It’s been a few days since Myrtle Beach topped Conway 56-55 in the annual Victory Bell game.
For those watching, though, it still carries a feel more in tune with a high-octane tennis match. The two teams combined for 1,070 total yards of offense, scored 111 points and racked up 43 total first downs.
“I ain’t been in many like that,” Conway coach Chuck Jordan said Monday.
Among the many eye-popping individual performances was that of Seahawk quarterback Tyler Keane. The senior tied the state record for touchdowns in a single game (eight) and threw for 520 yards.
“When I got in the box to do the radio show, they handed me the stats,” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said. “I had no idea, man. I was thinking 300 yards passing. I pointed at it, and the radio guy shook his head ‘yeah.’ That’s just amazing, to throw for 520 yards in one game.”
Wilson said that former Seahawk and current Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson twice topped the 400-yard mark, although he was quick to point out the Golson was often done playing by the fourth quarter. Still, that doesn’t take away from what Keane was able to accomplish.
His second quarter alone would have been the type of line that most quarterbacks in the state would have taken in a heartbeat.
After a slow start in the opening few drives, Keane was 9-of-17 for 250 yards and four touchdowns in the second quarter en route to his huge night.
It overshadowed another solid performance from his counterpart, Conway’s Mykal Moody.
Moody finished with 153 yards passing, 116 on the ground and another 26 receiving. He had five total touchdowns, and he became one of three known players in state history to have rushed for 3,000 yards and passed for 3,000 in his career.
However, that milestone is not far from being topped. Moody is just 171 yards from having 4,000 passing yards in his time at Conway.
“Moody is just unreal,” Wilson said. “I’m just glad I don’t have to play him anymore. He reminds me so much of Syvelle Newton. He’s just that type of kid. He can run; he can throw. It just makes for a long game.”
The excitement of Friday’s game is evaporating for each team, albeit for different reasons.
Conway has a week off before heading to West Florence to open Region VI-AAAA play.
Myrtle Beach heads to Wilson to start its own region slate. The Seahawks have not lost a region game since 2008. Wilson – who will be celebrating his 40th birthday on Friday – stopped well short of saying his team would sweep through Region VII-AAA as it has since the start of 2009.
“When you only have five games,” he said, “there’s not much room for error.”
• North Myrtle Beach coach Perry Woolbright may not know for sure until later in the week, but the Chiefs’ game against Socastee on Friday could be even tougher than already expected.
Starting running back Delonzo Williams, who has rushed for 765 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, is questionable after he suffered a minor ankle sprain last week during North Myrtle Beach’s 34-0 win at Green Sea Floyds. Williams has topped the 100-yard mark in each of the team’s first five games, and his availability would go a long way in helping the Chiefs get off to a great start in Region VII-AAA play.
“You just never know; you have to see how he heals during the week,” Woolbright said. “As important as this game is, we still need him the rest of the season. We need him for the extent of the region.”
North Myrtle Beach (4-1) has already showed it has turned things around after failing to win a game the last two years. The showdown with Socastee will give the winner a huge leg up and it could be the difference between a home playoff game in November.
The top four teams from Region VII-AAA will head to the postseason, and the top two teams will play host in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.
Still, Woolbright would rather sit Williams this Friday versus losing him for the rest of the season.
If the junior is unable to play, Brandon Moore will move into the starting spot. Moore, a senior, has 27 carries for 261 yards and two touchdowns so far this season.
“I think we’ll stay with the base of our offense,” Woolbright said. “We may have to adapt and put the ball in other people’s hands. Everyone’s keying on Delonzo, so we’ve had to spread it out and put it in other areas. We may have to do that a little more.”
North Myrtle Beach isn’t the only area team still dealing with injuries, though.
• The Myrtle Beach coaching staff, which was already without key players Chocolate Wilson (ankle) and Sean Michael Orcutt (hand) last week against Conway, cringed a bit when senior Trell Harrell went down in the first half.
Harrell, a key component for the Seahawks’ offense and return teams, rolled an ankle and had to be helped off the field.
“When he went down, I was like ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” Mickey Wilson said.
Harrell returned later in the game and finished with 155 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He also had a 28-yard kickoff return.
Wilson said Harrell and Orcutt should be available for this week’s region opener at Wilson.
• Carvers Bay (4-1), meanwhile, is shot up the ladder after making it through non-region play. However, the Bears did much of their damage with the services of running back Hikeem Hampton. The junior was injured in the first quarter of a Week 2 win over St. John’s, and it was discovered later that he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees.
“We thought we had a chance it was a badly sprained knee,” Carvers Bay coach Nate Thompson said. “But after checking the [tests], there’s no way he can be back.”
The Class A Bears wrapped up the non-region portion of their schedule with victories over Andrews (Class AA) and Class AAA foes Georgetown and St. James. They will head to C.E. Murray (1-4) on Friday as one of two teams in Region VII-A with a winning record.
• As one player for Carolina Forest looks to return, there may be another heading to the sidelines.
Running back Harold Atkinson (553 yards, eight touchdowns) was injured in the Panthers’ loss at Beaufort last week during the second quarter. While attempting to score, Atkinson took a helmet to his right knee. He fumbled the ball away, but more importantly, he was lost for the rest of the game.
Carolina Forest coach Drew Hummel said Monday the team was still waiting for results of an MRI, although doctors originally said they believed it to be a bruise and not something worse, such as an ACL tear.
Atkinson has been playing double duty of late due to the absence of one of the team’s top defenders. Hummel said middle linebacker Kyle Rice (broken left hand) is heading back to his doctor on Wednesday. At that time, the player is expected to receive final clearance.
“That will give him a week and a half to get back in the flow and get suited up for the next game,” Hummel said. “Having him out of the mix the last five weeks has not helped things out on defense.”
The Panthers (1-5) have given up 38 points per game this season, and it’s not about to get any easier. After a week off Friday, Carolina Forest heads to state powerhouse Goose Creek, a team that averages 45 a contest and is ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA.
More records falling
If not for the team’s 1-5 start, Carolina Forest quarterback Will Brunson might be getting some more attention outside of his own team.
Brunson, just a sophomore, set the school’s single-game passing mark in his very first game as a starter back in August when he threw for 367 yards in a loss to Socastee. That figure was enough to top the 340-yard game last year’s starter, Danny Daly, put up.
However, Brunson then re-set his own mark in the loss at Beaufort with a 416-yard performance.