It can be considered opportunistic by Loris, or mistake-prone by North Myrtle Beach.
However you look at it, North Myrtle Beach’s six turnovers equate to another quick start to a season for Loris and a quelling of the good vibes the Chiefs enjoyed last week when they ended a 22-game losing streak.
Loris, which began last season 8-0 en route to a 9-2 record, intercepted five passes and recovered a fumble and used the turnovers to defeat North Myrtle Beach 26-6 Saturday afternoon at the Hank Hester Sports Complex and improve to 2-0.
“We always tell the kids in a tight ballgame one team’s got to break, and today unfortunately it was us, and it was mainly because of turnovers and mistakes,” North Myrtle Beach coach Perry Woolbright said. “It wasn’t because of effort. The kids played hard. But if we turn the ball over six times, no matter who we’re playing – a JV or rec team or anybody – we’re not going to beat them.”
Five of the turnovers occurred in the second half, when the Lions scored all of their points including touchdown runs of 54 and 57 yards by running back Levi Moody, and 1 and 12 yards by quarterback Mickel Soles.
“We made a couple adjustments and we got stuff fixed, and our kids really responded in the second half,” Loris coach Jamie Snider said. “They really showed up in the second half – the whole team.”
North Myrtle Beach had a pair of scoring opportunities in the first half and converted on one, as Delonzo Williams scored on a 55-yard run. The Chiefs (1-1) got inside the Loris 20 on their opening drive, but sophomore linebacker Charoldric Williams jumped a route to record the first of his two interceptions.
“We scored early and we had the ball inside the 20, and if we score on both of those we beat that team right there,” Woolbright said. “I think it’s a big momentum changer.”
Charoldric Williams’ 80-yard return for a touchdown on the early interception was negated by a penalty behind the play, but the Lions made up for it with big plays in the second half.
Moody raced 57 yards on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter to tie the score at 6, and the Lions defense took over from there. NMB began third-quarter drives on the Loris 17 – following a Trey Farmer interception for its only turnover – and 30 but could not manage a first down on either possession.
Moody’s 54-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the third quarter came one play after a De’Andre Stanley fumble recovery, and fourth-quarter interceptions were recorded by Stanley, Williams, Tyriese Jackson and Ryan Bellamy. Two of the picks came after balls deflected off Chiefs.
“We came through with the picks and delivered like the coaches wanted us to,” Charoldric Williams said. “I was pretty upset [after the 80-yard return was negated] but I couldn’t let that stop me. I had to go out there and do better. I was determined. I had to get another one.”
Moody finished with 127 yards on 11 carries and Soles gained 74 yards on 12 carries, including a 65-yard run in the fourth quarter. Despite giving up 226 yards rushing on 40 carries, the Class AAA Chiefs held Loris to just five first downs.
“We gave up some long runs on defense, but other than that the defense played hard all night,” Woolbright said. “The defense played well.”
With Stanley the only senior on defense, the Class AA Lions have allowed just 14 points in the opening two weeks of the season against the Chiefs and St. James. Loris features a only few seniors on offense, and started three sophomores on the offensive line Saturday.
“We’re young,” Snider said. “We’re a work in progress and I know that, but I’ve said all along I like our attitude and I like this team.”
NMB-Delonzo Williams 55 run (kick failed)
L-Levi Moody 57 run (kick failed)
L-Moody 54 run (rush failed)
L-Mickel Soles 12 run (Orlin Mejia kick)
L-Soles 1 run (Mejia kick)
RUSHING—Loris: Levi Moody 11-127, Demetrius Hemingway 5-15, Ryan Bellamy 8-12, Mickel Soles 12-74, Shammond Jackson 1-2, Austin Thigpen 1-1, Quavon Bellamy 1-0, Chiquan Woodard 1-(-5). NMB: Delonzo Williams 17-103, Kendrick Furness 10-21, Brandon Moore 1-3, Will Hardwick 3-(-13).
PASSING--Loris: Soles 2-7-1–24. NMB: Furness 10-15-2–74, Hardwick 2-8-3–29.
RECEIVING—Loris: Danwane Hemingway 1-24, Ryan Bellamy 1-6. NMB: Cameron Gore 3-39, Kyle Cooper 3-33, Eric Baker 2-16, Tyrique Robinson 2-12, Williams 1-5, More 1-(-2).