Solomon’s pick-six helps South take it to the house

In a game full of turnovers, Kenney Solomon had among the most influential.

The Socastee defensive back returned a third-quarter interception 46 yards for a touchdown, helping his South team win the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl 13-10 Saturday at Coastal Carolina’s Brooks Stadium. It was one of six interceptions to go along with two fumbles.

More importantly, it was much more exciting end to Solomon’s fantastic high school career that what he had previously been afforded.

“I felt like I put some momentum in the team,” he said. “I felt like if I could return it, we could win this.”

Solomon’s interception came midway through the third quarter off a tipped pass. At that point in the game, the North led 3-0 and had been quite successful shutting down the South’s offensive attack.

The Braves’ senior, though, turned the tide. Although both teams would score again before the end of the game, the South squad never trailed again the rest of the way.

That was, in part, because the South defense was able to make up for Solomon’s lone gaffe. He muffed a punt in the fourth quarter, giving the North the ball inside the red zone.

“I looked up before I could get my hands on it,” he said. “That was the first time I had ever muffed a punt.”

Like most of the rest of the game, however, the defense came through.

South teammate Calantre Morrison of Summerville snagged one of his two interceptions of the final quarter, preventing any damage.

Undoubtedly, the North-South All-Star game was yet again all about the defenses. And that meant one last prep opportunity for Myrtle Beach’s J.B. Favorite. The Seahawks’ lineman had 14.5 sacks during the team’s Class 4A state championship run this fall.

On Saturday, he added one more in the second quarter.

“We came out as if we wanted it all,” Favorite said. “We were down 3-0 at halftime and we had to come out in the second half and step it up. And that’s what we did.”

The South victory ended a three-year North winning streak. The North had also won 12 of the last 15 seasons. Many of those were blowouts, something that clearly wasn’t going to happen this time around given the dominance of both defenses.

It was the lowest-scoring game in the series since 2012, when the South won 23-0, and the fewest points scored by the winning team since the North won 11-0 in 2005.

In addition to the eight turnovers, there were also two missed field goals and 11 total punts. It created an ugly game, at least in terms of lack of points.

“That’s a nice way to put it, especially starting off,” Favorite said. “There’s not a lot of sound play, a lot of efficient play. But defensively, it was a great game on both sides of the ball.”

– Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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