Week 2 Previews & Picks: Tigers vs. Braves, Round 1

Socastee HS defeats Southeast Raleigh Magnet HS 22 to 12For the second straight week Myrtle Beach plays in a Thursday night special, this time on the road at West Florence. But the rest of the Week 2 lineup has all local teams playing on the Grand Strand, including a couple of key intracounty clashes involving Conway at Socastee (Round 1) and Carolina Forest at St. James. Buckle up for a big week:

* Myrtle Beach at West Florence: The Seahawks came out of the gate nicely in last week’s 42-14 win over West Brunswick (NC), but this time they have to try to do so on the road. Location hasn’t been an issue since Myrtle Beach closed last year’s state title run with a rough road swing, and the Knights were the Seahawks’ lone win amid their 1-3 start.

Look for Myrtle Beach, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 3A, to light it up again with a balanced run/pass attack, and the Seahawks defense is gaining confidence. Myrtle Beach may gain more yardage than the 60-mile bus ride to Florence. … Myrtle Beach 44, West Florence 20.

* Conway at Socastee: This is the first of two installments of this rivalry this season. Because the Braves moved up and into the Tigers’ Region 6-4A, they will meet again Oct. 17 at Socastee for their official region game.

This one is a non-conference game, and it might not be very competitive if the Tigers can’t snap out of their early offensive funk. They managed just seven points in last week’s loss to Hoggard (NC). Socastee’s defense might be a bit easier to navigate, but stopping the Braves’ triple option will be critical. … Socastee 24, Conway 17.

* Carolina Forest at St. James: The Panthers’ defense completely collapsed last week at Fort Dorchester, and they didn’t get much help on the offensive end either. That could signal an opportunity for the Sharks, who can smell blood in the water after their 23-8 win at Andrews last week. St. James celebrates in its home opener. … St. James 27, Carolina Forest 21.

* West Brunswick at North Myrtle Beach: People picked on the Chiefs for not playing a tougher schedule in recent years, but they can’t say anything but this year’s early slate. The Chiefs may be the best 0-2 team in the state after losses to Class 2A powers Dillon and Loris. The Chiefs won’t be winless for much longer. … North Myrtle Beach 34, West Brunswick 13.

* First Baptist of Charleston at Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach: The Saints play their home opener against a fellow newcomer to the 11-man football ranks. First Baptist has allowed 105 in their first two losses combined, so the Saints have a chance to put up some points and earn their first win in SCISA A action. … CAMB 45, FBC 18.

Last week: 4-2; Overall: 8-3

Photo by Bill Grammer

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