Week 3 Previews & Picks: Socastee-MB a tight rivalry

socfoot-5runNo rivalry on the Grand Strand has produced the level of drama in recent years as Socastee-Myrtle Beach. Although the Seahawks have won the last two meetings, the margins of victory have come by a combined three points.

Last year 34-32 thriller should serve as a reminder for the No. 2 Seahawks (3-0) not to get overconfident when they run into their neighborhood nemesis. Although the Braves (1-1) defense is giving up 41 points per game and the Seahawks are scoring at a 37-point clip, those stats seem to mean little when these two teams square off.

The determining matchup in this one will be the much-improved Myrtle Beach defense, allowing only 13 points per game, against Socastee’s high-powered offense, scoring 42 per outing. Defensive bookends Daniel Mitchell and Sean McGonigal will be tough against the Hunter Illing-led option. On the other side of the ball, look for running back Jermani Green to have a breakout game. … Myrtle Beach 42, Socastee 20.

* North Myrtle Beach at Carvers Bay: The Chiefs (3-0) face a tough road test against the Bears (2-1), who are coming off big wins over Georgetown and Waccamaw. North Myrtle Beach appears to be for real this season after finally cutting down on the costly turnovers and penalties that have plagued them in recent seasons. That will be the key to surviving a trip to the Bay. … North Myrtle Beach 27, Carvers Bay 22.

* Carolina Forest at Hoggard (NC): The Panthers (2-0) make their second trip over the state line this season, hopefully with the same results. Their season-opening win over Fairmont (NC) showed that this is a different pack of Panthers this year – a much-improved defensive unit and an even more explosive offense. Averaging more than 200 rushing yards per game, Dyverse Simmons continues to be the workhorse, but quarterback Matt Beale has plenty of other weapons if and when an opponent shuts him down. The Vikings (1-2) won’t be the ones. … Carolina Forest 34, Hoggard 17.

* Conway at Hartsville: The Tigers (2-1) are much improved on defense, and they will need a huge effort on that side of the ball to have a chance against the Red Foxes (3-0), who are coming off back-to-back 61-point performances. Conway has the offense to put up some up some big numbers too but it will be hard to keep pace with the elusive Foxes in their home den at Kellytown Stadium. … Hartsville 42, Conway 28.

* Lake City at St. James: The Sharks (0-3) have had a rough start, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier against the visiting Panthers (2-1). After a season-opening loss to state power Hartsville, Lake City won their next two by a combined score of 86-19. That’s bad news for the Sharks, who gave up 42 to Carolina Forest last week while being shut out. They will need to find the endzone to have a chance against these Panthers. … Lake City 34, St. James 13.

Last week 4-0; Overall 12-4

Photo by Joel Beachum

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