Seahawks subdue Rebels, roll into Lower State Final

mbfoot-2runMyrtle Beach’s surprising run through the Class 3A playoffs continued Friday night with a 21-16 victory over Strom Thurmond in the Lower State semifinals.

The Seahawks (9-4) defeated a No. 1 seed on the road for the second straight week, once again erasing a halftime deficit behind the strength of their defense.

Two huge interceptions – one for a 63-yard touchdown return by Kelton Greene for the eventual game-winner and the other by Jaden Grayer to kill the Rebels (11-2) final drive of the game – proved critical in the Seahawks’ victory.

Myrtle Beach, which started the season 1-3, has now won six straight games. The last two have come on the road, but the Seahawks will host Marlboro County next week in the Lower State Finals.

Following a scoreless first 20 minutes that saw both teams miss field goals, Strom Thurmond finally got on the board when star quarterback Jauveer Hammond ran in from 12 yards out.

But Myrtle Beach struck on the very next drive. Drayton Arnold threw a 64-yard touchdown strike to C.J. Finkley in the final minute of the first half to tie it up. The Rebels hit a last-second field goal for a 10-7 lead.

The Myrtle Beach defense clamped down on Hammond in the second half and finally got some offense going late in the third period. Arnold hit a leaping Malik Waring for a 29-yard TD and the Seahawks took their first lead at 14-10.

On Strom Thurmond’s next possession, Greene, who had already had a big receiving night for the Seahawks, picked off Hammond and rumbled 63 yards to give Myrtle Beach a 21-10 edge early in the fourth period.

The Rebels managed to get into the end zone with 4 minutes remaining on Hammond’s fourth-down TD pass to Deandre Ryan. Grayer picked off the 2-point pass, and later came up with an even bigger interception.

The Rebels got the ball back with 2 minutes left and 95 yards to go but managed to make it near midfield. That’s when Grayer make a diving catch that allowed the Seahawks to run out the clock and advance to next week’s showdown with Marlboro County. The Bulldogs beat Socastee 40-25 in the other semifinal.

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