After being overpowered by Hartsville in its first defeat of the season last week, Myrtle Beach wanted to quickly set a physical tone Friday against Dreher in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Seahawks found the best way to do that was to give senior running back Jermani Green the ball.
At 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, Green carried the ball 21 times in the first half and established Myrtle Beach’s physical play on the ground by breaking tackles with tough running to go along with his elusive skills.
He had 205 yards and four rushing touchdowns by halftime, and finished with 276 yards and five touchdowns on 25 carries to lead Myrtle Beach to a 57-7 win at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
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“The biggest thing we wanted to do offensively was we wanted to establish No. 10 [Green], establish the running game,” Seahawks coach Mickey Wilson said. “We needed to reset, refocus and bounce back with a good win, and this was a good first-round win. We’re going to enjoy this tonight. I’m proud of our kids for bouncing back in a big way, but we have to get ready for Marlboro County.”
Myrtle Beach (8-1) advances to play Marlboro County, which defeated Airport 48-20 on the road Friday. The Seahawks defeated Marlboro County 21-0 on the road in the teams’ Region 6-4A contest on Oct. 12.
The Seahawks had lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the past two years, falling on the road to Lower Richland and A.C. Flora.
Both Myrtle Beach and Dreher were coming off big losses to their respective region champions, as Dreher (5-5) fell to Region 4-4A champion A.C. Flora 55-14 to finish third in the region at 3-2, and Myrtle Beach dropped to second in Region 6-4A with a 70-34 loss at Hartsville last Thursday.
“After that game on Thursday we had to come out with heart and run the ball more,” Green said. “We need to come out with the same tempo and pace we did tonight. We’re definitely bringing our ‘A’ game. We’ve got to work hard and stick together as a team, no more penalties and we need to come together as a team more.”
Myrtle Beach quarterback Luke Doty complemented Green, who scored on a 3-yard run to cap the game’s opening possession, by completing 10 of 20 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.
Myrtle Beach intercepted five passes in the game, and three came in the span of six Dreher offensive plays in the first quarter.
Michael Brown pulled in a twice-tipped pass at the Myrtle Beach 12 and returned it to the Seahawks’ 25 to end a Dreher scoring threat, and the next two interceptions led to touchdowns.
After a punt pinned Dreher inside its 10, Shedrick Pointer went to the ground to intercept a short and low throw at the 9, leading to a 1-yard Green TD.
An Austin Randall interception at the Dreher 47 led to a Green 10-yard touchdown run to give the Seahawks a 21-0 lead. A high snap on a Dreher punt attempt gave Myrtle Beach a 23-0 lead, and Green’s fourth touchdown in the game’s opening 13 minutes – a 10-yard run – gave the Seahawks a 30-0 lead.
A 22-yard touchdown pass from Doty to Wyatt Roache and field goals of 40 and 29 yards by Chad Toon gave the Seahawks a 43-0 halftime lead.
“Offensively and defensively the biggest thing we talked about all week was not making mistakes, No. 1, whether it be silly execution stuff or penalties, and No. 2 was to be physical, and I think we did that tonight,” Wilson said.
Green’s fifth touchdown was a 9-yard run on Myrtle Beach’s opening drive of the second half – after which most of the starters were pulled – and Randall added a second interception on the night late in the third quarter.
“That’s the most I’ve ever run. I hope I get that much running next week against Marlboro County,” Green said. “Coach said I was going to get the ball a lot so I had a heads-up, I already knew I had to run hard. I’d like to thank my offensive line for making the holes they made and giving me the opportunity to score the touchdowns.”
MB – Jermani Green 3-yard run (Chad Toon kick)
MB – Green 1-yard run (Toon kick)
MB – Green 10-yard run (Toon kick)
MB – Safety on high punt snap
MB – Green 10-yard run (Toon kick)
MB – Toon 40-yard FG
MB – Wyatt Roache 22-yard pass from Luke Doty (Toon kick)
MB – Toon 29-yard FG
MB – Green 9-yard run (Toon kick)
D – Day Day Washington 36-yard run (kick good)
MB – Rashaad Feaster 2-yard run (kick good)