Shock-astee: Undefeated Braves top No. 1 Seahawks

The Socastee Braves are undefeated, and the No. 1-ranked Myrtle Beach Seahawks are not.

The upstart Braves (7-0 overall, 2-0 Region VII-AAA) took advantage of several Seahawks’ errors and played relatively mistake-free football for a 27-17 victory over their rivals in front of a hostile homecoming crowd of more than 10,000 on Friday night at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

Myrtle Beach quarterback Tyler Keane, coming off a two-game stretch of 13 touchdown and no interceptions, was picked five times by the Braves – two by Matt Chatfield. He returned one for a touchdown and the other came in the fourth quarter to wrap up the upset victory for the first place team in the region.

The Seahawks (6-1, 1-1) won the toss and elected to receive, launching an 80-yard drive to take what seemed like early control of the game. Keane hit Renard Pointer for an 18-yard touchdown pass to put the Seahawks on top 7-0 early as the homecoming crowd expected to see more where that came from.

Myrtle Beach was in position to expand its lead, and actually did get a field goal from Max Huggins that would have made it 10-0. But a personal foul penalty on Socastee tempted the Seahawks into taking the points off the board and Keane was intercepted by Chatfield, who returned it 102 yards for a game-tying touchdown.

Keane threw his second interception of the game to Socastee’s Wayne Baurle and the Braves cashed in on the short field for a 1-yard TD run by Adam Crane for a 14-7 lead. The Seahawks drove deep into Socastee territory but Max Huggins missed a 36-yard field goal attempt and Myrtle Beach trailed at the half.

The Braves came out of the locker room and established their power ground game, driving the length of the field for a touchdown drive that was capped by Crane’s 3-yard TD run for a 20-7 lead and all the momentum. But Socastee missed the PAT to open the door for a Myrtle Beach comeback.

The Seahawks drove downfield but stalled at the 1-yard line, forcing them to settle for a field goal and a 20-10 deficit. After getting the ball back and driving for another score, Keane was intercepted by Eric Mortel and Daquon Brown broke loose for a 66-yard touchdown run that made it 27-10 with 7 minutes remaining.

Myrtle Beach tried a desperation comeback but Keane was once again intercepted by Chatfield. The Seahawks eventually got the ball back and scored on a 3-yard TD run by Keane, but it was too little too late as the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Socastee and the Braves were able to run out the clock. Keane was picked off for the fifth time on a final Hail Mary pass.

Socastee celebrated its first victory over their rivals since 1999 and snapped the Seahawks’ 20-game region winning streak in their own backyard, but the Braves have little time before facing another key region showdown. They face Georgetown next week with sole possession of first place in the region on the line.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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