Week 10 Previews & Picks: Points aplenty this season

You don’t have to be a math major to keep up with this high-scoring high school football season, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. But you might want to grab a calculator for it all to add up.

This season has been down-right offensive – literally, with several area teams setting scoring records at a record clip. Local scoreboards have been lighting up like neon beachwear stores.

Consider this, Conway and Myrtle Beach won by identical 62-14 scores last week, and they weren’t even involved the highest-scoring local game of the week. That distinction belongs to North Myrtle Beach’s 45-35 shootout win with Wilson (80 total points and more than 1,000 combined yards), and those lofty numbers are starting to become the norm for Grand Strand teams.

Myrtle Beach, which allowed 50 or more points in three of its first four games, has bounced back to win their last two by a total score of 135-14. Socastee, which scored a season high 65 a month ago, has allowed more than 50 points per game since. North Myrtle Beach has posted at least 40 in four of their last five, including 63 against Camden. And little ol’ Christian Academy played in the shootout of the season – a 57-56 overtime thriller over Florence Christian. It’s almost like basketball on grass.

The offensive scores mean I have to up my game – and my numbers – to keep pace with this crowd. No more 24-21 predictions only to see them hot at halftime. We’re getting into the stretch run of the season win defense wins championships, but that adage might be under assault this year. Just a reminder that these are football picks, not basketball, no matter how the scores might sound.

* Conway at Sumter: This is THE big game in Region 6-5A as the Tigers take on the Gamecocks with a chance to clinch the league crown. Sumter has owned Conway in recent years but this is the toughest and most talented Tigers team in a long time. Look for Conway to take the next step tonight. … Conway 38, Sumter 35.

* West Florence at Carolina Forest: The Panthers need to win tonight and root for their arch rivals from Conway to keep their region title hopes alive. Look for quarterback Matt Beale to have another big night on the ground and through the air to lock up a playoff spot. … Carolina Forest 41, West Florence 24.

* Marlboro County at North Myrtle Beach: The No. 2-ranked Chiefs can clinch the Region 7-4A title tonight with a win at McAlpine Stadium, which is historically a tough place for road teams to play but will be a mere bump in the road for the steamrolling Chiefs … North Myrtle Beach 45, Marlboro County 14.

* Socastee at South Florence: The Braves are starting to run out of steam – and players – during the stretch run of the season but they need a big win at Florence Memorial Stadium to have any chance of making the playoffs. This one could go either way. … Socastee 42, South Florence 41.

* Wilson at St. James: Booking Wilson as a playoff opponent probably seemed like a good idea before the season, but the Tigers are lighting up the scoreboard with ease – including more than 600 yards of total offense against North Myrtle Beach’s powerful D last week. Let’s hope the Sharks can keep pace. … Wilson 47, St. James 28.

* Christian Academy at Pee Dee Academy: The Saints can punch their first playoff ticket in school history with a road win tonight, but face a tough test to do so. … Pee Dee Academy 35, Christian Academy 34.

* Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State: Hard times are here for the Chants, who have quarterback issues and a banged up defense as a result of their step up to the Sun Belt. It’s always tough to beat the Mountaineers in their home stadium, and this really isn’t the best time for the Chants to try. … App State 38, Coastal 27.

Last week 6-2; overall 43-18

Photo by Chuck Silvey

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