The Socastee Braves football team is in a position it has never been in before.
Following an impressive 41-14 win over the Berkeley Stags on Friday, Socastee will host Hartsville Friday in the third round of Class AAA playoffs to try and keep its perfect season alive.
“Our kids played hard,” Braves coach Tim Renfrow said. “I’ve been told all week that their kick returns are the best thing they do and we let them return one for a touchdown. Our defense gave up some yards but we only gave up one touchdown so they bent but didn’t break. We got Hartsville next week. It’s a good win, it’s exciting and we have to play a good football team next week.”
The Braves controlled the first quarter, as Kyle Smith and Delano Walters each scored on touchdown runs. The Stags scored their only two touchdowns of the game in the second quarter within 2:30 of each other.
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Ezekiel Jenkins scored on a 12-yard run. Then, following a Tommy Lazaroff 6-yard rushing touchdown, Berkeley’s Asanti Dantzler returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown as the Stags cut the lead to six at the half.
“They played hard,” Renfrow said of Berkeley. “I knew they were a tough football team. I know they played some real good teams early and lost. They had won four in a row coming in. We were only up 20-14 at halftime so it was anyone’s ballgame.”
Said Braves linebacker and fullback Adam Crane: “We only let them get one touchdown [on defense]. We all played good, we played as a team and we hustled. I’m really proud of this win.”
Socastee dominated the second half. Walters scored his second rushing touchdown of the night with 9:57 remaining in the third quarter as the Braves went up 27-14. Lazaroff scored his second of the night on the ground to put Socastee ahead 34-14.
“We did what we had to do,” Renfrow said. “Our offense controlled the football in the second half and that helps us a bunch when they can do that.
“We love playing at home. Our fans are excited for us and it’s great to have another one here, but Hartsville is going to be tough.”
Now the Braves are just three wins away from being crowned state champs for the first time in their history.
“It means a lot to our program and everything we work for,” Crane said. “We’re 12-0 now and I’m just proud to be a Socastee Brave.”
SOC- Kyle Smith 3 run (Matt Trimby kick blocked) 4:37
SOC- Delano Walters 12 run (Timby kick) 1:5
B- Ezekial Jenkins 12 run(Vance Bailey kick) 10:07
SOC- Tommy Lazaroff 6 run (Trimby kick) 7:48
B- Asanti Dantzler 90 kickoff return (Bailey kick) 7:35
SOC- Walters 5 run (Trimby kick) 9:57
SOC- Lazaroff 4 run (Trimby kick) 4:54
SOC- Hunter Renfrow 22 run (Trimby kick) 8:28