High School Football

Dual backs carry Seahawks to strong win

The No. 2 -ranked Myrtle Beach High football team hasn't driven a Ford lately, but it has flown like a Byrd.

With Daiquone Ford injured for most of the season, converted receiver Morgan Byrd has had to pick up the slack at running back.

The Seahawks (10-1) used both of them in Friday night's first round of the Class AAA playoffs en route to a 56-12 victory over Lake Marion (3-8). Ford and Byrd combined for five touchdowns and more than 100 yards rushing to give Myrtle Beach a nice 1-2 punch.

"It was nice to have both of them in the backfield," said Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson. "It was good to get (Ford) back and let him shake a little bit of the rust off, and Byrd has done such a good job filling in for him. They both did a great job tonight."

While Ford did most of the damage on the ground, rushing 10 times for 74 yards and a touchdown, Byrd showed his nose for the end zone by scoring four TDs - three rushing and one receiving. He scored the Seahawks' first two TDs for a 14-0 first-quarter lead.

"With Daiquone out I had to fill in that role, so now that he's back I feel both of us can do different things to help us," said Byrd, who also played quarterback in Myrtle Beach's "Wild Hawk" option attack. "Hopefully he can give us a boost in the playoffs."

During Ford's absence, the Seahawks have had to lean heavily on the arm of star quarterback Everett Golson, who had another stellar night despite the addition of more ground troops. Golson completed 12 of 17 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns.

Golson found Dallas Goodman for a 9-yard TD in the second period and Byrd added a 5-yard TD run to put the Seahawks up 28-0 at the half. Golson returned for one series in the second half and hit Donte Sumpter for a 15-yard score before calling it a night.

Byrd ran in an option keeper from 6 yards out to cap the third quarter and Ford fought his way into the end zone on a 9-yard run early in the fourth for a 49-0 edge. It was Ford's first touchdown run since the regular-season opener.

"It was great having (Ford) back and seeing him get in the end zone," Byrd said. "It's been a tough year for him but we're happy to have him back for the playoffs. ... Of course we want to repeat (as state champions), but we're trying to take it one game at a time."

The Gators finally got on the board late in the game on Chris Jenkins' 41-yard TD pass to Mike Williams, and Tyree Watts recovered a fumble and rumbled 32 yards to paydirt to cut the deficit to 49-12. Backup QB Mitch Campbell kept them at bay by leading a long scoring drive, capped by a 34-yard TD pass to Jaquon Wilson, who caught eight passes for 107 yards on the night.

The Seahawks will play the winner of Friday's clash between Crestwood and Midland Valley. Myrtle Beach has home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.