This wasn’t simply a team beating another from a smaller class.
North Myrtle Beach’s 17-14 victory over rival Loris was a statement.
A week after the Chiefs shut out Waccamaw to start the season, fourth-year coach Perry Woolbright’s defense arguably had a better result against a much more established team. North Myrtle Beach recorded four turnovers and sacked Lions quarterback Bennett Winslow four times. Maybe more impressive, it held Loris standout tailback Levi Moody to just three yards on 14 carries.
“In the past, a team would have a good player and we’d tried to respond and couldn’t,” Woolbright said after celebrating with his team on Heniford Field. “We decided this week [Moody] wasn’t going to beat us. I think we showed that.”
North Myrtle Beach’s win was the first over Loris since 2009, the year before Woolbright’s hiring. It was also the first time in a decade the Chiefs won their opening two games of a season.
Senior tailback Delonzo Williams put up 79 yards on 16 carries. Quarterback Kendrick Furness had 113 yards passing, all in the first half. But this one was about defense.
The Lions’ only offensive score of the game came on Tyree Floyd’s nine-yard reception early in the fourth quarter. Loris also scored on a long punt return and added two late points on an intentional Chiefs safety.
The Lions also didn’t help themselves when it came to penalties. Jamie Snider’s team, normally not one to pile up flags, was whistled 11 times for 101 yards. Several of those came with Loris within striking distance.
It was another reason North Myrtle Beach recorded a much-needed win over the Lions.
“It’s a big step,” Furness said. “We’re celebrating right now, but it’s a big step.”
Loris senior Ryan Bellamy put the Lions on the board first when he returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown midway through the second quarter. On the play, Bellamy busted a pair of tackles early, another one late and then picked up a couple of key blocks the rest of the way.
However, North Myrtle Beach responded with a nine-play, 69-yard drive capped off by Furness’ 11-yard strike to Kyle Cooper. Christian Buis’ extra point put the Chiefs on top.
As it turned out, it would be for good.
“It just shows where our program is,” Woolbright said. “We’ve been in these tight ball games the last couple years. We stayed up there for four quarters. We came out on top, and I think that really showed the growth of our kids and our program.
“We told guys that we could win the tight ball game, win the big ball game. Now we build on and get better each week.”
L - Ryan Bellamy 93 return (conversion failed)
NMB - Kyle Cooper 11 rec from Kendrick Furness (Christian Buis kick)
NMB - Colby Gore fumble recovery (Buis kick)
L-Tyree Floyd 9 rec from Bennett Winslow (conversion failed)
L - safety