Border bragging rights on the (state) line in Week 1

The line that divides the Carolinas becomes a line of scrimmage this week as five football teams from the Tar Heel State venture south of the border to battle Palmetto State squads on the gridiron.

Four North Carolina powers will play in the Derrick Law Firm Surf and Turf Kickoff Classic at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium against South Carolina teams, including Myrtle Beach vs. Richmond County  and Conway vs. New Hanover. In other Week 1 action, West Brunswick (NC) visits Socastee on Friday.

The Seahawks open their season at 7:30 p.m. Friday against the Raiders, who rolled over Rocky River 37-13 last week. Myrtle Beach returns only seven of 24 starters, and the youngsters face a tough early test. Sophomore Drayton Arnold makes his starting quarterback debut in the Seahawks’ spread.

Saturday’s slate includes four border clashes – Hoggard (NC) vs. Irmo at 1 p.m., Southeast Raleigh (NC) vs. Dutch Fork at 4:30, and New Hanover (NC) vs Conway in the 8 p.m. nightcap. The Tigers were upset by Georgetown 24-18 in last week’s opener and face an even tougher challenge in the Wildcats.

In regular action, Socastee welcomes West Brunswick after an impressive debut under first-year coach Doug Illing, who crossed the border from Davie County (NC). The Braves blew past Carolina Forest 48-20 behind three-touchdown performances by Hunter Renfrow and Kyle Smith, but the Trojans proved to be one of Socastee’s toughest foes in last year’s 12-1 campaign.

Just a few miles south of the border in Loris, North Myrtle Beach will try to beat their neighborhood rival in the Lions Den. The Chiefs lost a hard-fought battle with the Lions last year but looked impressive in last week’s 32-0 shutout victory over Waccamaw in Week 0. Loris edged St. James 13-10.

The Sharks will try to erase that painful defeat in Friday’s home opener against Andrews, while Carolina Forest travels to Fort Dorchester. Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach has a bye week after falling in the first game in school history.

Photo by Joel Beachum, Carolina Click Photos

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