22, Corey Shirley 1-2.
Contact IAN GUERIN at firstname.lastname@example.org.