Prep Football Picks: Conway-Socastee clash should be a classic

The battle of Highway 544 looks more interesting this year than in past seasons now that Conway and Socastee enter the rivalry in a bit of a role reversal.

The Braves (3-0) have started the season on a roll, piling up points and yards against lesser opponents, while the Tigers (1-2) have struggled so far against stiffer competition.

Losses to Upstate powers Northwestern and Rock Hill have left Conway a bit battered and bruised, both body and ego, entering this game that the Tigers have dominated over the decades.

But Socastee’s confidence has been building in close wins over Carolina Forest, West Brunswick (NC) and Lake City, just in time to welcome the rival Tigers to Braves Stadium.

Look for another close one, but the Braves may not be mentally ready yet to take down the Tigers. Conway is a better team than they have shown. … Conway 27, Socastee 24.

* South Florence at Myrtle Beach: The Seahawks are banged up after taking down Class AAAA foes Irmo and West Florence to open the season, and they take another big-school foe in the Bruins.

Also undefeated on the season, South Florence has yet to be scored upon. The Bruins’ stiff defense presents a true challenge for a Seahawks squad that may be missing its starting QB.

An ailing Tyler Keane could be replaced by all-purpose player CJ Cooper, who has been the Seahawks’ hero in the first two wins of the season. They’ll need him again in this one. … Myrtle Beach 20, South Florence 17.

* Carolina Forest at White Knoll: The Panthers finally got their first win of the season by taking down St. James last week, but White Knoll is a step up in class for Carolina Forest.

White Knoll also has rattled off a couple of wins after an 0-2 start to the season, and its defense grounded Airport in a 20-0 shutout last week.

The Panthers are sure to put up some points with their balanced offensive attack, but they still have some issues to sort out on defense. … White Knoll 24, Carolina Forest 20.

Last week: 5-1; Overall 11-3.

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