Carolina Forest unveiled its new-look offense and new attitude with a surprising 34-7 victory over host Socastee in Friday night’s season opener.
Quarterback Danny Daly threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another and running back Harold Atkinson rushed for 112 yards and a TD to lift the Panthers to an impressive showing in their season debut.
The Carolina Forest defense also limited the Braves’ triple-option attack to only 166 yards on the ground, a total that was surpassed by Daly’s passing total of 175 yards.
He hit Josh Abercrombie for a 62-yard TD connection to open the scoring and Atkinson broke free for an 80-yard TD run to give the Panthers a 14-0 halftime advantage.
Daly dived in from 1-yard out in the third quarter, then connected with Chris Simmons on a 59-yard TD to put the game away late, signaling a new beginning for a program that has struggled in recent seasons. Kyle Russ added a 1-yard TD plunge to cap the Panthers’ scoring.
The Panthers will face a much tougher test next week against Myrtle Beach, the defending Class AAA state champions. The Seahawks handed the Panthers a 63-6 licking last year.
The Braves will face West Brunswick (N.C.), a team it defeated 29-28 in overtime last season.