An electric start featuring two high-flying offenses turned into a one-sided showcase for the area’s best team on Friday night at Thomas L. Smith, Sr. Stadium.
The Myrtle Beach Seahawks, ranked No. 1 Class AAA, secured the Region VII-AAA title for the first time since 2011 with a big second half in a 54-25 victory over the Georgetown Bulldogs.
“It is huge. That is one of our goals,” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said of clinching the region title. “I told our kids just now, not only to win it but to win it in Week 9 is huge. It gives us a chance to get ready for the playoffs and get healthy.”
Georgetown traded big play for big play against Myrtle Beach for nearly the entire first half, but an untimely miscue on a punt attempt with 11 seconds left in the half foretold what was to come after the break. With Georgetown trailing 21-19, the Bulldogs mishandled the snap on a punt, and the Seahawks took possession at the Georgetown 35. On the next play, Kyle Belack hauled in the second of his four touchdown receptions on the night with 4 seconds showing on the clock to make it 27-19. The score was part of 33 straight points scored by Myrtle Beach that turned a 19-13 deficit into a 47-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Belack, the area’s leading receiver, had touchdown catches of 66, 35, 28 and 21 yards. All of those came from the arm of Drayton Arnold, who also found Malik Waring for a 44-yard score in a five-touchdown performance by the junior signal-caller.
“Kyle had an outstanding game,” Wilson said. “He made some big-time catches down in the end zone. He is a great player, and Drayton did a good job getting him the ball. It is just a good win, a good overall team win.”
Georgetown had its chances, but the Bulldogs could not overcome their many miscues and missed opportunities. Despite a first half in which the Bulldogs outgained the potent Seahawks offense 332-251 in yards and held a 14-7 advantage in first downs, Myrtle Beach took a 27-19 advantage into halftime. Special teams contributed to 13 of those first half points for the Seahawks. Myrtle Beach blocked a Georgetown punt attempt on the Bulldogs’ first offensive possession and took over at the Georgetown 12. After Sinclair converted a 4th-and-1 with a 2-yard run to the 1, the junior took a direct snap and leaped over the line to give the Seahawks an early 7-0 lead. The mishandled snap at the end of the first half provided the other six points.
After Sinclair gave Myrtle Beach the early lead, Georgetown turned to its passing game to give its fans hope that an upset was in the making. First, Zaquan Collins took a short slant pass from Jarvis Brown and turned it into a 66-yard touchdown by outracing Myrtle Beach defenders to the end zone. After forcing a Myrtle Beach punt, Georgetown went back to the same combination as Brown lofted a nice pass into the left corner of the end and Collins came down with it to hand the Bulldogs a 13-7 lead late in the opening quarter.
Trailing 14-13, Georgetown made what appeared to be a game-changing series of plays. The Georgetown defense stuffed Sinclair on three straight running plays from the Bulldogs’ 1-yard line and took possession at the 2. The Bulldogs followed it up with a 7-play, 98-yard drive that ended with Brown scoring on a 13-yard run to put Georgetown up 19-14 midway through the second quarter.
But it was all Myrtle Beach the rest of the way.
“We just talked about coming out and doing away with our mental mistakes,” Wilson said. “ Our guys did a great job at halftime of dialing it up a little bit. Our focused increased, and they just continued to play good.”
Myrtle Beach, which has now won nine in a row over the Bulldogs, ends its regular season at home against North Myrtle Beach next Friday. Georgetown will play at Wilson next Thursday in a game that will have big playoff implications.
MB—Brandon Sinclair 1 run (Sean Huggins kick), 7:22
G—Zaquan Collins 66 pass from Jarvis Brown (Caleb Justice kick), 6:04
G—Collins 26 pass from Brown (kick failed), 3:43
MB—Kyle Belack 66 pass from Drayton Arnold (Huggins kick), 2:03
G—Brown 13 run (pass failed), 5:14
MB—Malik Waring 44 pass from Arnold (Huggins kick), 2:33
MB—Belack 35 pass from Arnold (kick blocked), 0:04
MB—Belack 28 pass from Arnold (Huggins kick), 10:50
MB—Belack 21 pass from Arnold (Huggins kick), 3:15
MB—Sinclair 5 run (kick blocked), 1:04
G—Javon Leake 7 pass from Brown (pass failed), 10:53
MB—Sinclair 1 run (Huggins kick), 4:16
Myrtle Beach, Brandon Sinclair 24-92, Drayton Arnold 2-(-11), Maleek Smith 1-(-3). Georgetown, Jarvis Brown 15-76, Gerald German 9-30, Michael Billings 9-39, Jordan Manigault 3-8, Tyler McAlister 1-1.
Myrtle Beach, Arnold 18-31-0-357. Georgetown, Brown 19-37-0-283, McAlister 1-2-0-7.
Myrtle Beach, Malik Waring 5-87, Sinclair 4-25, C.J. Finkley 1-12, Kyle Belack 8-233. Georgetown, Zaquan Collins 7-115, Marquez Drayton 4-23, German 2-17, Darrion Graham 2-38, Billings 4-90, Javon Leake 1-7.