CONWAY — Chuck Jordan probably thought the days of his players futilely attempting to tackle and chase a Sinclair were over when Socastee High legend Randy Sinclair graduated in the mid-1990s.
Conway’s longtime football coach relived the nightmare Friday night, and he might be headed for a couple more nights like this in the next couple seasons.
Myrtle Beach sophomore Brandon Sinclair – Randy’s son – rushed for 260 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries Friday to lead Myrtle Beach to a much-needed 31-7 win over the struggling Tigers.
“I told Sinclair at some point in the game, ‘Son, you’re running like your daddy, and I don’t like that,’” Jordan said. “Randy was an excellent football player, and of course Brandon was the difference tonight. There’s no question he held the keys to that ballgame.”
Combining last week’s 304-yard rushing performance against Carolina Forest, Sinclair has rushed for 564 yards in the past two weeks and is close to 1,000 yards on the season.
The Seahawks got Sinclair the ball in multiple ways: through straight handoffs, option pitches, draws, direct snaps in power shotgun formation and as a receiver split wide. Sinclair combined the variations into 264 yards of offense.
“He’s our guy now,” Seahawks coach Mickey Wilson said. “He’s carrying the load for us. We’re extremely proud of him. He’s a great kid and has had a superb year so far and hopefully we can keep him going on that path.”
The Seahawks improved to 2-3, and are 6-1 against Conway since 2007, including two in a row and last year’s wild 56-55 win.
“I’m just glad to get a win,” Wilson said. “The biggest thing is just putting together the execution part. I feel we executed on both sides of the ball tonight and special teams. We’ve been kind of waiting to come out and play well and put everything together for four quarters, and I thought we did that tonight.”
Conway fell to 1-5 entering a bye week. “We’re just not a very good football team; simple enough,” Jordan said.
Seahawks quarterback and fellow sophomore Drayton Arnold complemented Sinclair with an efficient game in his return to action following a week off because of concussion symptoms. He completed 12 of 16 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.
“We were just glad to get him back and proud of him,” Wilson said. “He did a good job tonight.”
Myrtle Beach dictated the action from the outset and held a 14-0 lead after a first half in which it ran 38 offensive plays for 215 yards and nine first downs.
Conversely, Conway was held to just 13 yards on 15 plays and two first downs in the first half. The Tigers moved the ball more effectively in the second half, with six first downs and 152 yards of offense, but they never threatened to take control of the game.
The Seahawks drove 73 yards in 10 plays for the game’s opening score 3:20 into the second quarter, and Sinclair capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run over the right side of the line.
Myrtle Beach took a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Arnold to Graham Vaughn, which capped a 13-play, 74-yard drive. It included a 2-yard fourth-down conversion run by Sinclair and 23-yard run by the sophomore, as he broke three different tackles while shuffling along the line to his left until he found daylight and turned the corner.
Sinclair had 131 yards on 20 carries in the first half.
Conway pulled within seven points midway through the third quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Smith to Ikeem Coles, but the Seahawks scored on their ensuing possession.
Sinclair added his second 5-yard TD run late in the third quarter, and added an 86-yard scoring run less than two minutes later. As he had on multiple carries earlier, he looked like he was stopped around the line of scrimmage at his own 14. But he kept his legs moving and broke for the left sideline, stiff-arming a defender at the Conway 20 en route to the score.
The Seahawks blocked a punt at the Conway 20 four plays after Sinclair’s final TD run and converted the turnover into a 28-yard Sean Huggins field goal and 31-7 lead. Kelton Greene, who had six receptions for 47 yards on offense, intercepted a late pass for Myrtle Beach’s second forced turnover of the game.
The Seahawks defensive line led the defensive effort, as linemen Cordell Brown, Heath Gray and Chase Brill were a menace to Conway the entire night, combining for five sacks.
“We want to go into region play on a good note and I think we will,” Wilson said. “We had a great week of practice, we just have to continue to do that next week.”
MB-Brandon Sinclair 5 run (Sean Huggins kick)
MB-Graham Vaughn 5 pass from Drayton Arnold (Huggins kick)
C-Ikeem Coles 31 pass from Ethan Smith (Johnathan Nichols kick)
MB-Sinclair 5 run (Huggins kick)
MB-Sinclair 86 run (Huggins kick)
MB-Huggins 28 FG
RUSHING—Myrtle Beach: Brandon Sinclair 33-260, Kelton Greene 5-23. Conway: Jeffery Sherman 10-56, Cortez Brown 6-46
PASSING—Myrtle Beach: Drayton Arnold 12-16-0--81. Conway: Ethan Smith 6-9-0--77.
RECEIVING—Myrtle Beach: Greene 6-47. Conway: Sherman 2-17, Ikeem Coles 1-31.
Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 626-0284.