Week 5 Previews & Picks: Rivalry time for local teams

mbfoot-handoffThe Battle for the Victory Bell has been a close rivalry in recent years, and that appears to be the case again Friday night when No. 2-ranked Myrtle Beach travels to The Backyard to take on Conway.

The Class 5A Tigers (2-2) had a bye week to prepare for the Seahawks (5-0), who pulled out a 24-21 win over Carolina Forest last week. If recent history holds up in this year’s installment, expect another nail-biter.

Conway scored a 25-22 win over Myrtle Beach last season, snapping a streak of seven wins in the last eight meetings for the Seahawks. During the past decade, seven games have been decided by 10 points or less.

Conway dominated the early years of this rivalry, but things have swung Myrtle Beach’s way lately. That trend continues Friday as the Seahawks bring the Victory Bell back to the beach. … Myrtle Beach 27, Conway 24.

* Socastee at St. James: The other intra-county rivalry Friday is the Battle of Highway 707, as the Braves travel a few miles down the road to face the winless Sharks. Both teams have struggled this year and look to right their seasons against rivals.

Socastee (1-3) has suffered back-to-back losses to Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach by a combined score of 115-3. St. James (0-4) has been shutout in two of the past three weeks against some tough competition.

Despite the difficulties the two teams have faced in the first half of the season, this one will be just as intense as any installment in the 707 series. … Socastee 20, St. James 16.

* North Myrtle Beach at Camden: The No. 7-ranked Chiefs (5-0) play their third straight road game and their first outside the Grand Strand area with a trip to Camden.

This game is an opportunity for the Chiefs to show fans and pollsters around the state that they belong higher in the polls and are a legitimate contender for a region and state title.

This matchup could be a bit of a trap game for the Chiefs, who face a huge showdown with rival Myrtle Beach next week. But this team seems focused and talented enough to bring home the W. … North Myrtle Beach 28, Camden 17.

* Loris at Carolina Forest: More than one month into the season and the Panthers (3-1) finally get to play their first home game against the outmatched Lions.

Carolina Forest’s undefeated season came to a heart-breaking end in last week’s 24-21 loss to Myrtle Beach. The Panthers get back on the winning track in a big way in their non-region finale. … Carolina Forest 34, Loris 13.

Last week 3-0; Overall 20-4

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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