Panthers suffer first defeat in showdown with Knights

The Carolina Forest offense watched nearly helplessly as Ailym Ford did what he’s done to so many others in the past.

The West Florence tailback put on a performance for the ages in the second half Friday night at Florence’s Memorial Stadium and led his Knights squad to not only a 51-44 victory, but also into the driver’s seat for the Region VI-5A championship and a shot at homefield advantage for the first three rounds of the playoffs.

On the flip side of that, the Panthers and coach Marc Morris finished short of winning what would have been arguably the biggest regular-season game in school history.

“What do you say about [Ford]?” Morris asked rhetorically. “The sad thing is we thought our kids were doing a good job fitting up where they needed to fit up. We just couldn’t get him down. He’s a great player.”

In the first half, the normally electric Ford was relatively contained. He rushed for 63 yards and was kept out of the end zone.

After halftime, it was a different story. The 5-foot-9 running back – announced earlier in the week as one of the five finalists for South Carolina’s Mr. Football honor – put up 268 more yards, four touchdowns and three two-point conversions. He finished with 331 rushing yards, roughly one year after he piled up 290 against Carolina Forest.

His effort squashed what had been a pretty stellar evening for the Panthers offense. David Legette ran for 215 yards three touchdowns and quarterback Mason Garcia also had 105 yards and two scores on the ground and another 146 yards passing.

It simply wasn’t enough to keep up with Ford and West quarterback Cooper Wallace (129 yards rushing). Ford ended the high-scoring evening with his final touchdown 2:43 to go, and the Knights’ defense held on from there to close out the win.

“I knew when we got here we had some guys who could turn the corner and help us win,” said first-year Knights coach Jody Jenerette, who never won a region title in his 13 seasons at Aynor. “We’ll find out the next two games. Hopefully we can find a way to get them.”

Theoretically, these two teams and Conway (3-0 in region play) could all finish in a three-way tie for first place. However, Carolina Forest is trying not to worry about that moving into next week’s rivalry game against Conway.

The Panthers will need to win that game to stay alive for a top-two finish and a first-round home postseason game – something that has yet to happen since the school moved to the state’s largest classification in 2008.

“We’re going to move on,” Garcia said. “By all means, we have to put this behind us. We have to compete all week [in practice] and get ready for Friday.”

Said Morris: “Next week is crucial. Conway is going to come in 3-0. Our kids are going to have to bounce back.”

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outing

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outingFive Coast FA boys teams entered the Charlotte Invitational over [more]

Hemingway follows family, teammates to Gamecocks

Hemingway follows family, teammates to GamecocksSix minutes after his youngest child had announced his college [more]

MB Track & Field Club set for cross country season

MB Track & Field Club set for cross country seasonBuilding on the success of the track and field season, [more]

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football poll

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football pollDefending state champion Myrtle Beach opened the 2019 preseason as [more]

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sun

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sunThe Grand Strand’s 60-mile strip of sand and surf is [more]

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball Classic

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball ClassicIt’s been quite some time since this much new blood [more]

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur title

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur titleCoastal Carolina rising sophomore Tyler Gray carded four-straight rounds of [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy cause

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy causeThe water is a second home for August Powalie. The Myrtle [more]

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meet

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meetIt has been a long and winding trip to California [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titles

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titlesSouth Carolina Swimming welcomed almost 800 swimmers from 25 Swim [more]

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels Memorial

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels MemorialAs surfers prepare to hit the South Strand this weekend [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach