Darius Hough nearly didn’t come out for the Myrtle Beach football team this season.
The senior has played basketball for the Seahawks (3-0), but got some bad advice about playing football and didn’t join the program until his final year at the school. Mickey Wilson is glad he did, after the 6-foot-3 wideout hauled in four touchdowns on five catches in Myrtle Beach’s 43-28 victory over Carolina Forest. His fifth catch was also critical, going for a first down on Myrtle Beach’s dagger drive in the fourth quarter.
“He has been a great surprise for us and has really worked his tail off to get in this position,” Wilson said. “He’s gifted, athletically, which is what makes him good on the basketball floor. On the football field, that kind of play really stands out. He had a great night for us just making plays.”
Early in the contest, each offense seemed to be feeling out the opposing defense, with Myrtle Beach striking for a field goal in the opening quarter. Carolina Forest’s Mason Garcia, a quarterback with a gifted right arm, found success running the football and built a 14-3 advantage for his team. Then the Seahawks woke up.
Xavion Knox, a defensive back, fielded the kickoff following the Panthers’ (2-1) second touchdown and took off for an 84-yard score. A fumble by the Panthers on their next offensive possession put the Seahawks back in positon to score, setting up a 34-yard strike from Luke Doty to Hough. Myrtle Beach wouldn’t stop scoring, as Doty and Hough combined for the next three touchdowns in the game, building a 36-14 advantage.
“I’m really proud of our guys because we’re so inexperienced in a lot of positions. To be down 14-3 over here in a tough environment and to battle back from that just shows how great our senior leadership is on this team,” Wilson said. “The play on special teams really set us up, Xavion is a really good football player and that was such a great return. It really flipped the momentum of the game and got us going on offense. Special teams can really juice up your entire team when they make a big play.”
The Doty-to-Hough connection came through to build an advantage for the Seahawks, but the wideout takes little credit for the Class 4A No. 1 team’s victory.
“This is a great team and I’m happy to have made an impact on this game,” Hough said. “I prayed to God for me to be able to help this team and He delivered me to some great situations tonight. We played as a team, the offense and defense and special teams had to work together to find a way to win this one.”
The result may not have been there for Carolina Forest, but a standing-room only crowd witnessed the fight of a program still on the rise.
“This is great; this is what Friday night football is all about,” said Carolina Forest coach Marc Morris. “Getting the community out from both sides and making football feel important. Tonight, when you show up at a game with a crowd like this that was here before the game even started, football was clearly important tonight.”
Equally as impressive as the crowd size was the all-around play of Garcia, who finished with nearly 300 yards of total offense and three scores.
“In the second half we were down and came back to get it to one score,” Morris said. “Our team was going to play how he played and we expect him to play a good game each week. He showed tonight how good he can be, but I know him as a worker – he’s going to watch this film and use it to get better.”
Carolina Forest will travel to Loris next week, while Myrtle Beach will host Conway.