Thunder vs. Lightning: MB, Braves take different paths

Myrtle Beach and Socastee enter Friday night’s football showdown undefeated. The similarities stop there.

Yes, both are known for their prolific offenses, but they come from two totally different philosophies. The Seahawks’ spread attack is instant death; the Braves’ triple option is slow, painful, methodical death.

The Braves are boa constrictors, slowly squeezing the life out of the ball, the clock and their opponent. The Seahawks are king cobras, one strike and you’re done. Myrtle Beach is an F-16 fighter jet and Socastee is a Sherman tank.

Both are led by quarterbacks who operate their systems with precision and have the ability to embarrass defenders – Myrtle Beach’s Tyler Keane with his golden arm and Socastee’s Hunter Renfrow with his two fleet feet.

Keane has thrown for 1,156 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Seahawks, including a state record-tying eight TD passes two weeks ago in a shootout with Conway. He was held to ONLY five TDs in last week’s win at Wilson.

Renfrow runs the option like a surgeon, dissecting defenses and putting them in a pick-your-poison position. He has rushed for 478 yards and 10 touchdowns and has added another 234 yards and two TDs through the rare air.

But it’s their weaponry that makes both QBs dangerous. Keane can throw to CJ Cooper, Trell Harrell, Renard Pointer or Malik Waring, just a few of his prime targets. The Seahawks are rolling up an average of 37 points per game.

Renfrow’s exchanges are more direct, but no less lethal. He can feed the dive to Austin Stanley and Tommy Lazaroff, make the pitch to Daquon Brown or Delano Williams, or keep it himself. The formula has worked to the tune of 41 points per game.

Their defenses have been consistently inconsistent, sometimes showing flashes of brilliance and at other times letting the flood gates open. Both have yielded exactly 140 points over six games, although Myrtle Beach has faced the tougher schedule.

Their only common foes were rivals Carolina Forest and Conway. Myrtle Beach beat the Panthers 33-10 compared to Socastee’s 49-40 victory, while the Braves beat Conway 35-21 compared to the Seahawks’ 56-55 win over the Tigers.

The comparison becomes meaningless at 7:30 p.m. Friday at a standing-room-only Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, but all signs point to an interesting matchup that should come down to which team does what it does best. … and which team has the ball last.

Photos by Rancier Photography

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