Week 6 Preview and Picks: Braves-Chiefs a real battle

The Week 6 lineup may be light in quantity, with three Grand Strand teams taking byes, but not on quality as a battle of unbeatens highlights the region openers.

Defending Region 7-3A champion Socastee travels to also-undefeated North Myrtle Beach in a game that could determine the region title.

The matchup of the night will be the Braves’ precision triple-option offensive attack against the Chiefs’ fast and physical defense. Socastee is averaging ust shy of 50 points per game; North Myrtle Beach is allowing less than 7.

North Myrtle Beach linebacker Laquinn Bellamy is a beast on defense and the Chiefs can move him around. But Socastee quarterback Hunter Renfrow is savvy enough to run the option away from Bellamy, and he and his teammates had a bye week to throw a few wrinkles in their scheme.

But the game may be decided when those two proven units are on the sidelines. The Chiefs’ balanced attack faces a Braves’ defense that is allowing 14 points per game. NMB quarterback Kendrick Furness is playing with more confidence and taking better care of the ball this season and he has the weapons to test Socastee’s strong secondary.

Although both teams are undefeated, they are also a relatively untested 5-0. Socastee’s five victims have a combined record of 4-24; NMB’s opponents are 11-14, including a win over a tough Loris team. The only common foe is West Brunswick, which Socastee defeated 44-30 and NMB winning the next week 34-7.

But at least fans of the Braves and Chiefs are in store for a close game tonight. This one comes down to the wire – and experience. … Socastee 27, North Myrtle Beach 24.

* Wilson at Myrtle Beach: The Seahawks (2-3) showed true grit in ringing the Victory Bell in Conway’s Backyard last week, and it may be the game they can look back on as the turning point to their season.

After being victimized by winless Carolina Forest for 41 points, Myrtle Beach’s defense made a major transformation in holding the Tigers to a touchdown. The offensive line got physical up front and Brandon Sinclair ran like a raging bull in the 31-7 win.

Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson, who designed the team’s aerial spread attack that has carried the Seahawks for several seasons, has shown he can adapt to his personnel and doesn’t mind grounding and pounding if it means getting the W against the other Wilson. … Myrtle Beach 34, Wilson 17.

* Georgetown at St. James: The Sharks ran into a brick wall last week against Carvers Bay, and they face another strong team from Georgetown County in the Bulldogs, who are coming off a tough loss to Loris.

St. James’ offense went from putting up 54 points on Cross the week before to being shut down to the tune of 39-6 to the Bears. The Sharks are going to have to get more physical to hang with Georgetown, which looks like a real region contender and will be playing for a community devastated by the recent downtown fire. … Georgetown 28, St. James 17.

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