Week 9 Preview & Picks: Chiefs set to take charge

I feel like I’ve been saying this almost every week, but this is the week we find out about North Myrtle Beach. So far the No. 2-ranked Chiefs (7-0 overall, 1-0) have passed every test with flying colors, including a big victory over rival Myrtle Beach before getting a bye week to prepare for Friday’s showdown with fellow Region 7-4A unbeaten Wilson (5-2, 1-0).

NMB waxed Wilson 47-0 last season, but a new coach and attitude have the Tigers turning the corner quickly. Wilson wide receiver and Wake Forest commit Zion Keith will test the Chiefs’ superb secondary, and the Chiefs are playing on the road for the first time since Sept. 1. But the Chiefs’ balanced offensive attack and physical defense will keep NMB on track for the football program’s first-ever undefeated regular season. .

* Marlboro County at Myrtle Beach: The Seahawks (4-4, 1-1) can move above the .500 mark for the first time this season by beating the visiting Bulldogs (3-4, 1-1), and help themselves immensely in the playoff picture. This storied series has seen some wild shootouts, but the Seahawks should have the horses to handle this one. … Myrtle Beach 31, Marlboro County 13.

* South Florence at Conway: The No. 8-ranked Tigers (7-1, 2-0) are looking to remain tied atop the Region 6-5A standings by beating the Bruins and setting up a future first-place showdown with Sumter or Carolina Forest over the next fortnight. The Tigers won’t be looking ahead by beating the Bruins with ease. … Conway 35, South Florence 10.

* Carolina Forest at Sumter: The Panthers (5-2, 2-0) face a first-place showdown with the Gamecocks in a contest that will go a long way toward determining playoff positioning. Quarterback Matt Beale and the Panthers need to control the ball and the clock to help the defense against the explosive Gamecocks. … Sumter 27, Carolina Forest 17.

* Socastee at West Florence: The Braves (4-3, 0-2) travel to Florence looking for its first region win of the season. The Knights (1-6, 0-2) are in the same boat but can’t handle the Braves’ passing attack. … Socastee 34, West Florence 24.

* Dillon Christian at Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach: The Saints (4-3, 1-2) rose up on the road last week for their fourth win, but they will need even more mojo to get No. 5. … DCA 28, CAMB 24.

* Coastal Carolina at Arkansas State: The Chants (1-4) face the two-time defendinf Sun Bewlt champs in their own back yard for a fifth straight loss. … Arkansas State 34, CCU 21.

* South Carolina at Tennessee: The Gamecocks (4-2, 2-2) make a trip up on ol’ Rocky Top where things are still a bit rocky for Butch Jones. This loss might finish him. … USC 24, Tennessee 20.

* Clemson at Syracuse: The Tigers (6-0) are on a roll and won’t stumble against the Orange. … Clemson 38, Syracuse 13.

Last week 5-2, overall 37-16

Photo by Louis E, Keiner

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