Seahawks snap losing skid to Socastee on missed FG

mbfoot-2onehandcatchNo. 1-ranked Myrtle Beach snapped its two-year losing skid to rival Socastee and also ended the Braves’ streak of regular-season victories at 26 on Friday night, but it didn’t come easily.

The Seahawks had to hold their collective breath and watch as Socastee placekicker Braxton Elvis’ 27-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds fell just short, allowing Myrtle Beach (3-0) to preserve a 23-22 victory at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

In one of the most hard-fought installments in this rivalry, the game came down to a matter of inches as Elvis’ kick appeared on target before falling just shy of the uprights. The Myrtle Beach sidelines erupted while the Socastee side experienced the dejection of a potential game-winning drive that barely ran out of time and distance.

Following Myrtle Beach running back Brandon Sinclair’s game-tying touchdown on 1-yard dive into the end zone, Seahawks kicker Sean Huggins booted the game-winning PAT with 9 minutes remaining. But Myrtle Beach’s defense had to sweat it out as the Braves marched down field to set up the potential go-ahead kick. The Braves converted a pair of fourth downs behind the strength of fullback Angelo Sauter and quarterback Jordan Hodge but couldn’t put it in the end zone.

In matchup that was supposed to highlight Myrtle Beach’s high-flying offense, the Seahawks didn’t score on that side of the ball until Sinclair’s fourth-quarter TD. Myrtle Beach jumped out to a 16-0 halftime lead – all the result of the defense or special teams. Keyonte Sessions returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown and Kelton Greene returned an interception 33 yards to paydirt. Huggins had a 30-yard field goal.

But the Braves (3-1) came out on fire in the second half, chewing up chunks of yardage with their triple-option attack. Hodge got Socastee on the board with a 13-yard keeper, and Isaiah Anderson intercepted Drayton Arnold to set up a fourth-and-goal, 1-yard TD plunge by Sauter. Keyon Clora’s 9-yard TD run gave Socastee its first lead, and Hodge’s 2-point conversion made it 22-16 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

But Myrtle Beach’s quick-strike attack finally found some success when Arnold connected on a deep pass to Kyle Belack at the Socastee 1. Sinclair leaped over the Braves to the end zone on the ensuing play to tie it at 22-all. Huggins, who booted the game-winning field goal in the state championship game last season, calmly converted the PAT.

The Braves kept pounding the ball on the ground and put together a final drive that covered 62 yards and nearly 9 minutes. Sauter, who was carrying the bulk of the load for the Braves, broke through on a pair of fourth-and-shorts and drove the ball to the Myrtle Beach 10 before the clock dictated a field-goal attempt. The kick, and the Braves, fell just short.

Photo by Bill Grammer

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