High School Football

Golson deceptive on his feet

Donte Sumpter let out the slightest giggle when asked a fairly simple question.

If Myrtle Beach quarterback Everett Golson lined up against his slew of receivers in a foot race, where would he finish?

"Maybe third or fourth," said Sumpter, one of those speedsters.

Golson, the pass-first, pass-second signal-caller of the high-scoring Seahawks, might not be the fastest guy in his own huddle, but his elusiveness and footwork gives opponents something else to think about.

Today, when Myrtle Beach takes on Clinton in the Class AAA state title game, that's exactly how coach Mickey Wilson wants the Red Devils game-planning for his team. It was a strategy that has worked in the playoffs this season, and it was certainly one that worked last year against Chester in the Seahawks' state championship game victory.

Golson ran the option to perfection, giving Chester defenders fits en route to the 2008 Class AAA title.

The junior quarterback did it again last week against Marlboro County. With opponents planning for the quarterback who has now thrown for 3,258 yards and 45 touchdowns this season, they forget that the same quarterback can also run.

He finished off Marlboro County by rushing for 59 yards and a pair of scores. The yardage was about 50 percent of what he had done through the first 13 games of the season, but even that is by design.

"We feel like we can use him as a runner a little more than we can in the regular season, just from the standpoint of injuries and that type of thing," Wilson said. "He's very quick on his feet. He's a good runner. We like him back there in the pocket throwing it more than we do running it; but it does catch people by surprise. It's something we've been able to utilize in the playoffs."

The injury aspect of Golson running the football is a big one.

No one knows for sure what type of team the Seahawks would be without him in the pocket lacing passes to all those receivers. With that many pass-catching options, the spread offense the Seahawks employ is too successful to turn Golson into more of a running quarterback.

At the same time, one-dimensional teams can eventually be picked apart. On the off chance that starts to happen today, Golson's legs could nicely complement his arm.

That's where the quarterback's ability to sustain hits comes into play.

"I've seen him, since he was in the ninth grade, take some big-time hits throwing the ball. You can get some people who will kind of cheap-shot him after he delivers," Wilson said before rapping his knuckles against his right temple during his next words. "One hundred percent of the time - knock on wood, I probably just jinxed myself - he'll pop right up and be ready to go the next play."

Golson played off some of those hits, saying he long ago learned the art of dodging the full brunt of force from defenders.

"I guess just not letting people hit me, not letting people square me up [prevents injuries]," he said. "I guess it's hard to square me up because I always put a little move on them."

Several teammates echoed Wilson's assessment of Golson's toughness.

Later on, another went one step further, actually giving the 6-foot quarterback props on the speed front.

"I definitely think if it was a race, he would be right there with us; he would probably beat us," senior running back/receiver Morgan Byrd said. "He's just a competitor. Game speed is sometimes different, but yeah, he's fast."

And the Seahawks aren't afraid to use it.

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