Week 1 Football Picks: Chiefs, Braves can be even better

As impressive as North Myrtle Beach was in last week’s 32-0 win over Waccamaw, the scary thing is the Chiefs could have played much better.

The defense posted a shutout and scored two safeties, so the offense could have stayed on the bus. It didn’t, of course, opting instead to drive a more effective mode of transportation fueled by twin engines Delonzo Williams and Kendrick Furness, who rushed and passed the offense to 420 total yards.

The Chiefs did most of the damage between the goal lines due to turnovers and missed opportunities. They can’t do that against a sturdy Loris defense that rescued a sputtering Lions offense in last week’s 13-10 win over St. James. This is the Chiefs’ biggest challenge until region play. … NMB 20, Loris 13.

* West Brunswick at Socastee: So far first-year coach Doug Illing’s new power-spread offense looks more power than spread. The Braves threw exactly one pass in Friday’s 48-20 season-opening win over Carolina Forest, relying on its triple-option attack to ground and pound the Panthers.

So does Illing’s more balanced system still a work in progress, or is he saving the new-look offense for bigger foes? Either way, he’s smart enough not to change until someone proves they can stop the fullback dive and option pitch. West Brunswick isn’t one of them. … Socastee 44, West Brunswick 14.

* Andrews at St. James: The Sharks offense needs to gain some traction after last week’s loss to Loris. Their lone points came on a fumble recovery in the end zone and a 39-yard field goal by female kicker Nicole Myers. The Yellow Jackets are playing their season opener. … St. James 17, Andrews 13.

* Richmond County (NC) at Myrtle Beach: Most years this matchup would be a classic. But this season, with the Seahawks playing their first game since losing 15 of 22 starters, maybe not. The Raiders are loaded year after year and have the depth and talent to beat the Seahawks at home. … Richmond County 28, Myrtle Beach 24.

* Carolina Forest at Fort Dorchester: The Panthers hung tough with Socastee for a half and can’t afford to run out of gas again on the road. … Fort Dorchester 27, Carolina Forest 20.

* Conway vs. New Hanover (NC): The Tigers were able to throw for 244 yards last week but lost to Georgetown. Things don’t get any easier against the Wildcats in the Surf and Turf Kickoff Classic. … New Hanover 23, Conway 17.

College

* North Carolina at South Carolina: The Carolina border battle kicks off the college football season Thursday night, and the Gamecocks are ready to take it to the next level in 2013. Look for Jadeveon Clowney to spend more time in the Tar Heels’ backfield than their own QB. … South Carolina 34, North Carolina 17.

* Georgia at Clemson: The Tigers have historically had issues in season openers but they usually debut against an inferior opponent to cover their tracks. But the Bulldogs are no pushovers and are favored to win the SEC East – too tough for the Tigers to handle. … Georgia 35, Clemson 31.

* Coastal Carolina at SC State: The Chants tackle a tough opener on the road, and the Bulldogs are expected to field a good team in 2013. But the Chants are ready to pick up where they left off last season and start the season on a winning note. … Coastal Carolina 27, SC State 21.

 

 

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