Week 1 Previews & Picks: MB, NMB eye big encores

nmbfoot-dtackleSo which two-touchdown win was more surprising in Week 0: Myrtle Beach’s 35-19 victory over visiting Byrnes, or North Myrtle Beach 28-13 home win over Timberland? Both were relatively unexpected (although yours truly correctly picked the local teams), and both were equally impressive.

But surprising? Although the Seahawks’ win came against a Class 5A state power, Myrtle Beach’s program has soared at a similar level one classification below. And while the Wolves are a 3A power program, the Chiefs are still trying to establish themselves among the state’s elite. So the tiebreaker for “upset” status goes to a North Myrtle Beach team with a ton of potential.

The Chiefs have some serious offensive weapons, so it was no surprise to see quarterback Ronnie Bass, running back Kered Class, and receiver Cullen Mitchell making plays on that side of the ball. But North Myrtle Beach’s defense may have been the biggest surprise, with Stephon Wilson, Steven Bryant and other Chiefs swarming the Wolves, who were held to one TD before the final seconds of the game.

The Chiefs keep their upstart show at home Friday night against rival Loris. If the momentum from Week 0 carries over, the Chiefs will roll again. … North Myrtle Beach 34, Loris 13.

* New Hanover (NC) at Myrtle Beach: The Seahawks also got it done with defense last week, but the offense can’t count on their counterparts to serve up six turnovers and two non-offensive TDs every week. Myrtle Beach was held to less than 200 total yards, and they face an out-of-state power Friday against visiting New Hanover. Look for a young Seahawks offense to show much improvement between Weeks 0 and 1. … Myrtle Beach 31, New Hanover 17.

* Conway at Wando: The Tigers were also impressive right out of the gate in last week’s 41-19 victory over visiting Georgetown, but they take on a school their own size against the Class 5A Warriors on Friday. Conway quarterback Peyton Derrick showed off his arm and wide-receiver weapons in last week’s five-TD Performance, and he should have another field day against the Warriors. … Conway 28, Wando 20.

* Carolina Forest at Fairmont (NC): The Panthers open the season against a Golden Tornadoes team that already has one game under its belt – a 20-point loss to Westover. The Panthers hope to avoid the first-game jitters and start the season off on a winning note, and they have the talent to do so. … Carolina Forest 37, Fairmont 24.

* North Brunswick (NC) at Socastee: The Braves needed two days to complete their season-opening loss at West Brunswick, but this time they are at home against a Tar Heel State neighbor to the north. The Scorpions scored a huge 21-20 win over rival Whiteville last week and bring a ton of confidence to face a Socastee team in need of a confidence boost. … Socastee 22, North Brunswick 21.

* St. James at Waccamaw: The Sharks are still licking their wounds following last week’s season-opening loss to Loris. They should be able to make the right corrections and handle business against the Warriors. … St. James 27, Wacamaw 17.

* Christian Academy at Palmetto Christian Academy: The Saints are low on numbers but high on hope this fall but face a tough opening foe. … Palmetto Christian Academy 27, Christian Academy 20.

Last week 3-2; Overall 3-2.

Photo by Lesley M. Etherson

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