Five things we learned from CNB Kickoff Classic debuts

confoot-4cnbIt appears Myrtle Beach’s high-flying offense is already firing on all cylinders. And by the looks of the Seahawks’ defense, it might have to.

Drayton Arnold threw four touchdown passes – two to Carolina Forest transfer Kyle Belack – in Myrtle Beach’s 28-16 victory over the visiting Aynor Blue Jackets in the nightcap of Friday night’s CNB Kickoff Classic.

But Myrtle Beach’s defense, which sparked the Seahawks to the Class 3A state championship last year, showed signs of weakness against the Class A Blue Jackets’ rushing attack. Aynor scored two TDs and 2-point conversions – all on the ground.

Conversely, Myrtle Beach eschewed the rushing game and left star junior tailback Brandon  Sinclair on the shelf while Arnold aired it out. Belack caught TDs of 23 and 48 yards, while Mailk Waring caught a 15-yarder and CJ Finkley caught a 70-yard bomb to cap the scoring.

Loris 7, Carolina Forest 0

The much-maligned Panthers’ defense appears to have gained some ground over the offseason but the once-prolific offense was ravaged by Loris’ stingy defense on Friday.

The most significant play of the game might have come on the final offensive snap for Carolina Forest, when junior quarterback Will Brunson appeared to re-injure his right throwing hand. Brunson left the game holding his hand, then walked through the postgame line by using his left hand to shake hands with opposing players.

Carolina Forest’s defense, the lowest rated in the state last season, did a decent job of answering the Lions’ ground game until Levi Moody finally broke through to paydirt from 23 yards out for the lone score of the scrimmage.

North Myrtle Beach 7, Conway 0

With the offseason coaching change to Blair Hardin and the loss of star tailback Delonzo Williams, North Myrtle Beach unveiled its new pass-oriented attack against Conway.

Despite a game that was filled with five turnovers, the Chiefs and quarterback Kendrick Furness showed they have what it takes to move the ball through the air. He hit Colby Gore for a 48-yard TD and the only score of the contest, and the NMB defense did the rest.

Conway, operating under new starting quarterback Peyton Derrick, looked out of synch for much of the scrimmage and was unable to move the ball with any regularity. The Chiefs’ defense could be critical to their season early while the offense settles into its new attack.

St. James 14, Green Sea Floyds 6

The St. James football team is getting a little help from the Sharks’ futbol team this season in the form of running back and soccer standout Quadarius Grate, who scored a 25-yard touchdown run on his team’s opening possession en route to the win.

Grate and backfield mate Alan Crum got into the end zone for the Sharks as Crum capped the scrimmage with a 10-yard TD run. The Sharks defense looked impressive in coach Robby Brown’s debut with St. James, which is still seeking its first winning season in program history.

Socastee 13, Waccamaw 0

It’s been five long years before a starting quarterback took a snap at Socastee whose last name wasn’t Renfrow. But with the Renfrow brothers gone, the Braves turned the offense over to Jordan Hodge.

Hodge led the Braves on a pair of scoring drives, capped with touchdown runs by Angelo Sauter and Buck Bacot. But Socastee’s triple-option also saw some transition pains, losing a pair of fumbles against the smaller Warriors.

The Braves defense did a respectable job of shutting down the Warriors. Socastee’s defense will be critical to keeping them in games while the new-look offense gets untracked.

Photo by Chuck Silvey

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