MURRELLS INLET — The Myrtle Beach Seahawks didn’t waste any time returning to their dominating ways in Region VII-AAA.
One week after suffering their first region loss since 2008 at the hands of Socastee, the Seahawks rolled to a 38-9 victory over turnover-plagued St. James Friday night.
Myrtle Beach (7-1 overall, 2-1 region) took advantage of three first-half turnovers by the Sharks (2-6, 1-2) to build a 31-3 halftime lead and cruised in the second half.
“We played OK. We were a little sloppy tonight; we’ve got to work some kinks out,” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said. “We’ve got to get a little more rhythm and timing on offense.
“We’ll take a win, but there’s some things we’ve got to fix. We’ve just got to continue to get better every day. That’s the most important thing right now.”
The Seahawks used a special teams play to get rolling after the offense failed to gain a first down on its first series.
A host of Seahawks broke through to block Jacob Loud’s punt at the St. James 10-yard-line and Trell Harrell recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown, giving Myrtle Beach a 7-0 lead with 5:49 left in the first quarter.
St. James bounced back, forcing a fumble by Seahawks QB Tyler Keane on a sack and recovering on the Myrtle Beach 36. Six plays later, Sharks place-kicker Charles Ouverson booted a 25-yard field goal to pull St. James within 7-3 on the second play of the second quarter.
The Seahawks dominated the rest of the first half, scoring on four straight drives and taking advantage of two more St. James turnovers to open a 31-3 halftime lead.
First, Keane opened up the passing game with four completions on a nine-play, 60 yard drive including a 10-yard scoring strike to Malik Waring for a 14-3 lead.
Next, C.J. Cooper capped a seven-play, 63-yard march with a 3-yard touchdown run out of the Wildcat to put the Seahawks up 21-3.
After the Sharks lost a fumble on an option play, Keane hit Harrell with a 12-yard scoring pass for a 28-3 cushion with 2:29 left in the half.
After St. James lost another fumble, the Seahawks took over at their own 45 with :52 left in the half and drove into position for Max Huggins’ booming 43-yard field goal with :4.3 left on the clock for the 31-3 halftime lead.
Brandon Sinclair added a 3-yard run with 8:59 left in the game to up the Seahawks lead to 38-3.
Austin Adams scored St. James lone touchdown on a 1-yard plunge with 1:45 left to play.
“I thought we allowed them to dictate to us how we were going to play in the first half,” St. James coach Mark Fischer said. “I think we came into the game a little bit in awe of the name. That’s something we’ve got to beat. [Myrtle Beach has] great athletes but we’ve got to learn how to compete with great athletes and that’s part of our process. I’m disappointed in the loss but I’m not disappointed in my kids’ effort.”
MB-Trell Harrell punt block (Max Huggins kick), 5:49
SJ-Connor Brown 25 FG, 12:00
MB-Malik Waring 10 pass from Keane (Huggins kick), 9:31
MB-C.J. Cooper 2 run (Huggins kick), 3:45
MB-Harrell 12 pass from Keane (Huggins kick), 2:29
MB-Huggins 42 FG, :04
MB-Brandon Sinclair 3 run (Huggins kick), 8:50
SJ-Austin Adams 1 run (kick failed), 1:45
RUSHING—Myrtle Beach: Dajour Wilson 6-27; Keane 3-17; Cooper 3-9; Sinclaire 3-13; Jaquan Lindley 1-0. St. James: Adams 19-86; Josh Roper 12-(-2); Allen Crum 8-20; Tyrell Dukes 6-(-19); Tyus Goodman 3-36.
PASSING—Myrtle Beach: Keane 17-28-1, 2, 224. St. James: Roper 3-7-0, 0, 26.
RECEIVING—Myrtle Beach: Cooper 8-110; Harrell 4-40; Waring 2-25; D. Wilson 1-41; Sincalire 1-0; Renaud Poynter 1-8. St. James: Dukes 1-11; Adams 1-10; Stephen Dievle 1-5.