Playoff Previews and Picks: MB limps into second round

mbfoot-arnoldrolloutAfter putting up 69 points in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs, Myrtle Beach’s offense would seem to be firing on all cylinders just in time for the postseason.

But a couple of key injuries in last Friday’s thumping of Gilbert has the Seahawks (10-1) justifiably concerned about their second round showdown with visiting Hanahan. Starting quarterback Drayton Arnold and wide receiver Kelton Greene are two key cogs that make the Seahawks’ offense tick, and timing is critical in their spread attack.

Although Arnold could still see action despite an injury to his throwing hand, and the Seahawks are wisely keeping his status under wraps, Myrtle Beach has a more than competent backup in senior Jake Deskins. His move to tight end would take another weapon out of the passing game. Don’t be surprised to see Brandon Sinclair operating out of the Wild Hawk, giving Hanahan a lot to prepare for this week.

Hanahan runs a similar spread attack, scoring 42 in last week’s win over Lakewood, so the Myrtle Beach defense has a big assignment too. It had one bad quarter last week but also made some big plays to put more points on the board. In the end, the Seahawks put it all together and march on the third round. … Myrtle Beach 34, Hanahan 20.

* Socastee at Stratford: The Braves’ late-season slide nearly cost them a spot in the Class 4A playoffs. They lost three of their last four games and backed into the postseason when a couple of region games broke their way during last week’s 31-15 loss to Sumter.

Socastee hasn’t exactly been road warriors this year either, going 2-3 away from home. The Braves (7-4) have to be able to run and throw against a stingy Stratford (8-3) defense, and the Knights’ offense is averaging 28 points per game.

Stratford had a seven-game win streak snapped last week at Goose Creek and appears to be the hotter of the two teams. The Braves’ first year in Class 4A, where teams are bigger, stronger and faster, ends with a lesson that it may be time to ditch the triple option. … Stratford 27, Socastee 22.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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