The No. 2-ranked Myrtle Beach High School football team may have gotten so excited about Friday night's homecoming festivities that it forgot that there was a football game to be played.
At least until halftime, when the Seahawks (7-1 overall, 3-0 Region VII-AAA) got a wake-up call from coach Mickey Wilson and exploded for a 56-7 victory over St. James (2-6, 0-3) at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
''It was homecoming and we didn't come out with the kind of fire we needed to,'' Wilson said. ''I had to get on them at halftime and remind them that we have to come out ready to play.''
Leading just 14-0 at the half, Myrtle Beach quarterback Everett Golson exploded for four of his five touchdown passes in the third quarter as the Seahawks shook off the pesky Sharks.
Golson hit Donte Sumpter for a 47-yard TD pass on the second play of the game and Morgan Byrd added a 62-yard TD run to make it 14-0 just five minutes into the game.
But the Sharks took possession of the ball and kept it virtually the rest of the way, twice falling short on scoring opportunities. At one point, St. James held a 9-3 edge in first downs, but had nothing to show for it, despite putting heavy pressure on Golson, who finished the first half competing just 3 of 8 of his passes.
''There were definitely some distractions, but we have to be a more mature football team than that,'' said Golson, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 253 yards and five TDs. ''Coach Wilson chewed us out a little bit at hafltime We have to learn to keep our focus.''
Golson did just that in the second half, completing 7 of 8 passes for four touchdowns, all in the third quarter, to put the game to bed.
He hit Jerrod Jackson for a 59-yarder on their second play of the half, then found Steven Cobb for back-to-back scores and capped his night with a TD toss to a diving TD grab by Sumpter for 38 yards.
Backup quarterback Mitch Campbell got plenty of time in mop-up duty and connected with Tremon Wilson for a pair of TD passes in the fourth quarter.
The Sharks avoided the shutout when Carl Buddin threw a TD pass to Taylor Sellers in the closing minutes.