Myrtle Beach 22, Aynor 16
Myrtle Beach was forced to prepare for an offense it won’t see again all year.
For the second consecutive year in the CNB Kickoff Classic on Friday at Conway High, Aynor made it look just like that.
The Blue Jackets pushed one of Class AAA’s best football teams with their hammer offense before the Seahawks eventually scored a late touchdown to win 22-16 in the opening game of the event.
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“That’s a tough offense to play against. Jody [Jenerette] does a fantastic job over there,” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said. “We just need to continue to get better and know we have a long way to go.”
The Blue Jackets, with new starters at quarterback, both primary running back spots and tight end, put together a pair of drives that covered 70 and 64 yards, respectively. Both were capped off with Jalen Dixon 1-yard scoring runs, and the second gave Aynor a 16-14 lead.
However, despite facing a second-and-30 and a fourth-and-10 inside its own territory on the final drive, quarterback Drayton Arnold found first-year starting receiver Cortez Brown for a 25-yard touchdown with under four minutes to play.
Arnold finished 10-of-12 for 133 yards, and Seahawks tailback Brandon Sinclair ended the 20-minute scrimmage with 11 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a two-point conversion run and caught 14-yard reception.
As far as Aynor, the Blue Jackets’ offense didn’t miss much of a beat in its first public action since the departure of two 1,000-yard rushers in Kamron Johnson and Daquan Smith.
“We’ve got a great group,” junior quarterback Caleb Jenerette said. “We’ve got backs galore. We’ve got receivers. We’ve got heart. That’s something we didn’t have last year. We’re tough. We’re very physical. I think we can beat anybody we play. If I don’t fumble snaps, I think we’re going to be all right.”
Socastee 7, Waccamaw 6
While it was only a scrimmage, Waccamaw coach Tyronne Davis badly wanted his team to beat Socastee in the CNB Kickoff Classic.
He’ll settle with just keeping up with the Class AAAA Braves, though.
And while the Warriors were right there with Socastee the whole time, it was ultimately two fumbles in the last six minutes that cost Waccamaw as the Braves took a 7-6 victory in the preseason jamboree.
“I felt that my kids played extremely hard,” Davis said. “You take away the penalties and the two fumbles we had and it could’ve been a different game. But to hang in there with a team like Socastee shows we’re heading in the right direction.”
Davis said his team needs to limit the turnovers if they want to succeed this season.
“I thought the effort was great here with our kids but we made too many mistakes but that’s why we play these scrimmages and jamborees; just to see what we’re doing wrong and make those corrections,” Davis said. “But it was a good scrimmage. We love what CNB does for the community and taking care of us and just playing in front of this big crowd was something our kids needed before next week when we play for real.”
Waccamaw’s star halfback Kevin Gasque – who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season – was sidelined for precautionary reasons Friday after tweaking his ankle in practice last week.
“He’s fine,” Davis said. “We just wanted to keep him out and didn’t want to rush him too hard. We’d rather have him healthy next week than to [risk injury] tonight. So that’s what we’re doing with him.”
The Braves’ shining moment was a 44-yard touchdown catch by wide out Taylor Karnap from quarterback Brandon Goswick with about five minutes left. Kicker Cole Renfrow’s successful extra point proved to be the winning margin as the Braves held off the Warriors in the final minutes.
St. James 17, Green Sea Floyds 8
Green Sea Floyds and St. James each made their share of mistakes in third game of the CNB Kickoff Classic.
Only one coach was hammering his team about it after.
The Sharks won the ugly 20-minute session 17-8 in a game filled with turnovers, inopportune penalties and other various miscues consistent with a preseason event.
“I figured it was going to happen,” said second-year St. James coach Robby Brown, who added that his team was playing with a back-up center. “… You can’t worry about it. You have to drive on to the next play. Obviously, you can’t do that during a regular game. That will get you beat.”
It was actually a two-point game until the closing moments when Sharks quarterback Zach Werba found receiver Jackson Hurston wide open to extend the final score. However, putting the ball on the ground prevented Green Sea Floyds from taking advantage of its final offensive drive of the game.
In coach Tony Sullivan’s mind, the Trojans, who open against Hannah-Pamplico next week, are still dealing with many of the same issues that resulted in an 0-10 record a year ago.
“We’re not good enough to beat ourselves,” Sullivan said. “Every step we take forward, we can’t afford to take a half one back.”
Loris 14, Carolina Forest 13
Loris coach Jamie Snider welcomes playing bigger and tougher schools.
He said it makes his team tougher in the long run.
On Friday, the Lions got up by two scores against Carolina Forest and Loris held off the Panthers for a 14-13 victory in the CNB Kickoff Classic.
“Coach [Marc] Morris and his staff do a good job over at Carolina Forest,” Snider said. “We played well early and they fought back; it was a good matchup for us. We like playing against bigger schools and good teams.”
Lions senior quarterback Ta’Jay Williams ran for a touchdown and tossed for another and Snider was impressed with both his speed and his arm.
“It means a lot to him. He’s a competitor and he had a great night,” Snider said of Williams. “Ta’Jay did some amazing things tonight and I thought it was the best he performed this preseason and that’s exactly what we’re looking for.”
Halfback Dyverse Simmons brought the Panthers back in it as he rushed for two touchdowns but Carolina Forest came up just short.
“I couldn’t do it without my team,” Simmons said. “We could’ve easily tied that game up or won that game. Our coaches trust in us and we accomplished what we wanted and did our jobs.”
And Simmons firmly believes his squad will go far this season.
“We’ve got a good team,” he said. “I got good teammates behind me and I’m very confident we can compete for a [Class] AAAA state title.”
Meanwhile, the Lions’ defense came up huge on Friday as it recovered three fumbles to maintain the lead.
“They’re young and we were a little disappointed with the tackling but they found a way to get turnovers,” Snider said. “When you get turnovers, the offense has to keep the ball and sustain drives. So we have a lot to work on but I’m proud with how we competed tonight.”
Conway 26, North Myrtle Beach 0
Conway coach Chuck Jordan may not be jumping up and down, but he can’t be too upset with how his team performed this week.
The Tigers, three days after defeating Stratford in another scrimmage, wrapped up the CNB Kickoff Classic with a 26-0 victory over North Myrtle Beach. Conway got offensive touchdowns from its Big Three in quarterback Peyton Derrick, receiver Bryan Edwards and tailback Jah’Maine Martin.
The Tigers also took advantage of five North Myrtle Beach turnovers.
Still, Jordan wasn’t going to be too elated, one way or the other. Even before the scrimmage, he was apprehensive about the team’s preseason.
“The toughest thing to do is to evaluate your team not knowing how good the other teams are going to be,” Jordan said. “We’ve had years where we’ve played great in the Classic and couldn’t beat a drum.”
Conway certainly made the speedy North Myrtle Beach offense look rather pedestrian. The Chiefs, after fumbling on their opening possession, had an interception on the ensuing back-to-back series.
In that time, Conway got a 13-yard touchdown run from Derrick and followed it shortly after with a 1-yard Martin run. Afterward, a second fumble, recovered by Tyrece Walker, was returned 27 yards for a touchdown to put the Tigers up 19-0.
Following a North Myrtle Beach punt, Edwards added a 70-yard touchdown reception off a quick swing pass, breaking tackles and outrunning defenders throughout. Early in the game, Edwards had a non-scoring, 50-yard reception.
North Myrtle Beach’s best chance to put points on the board then evaporated when the Chiefs added a fifth total turnover with a fumble into the end zone.
Blair Hardin’s team will open at home against Dillon on Friday, while Conway will head to Georgetown in The Sun News’ Game of the Week.