Seahawks upset by Falcons for first-round playoff exit

mbfoot-20runAfter sailing through the season to a 9-0 start and a No. 2 ranking, Myrtle Beach’s season appeared destined for a trip to the state championship game. But a bizarre turn of events over the past two weeks wrote a surprise ending to the Seahawks’ season after falling 42-28 to host A.C. Flora on Friday night in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Myrtle Beach saw an early 14-0 lead disappear by halftime as the Falcons used a two-quarterback system of their own to an upset victory in the opening round. Lane Botkin ran for three TDs and Carlton Andrews threw for two and A.C. Flora turned a special teams turnover into another score as the Falcons sent the Seahawks to their earliest playoff exit in recent years.

Myrtle Beach scored on its first two drives on TD screen passes from Lawson Cribb to Jermani Green, but the Falcons countered with a TD pass by Andrews and a 1-yard TD dive by Botkin on 4th-and-1. Cribb connected with Daron Finkley from 27 yards out to regain the lead, but his interception in the final seconds of the half set up Flora for a tying score. Andrews hit a Hail Mary with 1 second left to level the score at halftime at 21-all.

Botkin’s 62-yard TD burst gave the Falcons their first lead of the night, and a special teams snafu of a fumbled punt by Keyonte Sessions saw the Falcons scoop and score for a 35-21 advantage. Sessions made up for the mistake by scoring from 1-yard out and cutting the deficit in half midway through the fourth quarter, but Myrtle Beach had no answer for Botkin, whose third TD run of the night iced the upset.

The loss marks a stunning end to the season for a Seahawks team that dominated for much of the year until their defense faded down the stretch, allowing 98 points in its final two games. It was last week’s 56-55 loss to Marlboro County that sent the third-seeded Seahawks on the road in the first place. Instead, it will be A.C. Flora facing top-seeded Hartsville next Friday.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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