CNB Kickoff Classic packs offensive flair, high drama

confoot-4cnbFootball Jamborees are often a flavorless, thrill-free affair. Not so with Friday night’s CNB Kickoff Classic, which saw some surprises and closely contested matchups at Conway High’s Backyard.

The combination of first-game jitters and coaches playing it close to the vest usually yields a vanilla display free of high scoring and drama. But if the 26th annual preseason showcase is any indication, we should be in for an exciting season of high school football.

Myrtle Beach 22, Aynor 16

Jamborees are traditionally a vanilla-flavored affair offensively, with drama. But the opener between Myrtle Beach and Aynor turned out to be a back-and-forth contest that came down to the wire.

The Seahawks reached paydirt on their first two possessions, with running back Brandon Sinclair scoring on a pair of touchdown runs of 2 and 11 yards, to jump on top 14-0. But the Blue Jackets answered with a pair of TD drives and 2-point conversions for a 16-14 lead with only 4 minutes left in the 24-minute exhibition.

Facing third-and-20 deep in their own territory, the Seahawks converted for a first down and went on to drive 90 yards for the go-ahead TD. Myrtle Beach senior quarterback Drayton Arnold threw a 20-yard TD pass to Cortez Brown, who scored the eventual game-winner on his former home field after transferring from Conway.

Arnold completed 10 of 13 passes for 143 yards but was sacked twice and under heavy pressure by the Blue Jackets’ pass rush. Sinclair, who along with Arnold is committed to play at Old Dominion next year, had six carries for 83 yards and two TDs.

Socastee 7, Waccamaw 6

Making the transition from their traditional triple-option attack, the Braves’ new-look spread offense may still need some time to get off the ground. But one successful play was enough to narrowly avoid a loss to the Warriors.

First-year starting quarterback Brandon Goswick found a wide-open Taylor Karnap streaking down the middle of the field for a 44-yard game-tying touchdown with 5 minutes left. Cole Renfrow’s PAT proved to be the difference in an otherwise tight matchup.

Waccamaw stumped the Socastee offense for most of the game and converted a long drive for a 6-0 lead. The Braves finally got their passing game going to go ahead, and the defense made a late stand deep in their own territory to preserve the win.

St. James 17, Green Sea Floyds 8

The Sharks showed a little bit of firepower in the middle game against the outmatched Trojans.

Senior quarterback Zach Werba scored with his arm and his legs, and senior Charles Ouverson converted with his big foot to lead St. James past Green Sea Floyds.

After the defense gave up a touchdown bomb on the Trojans’ opening series, the Sharks got on the board on a 41-yard boot by the highly recruited kicker that had plenty of distance. Werba gave the Sharks the lead on a TD keeper, and he sealed the victory with a TD pass to Jackson Hurston.

Loris 14, Carolina Forest 13

Starting its first new quarterback in three seasons, it took Carolina Forest a little time to get its offense untracked. But once Matt Beale settled into the role behind departed three-year starter Will Brunson he had the Panthers firing on all cylinders.

The Panthers committed turnovers on their first two possessions to set up a pair of Loris touchdowns, but they almost rallied from the 14-point deficit over the last 8 minutes. Beale threw a 41-yard strike to RJ Graham to cut the deficit in half, and the Carolina Forest defense came up with a pair of turnovers to set up Dyverse Simmons’ 4-yard TD run with 2 minutes remaining.

The Panthers opted to roll the dice in the scrimmage and go for 2 and the win, but Beale misfired. However, the Panthers got the ball back in the waning seconds and Beale hit a pair of passes to put them in Hail Mary range. Beale’s desperation pass on the final play fell incomplete.

Conway 26, North Myrtle Beach 0

The CNB Kickoff Classic saved its least dramatic game for last – depending upon which sideline you were sitting on.

Conway cashed in on five North Myrtle Beach turnovers to send the home crowd home happy, and a long bus ride for the Chiefs. Unveiling their new offense, the Chiefs failed to hang on to the ball while the Tigers couldn’t seem to do anything wrong.

Conway QB Peyton Derrick ran for a touchdown and threw another, which was the highlight play of the night. He rolled right and hit South Carolina commit Bryan Edwards on a short screen, and he weaved his way through the NMB defense 72 yards en route to the end zone. Conway also scored on a short TD run by Jah’Maine Martin and the defense returned a fumble for a score.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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