Playoff Previews & Picks: It’s win or go home time

It’s playoff time on the Grand Strand. Here’s a  look at all the local teams facing the win-or-go-home scenario the rest of the season:

* Beaufort at Myrtle Beach: The Seahawks (6-5) remember last year’s late slide that saw them surrender more than 50 points per game in losing their final two games of the season. This time Myrtle Beach is headed in the opposite direction, winning their last three games by a total score of 189-40 (that’s 63-13 for the mathematically challenged).

Beaufort (8-2) appears to be suffering a late slump itself, suffering their only two losses over the last three weeks to region foes, forcing the Eagles to settle for the third seed and a road trip to a fired-up Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. Look for the Seahawks to ride their momentum to a hard-fought victory. … Myrtle Beach 24, Beaufort 17.

* Colleton County at North Myrtle Beach: The Class 4A No. 2-ranked Chiefs (10-0) capped a school-first undefeated season and outright Region 7-4A championship last week, and they seem to be improving by the week heading into the postseason. North Myrtle Beach’s pass defense will be put to the test by the high-powered Colleton County passing attack, but the Chiefs have the athletes in the secondary and on both sides of the ball to cruise into the second round. … North Myrtle Beach 44, Colleton County 20.

* Wando at Conway: This Class 5A playoff opener is a rematch from Week 1 that saw the Tigers (9-1) settle to a 17-7 road win. But that was back when Conway and first-year head coach Carlton Terry were still struggling to find the team chemistry that has helped them roll to the Region 6-5A title and a No. 4 state ranking. Conversely, the Warriors (4-6) have been worn down over the course of the season and are losers of three of their last four. This one will be a different story in the Backyard. … Conway 35, Wando 12.

* Carolina Forest at Lexington: The Panthers (5-5) advance to face a tough Wildcats (7-3) team that has won four its last five outings – the last two via shutouts – under former North Myrtle Beach coach Perry Woolbright. That’s bad news for the Panthers, who have averaged only 17 points per game over the past month while allowing more than 30. The Panthers have dropped their last three games of the regular season and will have a hard time avoiding a fourth against the Wilkdcats. … Lexington 27, Carolina Forest 17.

* Socastee at Fort Dorchester: The Braves (5-5) were rewarded for their solid season with a playoff berth, but the bad news is it comes with a trip to face the top-ranked Patriots. Socastee has had an amazing season for a squad with a small roster compared to 5A foes. It’s a shame it has to end against a state power. … Fort Dorchester 45, Socastee 20.

* Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach at Thomas Hayward: The Saints (6-4) have plenty of reasons to be proud of their nrecord-setting season, earning six victories, a winning record and a playoff berth for the first time in the young program’s history. But the Saints run into a road block at Thomas Heyward, the Region I champion and a SCISA power. … Thomas Heyward 27, CAMB 24.

* Coastal Carolina at Arkansas: No, not Arkansas State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff or any other hyphen. We’re talking about THE University of Arkansas, where the FBS newcomers will travel to Fayetteville to face a surging squad og Razorbacks. Their comeback win at Ole Miss was just what the doctor ordered for the Hogs, while a guarantee game against an SEC team while on a seven-game losing streak is the last thing the Chants need right now. … Arkansas 49, CCU 10.

* South Carolina at Georgia: The Gamecocks draw the short straw to face the Bulldogs in Athens on the week they leapfrogged Alabama for the top spot in the College Football Playoff poll. The Dawgs devoured the Gators last weekend, so maybe the Gamecocks can slip up on them a bit and make it a game – for a while. … Georgia 27, USC 20.

* Clemson at NC State: The Tigers dodged a major bullet against the Wolfpack last season to keep their national championship season on track. NC State missed a potential game-winning field goal after outplaying the Tigers for most of the day. This time they put another scare in the Tigers, but still not enough to win. … Clemson 23, NC State 16.

Last week 7-1, overall 55-21

– Photo by Chuck Silvey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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