Week 8 Preview and Picks: Let the playoff races begin

It may be too early to start talking about playoff scenarios, but one game this week will determine which team will be a part of the future conversations.

St. James travels to Myrtle Beach following a string of subpar performances that has the Sharks (2-5 overall, 0-2 region) on the postseason ropes. A loss would make it all but impossible to earn a playoff bid.

The Seahawks (4-3, 1-1) are coming off a physically demanding defeat to rival Socastee and have to get over it against the upset-minded Sharks. Myrtle Beach needs to run the table to make the regular-season finale against North Myrtle Beach more interesting.

Comparison by opponent doesn’t help. St. James handled Carolina Forest earlier this season while Myrtle Beach blew a fourth-quarter lead to fall to the Panthers 41-35. The Seahawks scored a 33-21 win over Wilson, which beat St. James 28-14 last week.

While the Sharks have suffered three straight losses, the young Seahawks are getting better with age. Myrtle Beach running back Brandon Sinclair, who is averaging nearly 200 yards per game, has kept the offense moving and given the defense breaks long enough for both to develop.

In an odd surf, turf and sky battle, the Seahawks beat the Sharks with their ground and aerial attacks. … Myrtle Beach 34, St. James 20.

* Socastee at Georgetown: The Bulldogs looked like legitimate contenders for the region crown until North Myrtle Beach dismantled them 35-0 last week. The ailing Georgetown (4-3, 1-1) defense has its work cut out for it against the Braves’ triple-option threat. Hunter Renfrow and the Braves (7-0, 2-0) run loose in the Dog House. … Socastee 41, Georgetown 14.

* Wilson at North Myrtle Beach: The Chiefs (6-1, 1-1) have the talent, and now they are adding the confidence to compete for the region crown. That trend continues to grow tonight when the Chiefs’ stingy defense and maturing offense take down the Tigers (2-5, 1-1). … North Myrtle Beach 38, Wilson 7.

* Conway at West Ashley: The Tigers (1-6, 0-1) step outside of region play to face the Wildcats (4-3, 0-1) in Chuck Town. Conway’s season is starting to slip away and could use a confidence booster. … West Ashley 27, Conway 20.

* Carolina Forest at South Florence: The Panthers (1-6, 0-0) continue through the toughest stretch of their schedule against another ranked team. … South Florence 45, Carolina Forest 14.

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