Chiefs keep chipping away at first victory since 2009

Midway through the 2011 season the North Myrtle Beach football team is experiencing a familiar but not-so welcome feeling.

For the second straight year the Chiefs are 0-5 and still looking for their first victory of the season in the region opener. They will play host to Socastee on Friday. But unlike last season, these Chiefs are getting closer to snap the program’s 17-game losing streak dating back to 2009. They are so close they can almost taste it.

“We are so close and doing so many things right, but we have proven over and over that you can not turn the ball over and win,” said second-year Chiefs coach Perry Woolbright.  “… We just can not continue to ask (the defense) to stop the opposing team with their backs against the wall after a turnover.”

Turnovers have been the Chiefs’ undoing all season, committing 16 in their first three games. Then they turned the ball over four times in a devastating 28-20 overtime loss to South Brunswick after it appeared the streak would finally end.

“That loss hurt in many ways because the guys played their tails off and deserved the win,” Woolbright said.  “But the guys returned and practiced hard and continued to push forward with a great two weeks of practice.”

After a tough 34-0 loss to Class AAAA school Carolina Forest, whose leading rusher, Harold Atkinson, was held to just 50 yards on 24 carries, about 100 yards fewer per game than his average.

The Chiefs were playing without starting quarterback Clint Cole, who is expected to be ready to play tonight. NMB also is getting a surprise contribution from sophomore running back Delonzo Williams as the Chiefs try to mentally and literally rest the season scoreboard at o-0o heading into Region VIII-AAA play.

“This is the start of the real season,” said Woolbright.  “You use those first five games to get you ready for the last five as they are the games that determine if you get into the playoffs.
“We have definitely improved in many aspects of our game and, with so many young players on the roster, we have gained some great experience.  We simply have to keep moving forward with the things that we are doing well and cut down on the mistakes.”

The Chiefs and Braves kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, when North Myrtle Beach will unveil its new improvements to its field, stadium, and scoreboard. Now they just need to upgrade their program’s play by getting that first notch in the win column.

Photo courtesy of DigitalMagicPhoto.com

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