Week 10 Previews & Picks: NMB-MB tilt proves pivotal

mbfoot-14What a difference a half can make. Rewind exactly one year to halftime of the 2013 Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach football rivalry. Trailing at the intermission, the Seahawks scored 23 unanswered points for a 30-28 victory … and a new can-do attitude.

Myrtle Beach has not lost a game since, winning 17 in a row overall, including the 2013 Class 3A state championship and the 2014 Region 7-3A title. Whatever transpired in the locker room at halftime of that game proved to be the turning point for the program.

The Chiefs have experienced the opposite effect. Although they went on to reach the Lower State semifinal last season, the 2014 campaign has been filled with frustration. Their 3-6 overall record and 2-2 region mark under first-year coach Blair Hardin has seen heart-breaking losses and a myriad of mistakes that have cost them ballgames.

Don’t look for a reversal of fortunes in this year’s meeting. Although the Seahawks have already clinched the top seed for the playoffs, they aren’t likely to let a rival game slip away just to rest their starters. The Chiefs need to pull the upset and get help to make the postseason. … Myrtle Beach 34, North Myrtle Beach 17.

* South Florence at Socastee: The Braves have had a flair for the dramatic this season, highlighted by last week’s double-OT thriller over West Florence. They will need to work some more magic to do the same to the Bruins in a showdown for first place in Region 6-4A.

Socastee’s defense will have its hands full against South Florence quarterback Nick Jones & Co., and the offense needs to control the ball and the clock to give the Braves a chance to pull out another nail-biter. … South Florence 24, Socastee 22.

* Sumter at Conway: The Tigers hope to keep their faint playoff hopes alive against the Gamecocks, but last week’s offensive no-show leaves doubts if they can keep pace on the scoreboard. … Sumter 31, Conway 13.

* Carolina Forest at West Florence: The Panthers have been able to go toe-to-toe with some of the state’s heavyweights but have been unable to seal the deal. With the defense still hemorrhaging points, they will have a hard time turning the corner in this one. … West Florence 47, Carolina Forest 27.

* Lake City at St. James: The Sharks have flirted with upsets all season only to fall short. Thursday night is their last chance against the Panthers, who are in the playoff hunt and should have enough motivation to avoid a Shark attack. … Lake City 27, St. James 21.

* Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach at Pee Dee Academy: The Saints’ long inaugural season in 11-man football has been a tough one, but they will be back next season looking for some payback. … Pee Dee Academy 42, CAMB 14.

Last week 6-0; Season 35-10

Photo courtesy of MBHS Athletics

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