Week 1 Previews & Picks: New season, big surprises

It’s true what they say about football not being played on paper, because Week 0’s results shredded everything we thought we knew in the preseason. For instance, if I had told you to guess between pass-happy Myrtle Beach or ground-and-pound Socastee which team would throw five touchdown passes and which one would get shutout, most would have picked incorrectly. But that’s the beauty of a new football season; it is filled with surprises.

I hope somebody got the tag number of the truck that ran over Myrtle Beach in last week’s season opener, because I don’t think anyone saw that  51-0 shutout loss at Byrnes coming. It was a shocker for Myrtle Beach fans expecting their Seahawks to bounce back from last year’s bad finish. Instead it was a continuation of a disturbing trend of a porous Myrtle Beach defense that has given up a half-a-hundred points over its last three games.

The problem isn’t hard to pinpoint; the Seahawks’ have a undersized and inexperienced offensive and defensive line, with several players going both ways to try to plug the leaks. Despite having their usual cast of talented skill players, the Seahawks won’t be able to score and soar if they don’t start to block and tackle.

Of course, the season is still early. The last time Myrtle Beach got burned by Byrnes in 2010 proved to be their only loss as the Seahawks went on to win the state championship. They need to turn it around when they host Charlotte Christian at Ashley Booth Field at 4 p.m. Friday. … Myrtle Beach 24, Charlotte Christian 20.

* Socastee at North Brunswick (NC): The forward pass has made its way to Socastee as quarterback Hunter Illing threw five touchdown passes last week. The Braves lost a wild one to the Scorpions last season 44-40, but the addition of an aerial attack could prove the difference this time around. … Socastee 40, North Brunswick 34.

* Providence Day(NC) at Carolina Forest: The Panthers play their first of four straight home games against Providence Day, and they had an extra week to prepare as most teams in both Carolinas kicked off last week. Look for the Panthers to have a happy start to their opening homestand. … Carolina Forest 27, Providence Day 14.

* North Myrtle Beach at Loris: The Chiefs tried to fumble away their win at Timberland last week, but those early jitters should subside now that they are back in Horry County facing a neighboring rival. The Lions also struggled in a win over St. James but they will have a tough time with the talented Chiefs. … North Myrtle Beach 34, Loris 13.

* Waccamaw at St. James: The Sharks suffered a heart-breaking loss to Loris that extended their losing streak to 12 games dating back to 2015. But they showed a lot of fight under first-year coach Joey Price, and this game against rival Waccamaw could be just what they need to get over the hump. … St. James 20, Waccamaw 16.

* Conway at Wando: The Tigers let this one slip away last season and are hungry to turn the tables on the Warriors. Conway handled the coaching situation as well as can be expected in last week’s rout of Georgetown, and the Tigers are positioned for a big season under interim coach Carlton Terry. … Conway 44, Wando 20.

* Palmetto Christian at Christian Academy: The Saints open their season as the headliner in a doubleheader with Myrtle Beach at Ashley Booth Field. The Saints are finally getting the numbers they need to compete in 11-man football and should see it pay off in wins this season. … Christian Academy 33, Palmetto Christian 26.

Last week 3-2, Overall 3-2

Photo by Eric Walters

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