Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to wins

A year ago, Darius Hough decided the only bright lights he was going to play under were those in a gym.

On Friday, he showed why Mickey Wilson and the rest of the Myrtle Beach program is thrilled he ultimately changed his mind and elected to return to the gridiron.

Hough, a senior receiver playing just his third football game since he was a sophomore at Gray Collegiate, caught four touchdown passes in the Seahawks’ 43-28 nationally televised victory over Carolina Forest in front of approximately 5,100 fans at Panther Stadium.

“I found the extra strength to go on and battle adversity,” Hough said. “We’ve got plenty of weapons on offense. I try to help the best I can. Eventually your time is going to come.”

Hough, who moved to Myrtle Beach from the Midlands in the summer of 2018, put his stamp on a game that was about as hyped as any recent non-region contest in Horry County history. The game feed was carried by the Stadium Network, and at least 25 different members of the media were in house — in addition to the swelling crowd that started filing in 90 minutes before kickoff.

And yet, with all of that going on, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound basketball standout proved to be a heck of a football talent, too.

“What a great a story,” Wilson said. “He got some bad advice from some people who told him he shouldn’t play football. He came to me at the end of the school year and said ‘I want to play football.’ He has worked his tail off and I’m just so proud of him.”

Hough’s four touchdown receptions came between the 4:14 mark of the second quarter and the final 31 seconds of the third. That’s four touchdowns inside of 16 minutes of game time.

In that span, Myrtle Beach went from trailing by 11 points to leading by 22.

Luke Doty obviously had quite a bit to do with that.

The University of South Carolina commit finished the game 18-of-28 with an interception and five touchdown passes — the four to Hough and a fourth-quarter strike to J.J. Jones. He rebounded from a slow start to compete 15 of his final 20 attempts.

“It prepares us for big-time playoff football,” he said of Friday’s environment. “They had a big crowd. We had a big crowd. That’s going to pay off for us down the road. [Against Carolina Forest] we just shut out all of the noise.”

Of course, Doty doing what he did in a bigger game is becoming old hat. In his last eight games, dating back to the start of the 2018 playoffs, Doty has accounted for 28 touchdowns.

The last five came after it appeared that Carolina Forest was better prepared for the crowd.

The Panthers jumped out to a 14-3 lead after quarterback Mason Garcia rushed for a second-quarter touchdown and then Raquon Brown added one of his own. Two first-half turnovers prevented Carolina Forest from expanding its lead more while Myrtle Beach went to top 35 points for the eighth straight game.

“That’s something we talk about religiously, playing perfect plays and not worrying about the scoreboard,” Panthers coach Marc Morris said. “Our defense really played well 85 percent of the time. But next thing you know they’re putting up some points.”

Carolina Forest did prevent Myrtle Beach from running it off its own field, courtesy of Garcia’s play-making ability. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns — a second scoring run and long pass to Josh Murphy — made it a one-score game and allowed him to finish with 184 yards passing and another 98 rushing.

On the ensuing drive, though, Doty hit Jones for what would end up being the clinching score.

It made sure that Hough’s career night would count toward a win. Given that he had caught just two passes in the team’s first two games, and the fact that he was purely a basketball player not all that long ago, he certainly took advantage of his moment to shine.

By Ian Guerin

St. James 42, Georgetown 7

The St. James High football team is accustomed to lopsided scores and running second-half clocks, just not from a winning perspective.

Following Friday’s resounding 42-7 road victory over Georgetown, the Sharks (3-1) prefer the other side of an old-fashioned whipping.

St. James rolled up nearly 400 yards – 353 on the ground – while holding the Bulldogs (1-2) without an offensive touchdown on the night.

The Sharks claimed their third victory of the season, matching the program’s total number of wins over the previous three years combined.

“I’m so proud of what these guys are doing, especially for the seniors,” said St. James second-year head coach Tommy Norwood. “Three wins is as many as they have had (in their varsity careers). They’ve worked hard to turn things around so it’s good to see it paying off for them.”

It’s not only the fact that the Sharks are off to their best record since a 2-2 start in 2015, the only winning season in program history; it’s the way the Sharks dominated – scoring on their first five drives behind two talented senior running backs and a strong offensive line.

“It feels good,” said Deondray Stanfield, who rushed for three TDs. “We like to think we represent a new foundation for St. James football.”

Stanfield formed a devastating 1-2 punch with backfield mate Malachi Butler, who ran for two TDs. The duo combined for 326 yards and five TDs.

“The offensive line did a great job of blocking for us,” Butler said. “No matter who gets the ball, we just try to keep the momentum going.”

The Sharks did that so well that they attempted only seven passes. Quarterback Ethan White, also a senior, completed 4 of 7 passes and also ran for a score. After all, it’s hard to throw the ball with ground game so effective.

“We like to be a little more balanced than that, but we were picking up 7, 8 yards a carry,” Norwood said. “There was no need to throw it.”

The Sharks played a near-flawless first half – racking up 20 first downs and making five TD drives – until the final play before halftime.

Leading 35-0 and looking to cap it with a last-second field goal, the Sharks had the kick blocked and Eric Sherrill ran it back as time expired. It was the only score of the game for the Bulldogs, who lost four fumbles and two loss-of-downs.

The Sharks were turnover-free and allowed just over 100 yards of total offense for the Bulldogs. They host Aynor next week before opening Region 6-5A play.

By Terry Massey

North Myrtle Beach 26, Socastee 0

The No. 3-ranked North Myrtle Beach Chiefs won their 20th consecutive regular season non-region game with a 26-0 victory over Socastee.

The win improves the Chiefs to 4-0 while Socastee falls to 0-3.

The NMB defense posted its second shutout of the season and has yet to allow more than seven points in any game this season.

Socastee ran 35 plays in the game and posted a negative five yards of total offense. The Braves have yet to score this season.

The Chiefs will take a week off before beginning Region VI-4A play at Marlboro County on Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

By Wayne White

Photo courtesy of Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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