Socastee’s miracle season stopped by No. 1 Hartsville

The best football season in Socastee High’s history came to an end in the Lower State semifinals with Friday night’s 40-13 loss to No. 1 Hartsville, the only team to beat the No. 2-ranked Braves (12-1) all year.

In a season filled with “firsts” for Socastee – including first region title, first undefeated regular season and deepest playoff push – the Braves’ run finally ended against one of the few teams that could outrun them.

The fleet Red Foxes (13-0) turned two first-half fumbles into long touchdown runs and used its overall edge in team speed to leave Socastee in the dust – or in the case of Braves Stadium on Friday night – in the mud.

Hartsville’s Trey Rogers and Trey Samuels combined for more than 400 rushing yards and five touchdowns, including four TD runs in the first half to send Hartsville into the locker room with a 27-6 halftime lead and control of the game.

But more important than Hartsville’s offensive prowess, the Red Foxes defense successfully diagnosed Socastee’s triple-option attack, creating chaos and chasing down the Braves’ backs when they could find running room. The disparity in speed was evident from the start.

Following a Braves’ fumble on their opening possession, Rogers made them pay by breaking a 15-yard TD run. The Braves responded quickly with a nice drive, capped by Tommy Lazaroff’s 4-yard TD run, but the PAT was blocked and Socastee trailed 7-6.

It was as close as the Braves would get all night as Rogers scored again from 6 yards out and Samuel broke TD runs of 87 and 27 yards. Socastee drove deep into Hartsville territory just before the half but the Red Foxes held on downs to preserve the 27-6 halftime lead.

Any comeback hopes the Braves’ had were quickly dashed in the second half. Dominic Robinson broke free for a 37-yard TD run and Rogers added his third from 42 yards out on Hartsville’s first two possessions to put the game on ice at 40-6.

Socastee added a late TD run by Adam Crane from 1 yard out to account for the final score. The final minutes ticked off the clock as the Braves received a standing ovation from fans for delivering the best season in Socastee school history.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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