Week 10 Preview & Picks: Chiefs’ surge fuels rivalry

There are rivalries based on geography and rivalries based on competition. For the past six years, the annual Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach football meeting has fallen into the former category.

During the same span that the Seahawks won two state championships and had record-setting offensive success, the Chiefs were struggling through a 22-game winless streak and a major rebuilding project. Over the past six seasons, Myrtle Beach defeated North Myrtle Beach by a combined score of 336-26.

But oh how things have changed in this breakthrough year for the Chiefs (8-1) and reloading season for the Seahawks (5-4). Both enter tonight’s regular-season finale in Little River with identical 3-1 region records, so the winner wraps up runner-up in the league and a first-round home playoff game.

Rain could play a major role in the contest, especially if the Seahawks are forced to abandon their improving passing game for the WildHawk formation featuring Brandon Sinclair. A banged-up Georgetown team showed how to attack the set last week with gap blitzes to stop the sophomore sensation before he gets a head of steam.

North Myrtle Beach is light up front on defense but has the athletes to employ a similar strategy. More importantly, the Chiefs have the offensive weapons to seriously test the Seahawks’ defense, with QB Kendrick Furness, RBs Delonzo Williams and Laquinn Bellamy and receivers Cameron and Colby Gore. This rivalry finally becomes on based on competition. … North Myrtle Beach 27, Myrtle Beach 20.

* St. James at Socastee: The Braves (9-0) have clinched the region title and get one last tune-up before the playoffs, while the Sharks (2-7) can put a happy face on the end of a tough season by upsetting their rivals. Not this year. … Socastee 41, St. James 14.

* Conway at Sumter: The Tigers (1-8) are in danger of having their worst season since the infamous boycott season of 1989, and they get no mercy from the Gamecocks. … Sumter 31, Conway 13.

* West Florence at Carolina Forest: The Panthers (1-8) have the offense to hang with a lot of teams but just don’t have the defense to stop anyone. … West Florence 34, Carolina Forest 17.

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