Myrtle Beach’s new professional indoor football team looked like anything but a newcomer on Sunday night as it cruised to a 49-22 win over the Carolina Dynasty at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Former Penn State standout and ex-CFL quarterback Daryll Clark ran for a touchdown and threw for another and former Conway High running back Alkeem Sherman ran for a score in the game, and the Freedom defense scored four times in the victory.
Myrtle Beach is a member of the American Indoor Football League. The Dynasty are a non-AIFL team based in Columbia.
“We didn’t approach this as an exhibition game,” Myrtle Beach coach Ryan David said. “… The old saying is ‘The first impression is everything,’ and we wanted to make a first impression to these fans.”
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After a scoreless first quarter, the Freedom scored the team’s first-ever points on a 1-yard keeper by Clark, but Carolina’s Kyle Brown returned the ensuing kickoff for a score to cut the lead to 7-6.
Johnathan Sharpe recovered a fumble in the end zone for the next Freedom touchdown, but Derrick Cohens ran back that kickoff for a score and a 2-point conversion tied the game at 14.
Clark hit Jason Livingston with a 19-yard scoring pass and Vic Leventritt added a 27-yard field goal at the buzzer to put Myrtle Beach ahead 23-14 at the half.
“Our special teams, we’ve got to clean that up, but that kind of stuff goes with your first game,” David said. “I’ve never seen a team play great special teams their first game.”
Sherman’s 5-yard score finished off the offensive output for the Freedom, but Deangelo Davis recovered fumble in the end zone for a score, Jason Booker returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown and Lindsey Robertson recovered another end zone fumble for Myrtle Beach.
The game also featured a pair of ejections after a minor melee in the third quarter, but those tensions eased and players from both sides – many of whom are former high school or college teammates – met for handshakes and pictures after the game.
MB-Daryll Clark 1 run (Vic Leventritt kick)
CAR-Kyle Brown 50 kickoff return (run failed)
MB-Johnathan Sharpe fumble recovery in end zone (Leventritt kick)
CAR-Derrick Cohens 46 kickoff return (pass good)
MB-Clark 19 pass to Jason Livingston (kick failed)
MB-Leventritt 27 FG
MB-Alkeem Sherman 5 run (Leventritt kick)
MB-Deangelo Davis fumble recovery in end zone (Leventritt kick)
MB-Jason Booker 43 INT return (kick failed)
MB-Lindsey Robertson 30 fumble return (run failed)
CAR-Joe Summers receiving TD (pass failed)