Maybe the only people who thought Socastee was going to beat Myrtle Beach was the Braves themselves.
Even some of the Braves’ fans expressed some doubt prior to kickoff. The reasoning for it was sound.
The Seahawks had won 20 straight region games. The No. 1 team in Class AAA in the state was coming off back-to-back 50-plus point games. And Myrtle Beach had not lost to the Braves since 1999.
All of that is officially over.
Socastee recorded five interceptions and then used a dominating third-quarter drive to overwhelm Myrtle Beach en route to a 27-17 victory at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
“It’s a great win for us,” said Socastee coach Tim Renfrow, who beat the Seahawks for the first time since taking over in 2003. “No. 1, number whatever – it doesn’t matter because that all ends up [being decided] at the end of the year.”
Now, the Braves – who entered the game unranked in the statewide poll and are believed to be 7-0 for the first time in school history – are officially in the drivers’ seat in Region VII-AAA. If they win out, they’ll own the top seed for the playoffs. This year, that comes with the luxury of at least three home games.
Considering the Braves have won just two postseason games in their history, Friday’s game meant that much more. The uphill climb for Socastee was overcoming the shock-and-awe Myrtle Beach has laid on many an opponent at Doug Shaw. That, too, was diluted.
Upon the instruction from first-year Athletics Director Dave Bennett, the Braves practiced for two hours Wednesday with Myrtle Beach’s intro mix “The Champ Is Here”.
“They play it to get hyped up,” Braves senior Matt Chatfield said. “We got it in our mind that we’re going to come out to that and have a good game.”
That’s exactly what Socastee did.
After Myrtle Beach scored on the opening drive of the game, Socastee’s defense put on the clamps. Chatfield’s 97-yard interception return for a touchdown started the scoring. Socastee got on the board again on a short touchdown run in the second quarter.
But it was the team’s third-quarter opening drive that had people really believing the Braves might pull it off. Quarterback Hunter Renfrow and running backs Daquon Brown and Adam Crane – who has played little offense so far this season – cued a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by Brown’s three-yard run.
The series took 6 minutes, 34 seconds off the clock.
“I think it gave our kids confidence and helped our defense,” Tim Renfrow said. “If we could get a stop, we’d have the football for four or five minutes.”
From there, Brown then put the icing on the cake when he broke off a 76-yarder with 7 minutes to play.
“We just turned the ball over, made some bad plays,” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said. “We got outplayed tonight. I got out-coached.
“They [Socastee] deserved to win that ball game. We’re going to take this as a lesson and learn from it. We’re going to drive on and try to win a championship.”
At least for one week, though, Socastee is the team that broke some streaks and positioned itself just a little better.
MB – Renard Pointer 18 rec from Tyler Keane (Max Huggins kick)
S – Matt Chatfield 97 int return (Matt Trimby kick)
S – Adam Crane 1 run (Trimby kick)
S – Daquon Brown 3 run (kick failed)
MB – Huggins 25 FG
S – Brown 76 run (Trimby kick)
MB – Keane 3 run (Huggins kick)