Late FG lifts Socastee past St. James in muddy rivalry

socfoot-defense mud (2)Transferring from Myrtle Beach to rival Socastee doesn’t necessarily make you the most popular guy in school, but that shouldn’t be a problem anymore for kicker Alan Millan.

The senior backup kicker helped Socastee defeat another bitter rival, St. James, 17-14 in the Battle of Highway 707, which proved to be a real mud bath in the Shark Tank on Friday night. Tied 14-all with just under 5 minutes remaining, Millan booted a 33-yard field for the game-winner and Socastee’s defense did the rest to preserve the win.

Millan, who got the starting job after Socastee’s starter was suspended from the team, got the help of a mulligan and Mother Nature to deliver the game-winning kick in the clutch. He missed his first attempt of the season just before halftime before getting another chance, and heavy rains kicked in shortly after he booted home the big one.

The Sharks (2-3) drew first blood early after blocking a Socastee punt. St. James quarterback Zach Werba hit Trace Smith in the end zone from 12 yards out to put his team ahead 7-0, but the Braves (5-1) tied it up on Buck Bacot’s 3-yard TD run in the second quarter. Milan misfired from 31 yards out just before halftime to keep it tied.

Socastee appeared poised to take control in the second half by taking their opening drive down field and cashing in on Angelo Sauter’s 1-yard drive. But the Sharks held tough and mounted a long drive of their own to tie it up on Alan Crum’s 4-yard TD run early in the fourth.

The Braves got a big play from Sam McKinney to set up the final score. A St. James punt was rolling deep into Braves’ territory when McKinney scooped it up between several defenders and raced to the St. James 31. The Braves got it close enough to set up a second chance for Millan, who calmly booted it through the upright. Socastee added a late interception to clinch the win.

The Braves get a bye week before making their first foray into Region 6-4A play against Carolina Forest, while the Sharks will travel to Georgetown to open Region 7-3A play.

Photo by Bill Grammer

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