MB turns rivalry rematch into mismatch with NMB

North Myrtle Beach was thrilled to get another shot at its rival – this time in the third round of the playoffs.

So, too, apparently, was Myrtle Beach defensive lineman J.B. Favorite.

The Seahawks senior tallied six sacks, two tackles for loss and a couple quarterback hurries, helping he and his teammates to a 35-7 victory that sends them to the Lower State championship game. The fact that all that came in his final game against the oft-thorn in his team’s side was icing on the cake.

“I’ve been playing for Myrtle Beach football since seventh grade, and it’s gone back and forth wins and losses,” Favorite said. “This is my last year, last game at Doug Shaw for Myrtle Beach. You couldn’t set it up any better than that. I wanted to go out and make people remember my name.”

They’ll have a hard time forgetting his impact against the Chiefs this season.

In the Oct. 25 meeting, he sealed a three-point victory with a monster second half and superb final drive. Somehow, he made sure this one was even more convincing.

The Seahawk defense kept North Myrtle Beach out of the end zone until it was already a four-touchdown game, holding the Chiefs to fewer than 250 yards of total offense. North Myrtle Beach quarterback Cason McClendon threw for 228 yards and a touchdown to Derrien Holmes, but he was also harassed throughout by Favorite. The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl selection had four of those sacks in the opening half, two of which came one offensive play prior to a McClendon interception.

It was clear to everyone in the stadium by that point that Favorite was making his presence known. The result was the Chiefs forced to go a little more one-dimensional.

“They really clamped down on us defensively,” North Myrtle Beach coach Matt Reel said after his team’s season came to a close in the third round for the third consecutive season. “I felt really good about our run game going into it and not very good about it after about two quarters. [Favorite] is an unbelievable pass rusher, and we had to change a whole lot of what we do up front to handle that.”

Said Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson: “J.B. Favorite, what a great night he had. He’s playing in the North-South game and doesn’t have any offers, which is crazy. But what a great game. Defensively, we played lights out.”
Much like the Oct. 25 game that Myrtle Beach won 17-14, the Seahawks also led by double digits in this one. A long Luke Doty touchdown pass to Da’Ron Finkley at the end of the first quarter was followed up by a Jermani Green rushing score in the second quarter.

However, unlike North Myrtle Beach’s hard charge in the second half of that regular-season game, there was no threat of a comeback this time around. The Seahawks added a pair of third-quarter touchdowns and continued to stifle the Chiefs offense.

Doty finished with 243 yards passing – 100 of them going to Finkley – and Green ran for 92 yards and three touchdowns. The combined effort sets up a much-anticipated Myrtle Beach-Hartsville rematch for the Lower State championship next week at Kellytown Stadium. Earlier this month, the Red Foxes embarrassed Myrtle Beach to the tune of a 70-34 loss that equated to the most points ever scored on the Seahawks in Wilson’s 10-year tenure at Myrtle Beach.

That game got away from the Seahawks early, yet most believed their would be another meeting. After Friday’s win over North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach will be facing its third consecutive Region 6-4A opponent in the postseason.

Hartsville has clearly been the best of the bunch, although the Seahawks also clearly been playing some of their best ball of the season since that blowout loss. Myrtle Beach has won its three playoffs games leading into next week by an average of 35 points.

“Last time we played Hartsville, we didn’t play well on defense,” Wilson said. “Our defensive staff and our defensive players realized that. I think they’ll be ready to go.”

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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