Seahawks keep Victory Bell with big win over Conway

One year after these two teams put on an offensive fireworks display at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, Conway and Myrtle Beach played a ground-and-pound slugfest in the Backyard on Friday night.

Myrtle Beach, which won 56-55 shootout against the Tigers last season, came into the game with a much-maligned defensive unit that had been yielding more than 40 points per game.

But the Seahawks (2-3) dug deep on defense and rode the back of sophomore running back Brandon Sinclair to repeat in the annual Battle for the Victory Bell, defeating the Tigers 31-7. They also delivered coach Mickey Wilson, a Conway grad, his 50th victory since taking over the Seahawks in 2009.

Sinclair rushed for 256 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries against the Conway defense, repeatedly pounding through the interior line from the WildHawk formation and finding room to roam. Perhaps more impressively, the Seahawks’ battered defense held the Tigers to 143 yards of total offense.

Following a scoreless first quarter, Myrtle Beach finally got on the board with a 4-yard wildcat run by Sinclair. The Seahawks doubled their lead before halftime on a touchdown pass from Drayton Arnold to Graham Vaughn for a 14-0 edge at the break.

The Tigers (1-5), who were without leading receiver Bryan Edwards but welcomed back top rushers Cortez Brown and Deandre Hickman from suspensions, finally got on the board on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Smith to Ikeem Coles to cut the deficit early in the third quarter.

But the Seahawks answered with another TD drive capped by a 4-yard run by Sinclair, and he applied the back-breaker early in the fourth quarter, breaking loose for an 86-yard touchdown run and a 28-7 lead. Myrtle Beach added an insurance field goal, but the Myrtle Beach defense did the rest.

Myrtle Beach opens region play next week against visiting Wilson. The Tigers have a much-needed bye week.

Photo by Chuck Silvey

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