Football: Seahawk defense rocks Rebels; Braves falter

mbfoot-22fumbleAfter losing a pair of record-setting offensive players, the Myrtle Beach High football team knew it would have to rely more on its defense this season. The Seahawks just didn’t find out how much until Saturday night.

Fueled by a stellar defensive performance, Myrtle Beach defeated visiting state power Byrnes 35-19 in the season opener at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. The Seahawks shut down the high-scoring Rebels for nearly the entire first half while setting the table for the inexperienced offense.

It was special teams that helped the Seahawks get on the board first as Jaquan Chestnut recovered a bad punt snap in the end zone. Myrtle Beach’s Naseem Dewitt recovered another fumbled snap on the next series to set up Keyonte Sessions’ 5-yard TD run out of the Seahawks’ new-look heavy package. Sessions scored on a short run out of the same formation  for a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Myrtle Beach defense wasn’t done as Chris Weston took a pick-six 52 yards for a 28-0 lead, and Dewitt recovered another fumble to force Byrnes’ fourth turnover of the game. The Rebels were finally able to find the end zone shortly before halftime for a 28-6 deficit.

The second half was much like the first as Markell Johnson intercepted a Byrnes pass. When the Rebels did connect on a long TD drive on the final play of the third period, Myrtle Beach answered on an 80-yard long bomb from Lawson Cribb to Daron Finkley to push the lead back to 35-13.

Byrnes was able to score midway through the fourth to make it a 35-19 game, and the Rebels were trying to mount a comeback when the defense rose up again. Senior defensive end Sean McGonigal made his fourth of the team’s six sacks on the night and forced and recovered a fumble for Byrnes’ sixth turnover as the Seahawks ran out the clock on the win.

The Seahawks play host to New Hanover (NC) on Friday.

* West Brunswick 43, Socastee 28: Part 2 of the Braves’ season opener didn’t go much better as the Trojans managed to hang on for a season-opening, rain-delayed victory.

After thunderstorms forced the game to be postponed in the second quarter Friday night, the Braves (0-1) appeared ready to make a run on Saturday. They scored just two plays after resumption of play and converted the 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to 19-14 at halftime.

But West Brunswick’s Bubba McCray returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown and the Trojans added recovered a fumble to set up another TD for a 35-14 lead. Socastee cut the deficit to 41-28 late but gave up a safety to suffer the loss.

Socastee plays host to North Brunswick next Friday.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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