Week 6 Previews & Picks: Rain alters region openers

sjfoot-socshirtWith Myrtle Beach entering the season ranked No. 1 in the state, most already had the Seahawks penciled in to win the Region 7-3A championship. Good thing they didn’t use a pen.

The region opens play Thursday night to avoid the heavy rains in Friday’s forecast. St. James hosts Georgetown at 6 p.m., Myrtle Beach welcomes Wilson at 6:30 p.m., and North Myrtle Beach takes on visiting Lake City at 7:30 p.m.

Unlike recent seasons, the race for the league title is the opposite of Myrtle Beach’s wide receiving corps this year – wide open. Local rivals North Myrtle Beach (3-2) and St. James (3-2) are much improved, and the rest of the league – Georgetown (4-1), Lake City (4-1) and Wilson (3-2) – are all legitimate contenders for the region crown.

With four new receivers starting in the Seahawks’ high-octane offense, senior quarterback Drayton Arnold has struggled to develop the sort of timing and chemistry with his receivers that is needed to get the passing game off the ground. Senior running back Brandon Sinclair is rushing his way into the school record books to pick up the slack, but teams are starting to stack the line of scrimmage and dare Arnold to throw.

Wilson is allowing less than 13.6 points per game so scoring could be at a premium for the 10th-ranked Seahawks. The Myrtle Beach defense, which has given up twice as many points in their last three games, has to keep the Seahawks close until the offense finds a healthy balance. Before you write them off, consider that the Seahawks were sitting in this same 2-3 hole two years ago when they won the state title. … Myrtle Beach 27, Wilson 17.

* Georgetown at St. James: The Sharks gained some serious confidence and momentum entering region play by manhandling neighborhood rival Socastee last week. No. 9-ranked Georgetown presents a tougher test, rattling off four straight wins after a close loss to Conway in the season opener. The winner of this one automatically puts themselves in good position to be a region title contender. … St. James 17, Georgetown 14.

* Lake City at North Myrtle Beach: This game has been moved up to Thursday night, but the Chiefs had the previous week off to rest up for region play and try to recover from their heart-breaking loss to Socastee two weeks ago. The loss could have been just the thing to sharpen NMB’s focus before entering league play. If they can eliminate mental mistakes and turnovers, the Chiefs have the talent to make a run at the region championship. … North Myrtle Beach 24, Lake City 20.

* Christian Academy at Williamsburg Academy: The Saints (0-5) are still winless at midseason but a brutal early schedule behind them. The Stallions (2-4) present the Saints with their first fair shot at a victory if they can handle the road trip to Kingstree. … CAMB 14, Williamsburg Academy 13.

* Region 6-4A takes the week off, giving Carolina Forest, Conway and Socastee a much-needed break before kicking off league play next week.

Last week 3-1, Overall 22-9

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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