Week 3 Previews & Picks: Battle of unbeatens on tap

Week 3 just might be one of the best weeks in high school football on the Grand Strand in recent memory, especially during the non-region schedule.

Carolina Forest’s interstate showdown with Hoggard (NC), one of three showdowns between undefeated teams, is now the Thursday night appetizer for a Friday night football feast that includes No. 4 Class 2A Carvers Bay at No. 3 Class 4A North Myrtle Beach, No. 2 Class 4A Hartsville at No. 5 Class 5A Conway, and local rivalry game Myrtle Beach at undefeated Socastee.

It’s that time of year when  the real contenders make themselves known. it’s also time to put on the big-boy pigskin picking pantsl:

* Hoggard (NC) at Carolina Forest: The Panthers (2-0) have found an effective formula for pouncing on their prey – a suffocating defense and a physical ground game that wears opponents down. The Vikings (2-0) have had similar success this season and will be hungry to avenge last year’s close loss at home. … Carolina Forest 23, Hoggard 20.

* Myrtle Beach at Socastee: The Braves (2-0) got a week off to get ready for the rival Seahawks (1-2), who have struggled to get in gear so far this year. Socastee has a big advantage up front on both sides of the ball against Myrtle Beach, but the Seahawks have the edge in depth and talent. This one should come down to special teams, particularly PATs. … Myrtle Beach 28, Socastee 27.

* Carvers Bay at North Myrtle Beach: The Chiefs (3-0) have rolled through their first three games but have yet to play their best football. Turnovers and penalties have hindered them from hitting their stride, and Monday’s make-up win over West Brunswick (NC) gives them only four days of recovery time before a showdown with a physical Bears team. … North Myrtle Beach 27, Carvers Bay 18.

* Hartsville at Conway: The Tigers (3-0) are still satinging from last year’s blowout loss to the Red Foxes (3-0), but this time they get to play in The Backyard with an star-studded cast of players. Conway’s defense will keep this one closer than last year’s lopsided score, and the Tigers offense will make it come down to the wire. … Conway 30, Hartsville 28.

* St. James at Lake City: The Sharks (1-2) lost starting quarterback Berkeley Young for the season and will have to rally around the backup to have a chance against a tough upcoming schedule. The Panthers have too much for the Sharks to overcome. … Lake City 23, St. James 13.

* Christian Academy of MB at King’s Academy: The Saints (1-1) go to the Lions’ den to face a team huingry for their first win. … King’s Academy 34, Christian Academy 27.

Last week 5-1; Overall 14-4

– Photo by Chuck Silvey

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