Mickey Wilson’s team needed a bounce-back game like none other.
Myrtle Beach made several key defensive adjustments and then used its new workhorse, sophomore tailback Brandon Sinclair, to sprint to a 42-21 victory over West Florence. Sinclair finished with 217 yards rushing and added another 67 receiving. He also had three touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter that iced the game.
“He’s our go-to guy right now. There’s no doubt about it,” Wilson said. “He carried the load for us. He did an outstanding job. He had one turnover, but other than that, he was tremendous. He’s a hard runner, and he played all night.”
Wilson, who earlier this week said he could easily see his sophomore get 25 touches, called Sinclair’s number even more than that. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound back had 30 carries and another five receptions. One of his catches extended a fourth-quarter Myrtle Beach drive when the Seahawks were up one touchdown and trying to burn some clock.
He then capped the series – which took nearly five minutes – with a 33-yard score, his third of the evening. It was more than enough to help Myrtle Beach put a lopsided Week 1 loss to Richmond (N.C.) behind it, even if the team’s second game of the season looked surprisingly similar at the beginning.
West Florence quarterback Marquane Goodman and running backs Eron Darby and Dexter Fullmore eclipsed 200 yards rushing in the first half. With top receiver Xavier Blow serving a one-game suspension after being ejected in last week’s loss to Camden, the Knights were more than content to concentrate on running the ball.
However, after halftime, Myrtle Beach was able to change the pace with several key stops. West Florence had just one first down in the third quarter.
The Seahawks opened the scoring in the fourth with a Drayton Arnold touchdown strike to Malik Pryor. That was followed by Sinclair’s long run, and then Kelton Greene – who earlier in the evening returned a punt 99 yards for a touchdowns – brought back an interception 74 yards for another score.
Myrtle Beach will travel to South Florence next week in yet another game against an opponent from a bigger class. It will make the trip with a much-needed victory under its belt.
“When you’ve got young players like we do, sometimes you wonder if they can handle that,” Wilson said. “I think we handled that real well. It was back-and-forth in the first half. We came out in the second half, played extremely well and got a win.”
WF – Eron Darby 7 run (Alex Spence kick)
MB – Brandon Sinclair 59 run (Sean Huggins kick)
WF – Marquane Goodman 1 run (Spence kick)
MB – Sinclair 5 run (Huggins kick)
WF – Dexter Fulmore 8 run (Spence kick)
MB – Kelton Greene 99 kickoff return (Huggins kick)
MB – Malik Pryor 9 rec from Drayton Arnold (Huggins kick)
MB – Sinclair 33 run (Huggins kick)
MB – Greene 74 int return (Huggins kick)
RUSHING—West Florence: Marquane Goodman 18-109; Dexter Fulmore 18-129; Eron Darby 19-63. Myrtle Beach: Brandon Sinclair 30-217; Drayton Arnold 8-52; Arly Barr 1-0
PASSING—West Florence: Goodman 9-18-1, 90. Myrtle Beach: Drayton Arnold 11-20-0, 160.
RECEIVING—West Florence: Christian Manning 5-63; Romel Hatcher 2-15; Darby 1-13; Tyrell Dixon 1-12. Myrtle Beach: Sinclair 5-67; C.J. Finkley 1-7; Malik Waring 2-66; Keyonte Sessions 1-17; Kelton Greene 1-4; Malik Pryor 1-9.
Records— WF: 0-2; MB: 1-1