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Two stunning first-down touchdown passes propelled the Myrtle Beach Seahawks to a 34-5 victory over the West Brunswick Trojans in a non-conference high school football game Sept. 4 at M.H. Rourk Stadium.
The Trojans led 5-0 with seven minutes left in the half but Seahawk quarterback Everette Golson threw touchdown passes of 48 yards and 13 yards to give Myrtle Beach a 14-5 halftime lead.
The Seahawks then controlled the second half, scoring three touchdowns on three straight possessions.
“We have to learn that if we mess up we have to continue play,” West coach Jimmy Fletcher said. “We fell apart—the whole team fell apart.
“I think that’s still from a little bit of a lack of confidence. They have to fight through it. Last year is done, over with. When things go bad, we have to continue to work.”
The Trojans dominated early, and once again it was Alfy Hill who provided the spark. As the Seahawks attempted to punt on their first possession, the 6-foot-4 Hill raised a hand and blocked the ball. The ball was downed at the Seahawk 30. Two runs for 22 yards by Jordan Buffkin gave West a first down at the Seahawk 8. Four plays later, junior Corey Bell kicked a 23-yard field goal, and that put West ahead 3-0 with about 7:30 left in the first quarter.
West’s defense forced another three-and-out series, and the Trojans took over at their 47 with 5:28 left. They moved the ball to the Seahawk 25, and a 20-yard run appeared to give West a first down at the 5—but a fumble at the end of the play gave possession to the Seahawks.
“That turnover hurt us really bad,” Fletcher said. “That was huge. We would have gone up 10-0. I don’t know if that was the turning point of the game, but that was huge because we had moved the ball really well.”
The teams exchanged punts on their next possessions, and West forced a Seahawk punt when Myrtle Beach faced fourth down at its 6 with about 7:30 left in the half. A high snap was unable to be caught by the punter, and the ball soared out of the end zone, giving West a two-point safety and a 5-0 lead.
“I really didn’t want the safety,” Fletcher said, “because they would have punted and we would have gotten the ball in great field position. That was a big turning point. We probably would have gotten the ball on the 50 or the 45. We got the ball on the (24.)”
And after that, as Fletcher feared, the Seahawks controlled the game.
The Seahawks forced a Trojan punt, and on their first play Golson scrambled to his left and dinked a pass to Jamier Valentine. He ran 48 yards along he left sideline for a touchdown and a 7-5 lead with 4:37 left in the half.
After holding West to a three-and-out, Golson and Valentine struck again, this time for 13 yards with 2:16 left, and that put the Seahawks ahead 14-5. The touchdown was set up by a long punt return.
“We just can’t lose focus if just one thing happens,” Fletcher said.
“Tonight, that’s kind of what happened. When we got the safety and we didn’t score and they scored, it’s like after that, they just kind of shut it down. And we were only down nine points at halftime. We’re right there.
“But it just seemed the whole second half we weren’t sharp in anything.”
Myrtle Beach outscored the Trojans 20-0 in the second half.
“In the second half, they just physically whipped us,” Fletcher said.
Golson completed a third touchdown pass to Golson, this one 17 yards, with 1:56 left in the third quarter. Golson later left the game after suffering an apparent knee injury (his right knee was iced). But substitute quarterback Morgan Byrd scored on a 28-yard run with 7:41 left. The other score was on a 78-yard punt return by Demazio Skelton with 5:22 left.
“Our kids have to understand there are things that are going to go bad more other than just in this ballgame,” Fletcher said. “They have to fight through it and not lose their focus and not lose their concentration.”
And Fletcher is determined to not let that happen again.
“I still think we can have a really good football team,” he said. “I really do.” I think our kids can do some good things. They just have to learn to grow up when things go bad.”
The Seahawks held West to 111 yards rushing. The previous week, West gained 428 yards.
Quarterback Ryan Hill lost 16 yards on 13 carries.
“They had a couple of things planned for Ryan,” Fletcher said. “We should have been able to take advantage of it, but we didn’t. And they have great team speed. Their back seven are very talented.”
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West was hampered by poor field position most of the night. At last four Seahawk kicks were touchbacks, and the Trojans had to start the ensuing possessions at their 20.
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Other rushing totals for West: Charlie Brown, 14 carries for 61 yards; Jordan Buffkin, eight for 44; Montel Mcatee, three for 12; Jake Boudreau, one for 6; Maverick Pate, three for 4; Bradley Bell, one for 3; Quan Bates, one for -3.
Hill completed three of six passes for 13 yards. Bates threw one incomplete pass.
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Besides Alfy Hill’s blocking a punt, the other defensive highlight was an interception by Jordan Buffkin.
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West is the site of the game Friday between the Trojans and South Brunswick.
“I think they’re bigger and stronger than they’ve been in the past,” Fletcher said. “I think (coach Gordon Walters) will probably give me a different offense to look at (from the clash). But I am excited about that game, and I think our kids will be excited, too.”
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In the JV game, Myrtle Beach beat the Trojans 8-3.
West scored first on a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter by Cameron Smith.
Myrtle Beach went ahead on the next possession on a 44-yard pass and two-point conversion.
The Trojans were driving for a touchdown in the fourth quarter but fumbled at the Seahawk 24 with 4 minutes, 36 seconds left.
For the Trojans, Kody Hewitt gained 61 yards on seven carries. Aaron Hankins gained 52 yards on nine carries. Zach Ledue gained 27 yards on six carries. Taylor Buffkin gained 17 yards on eight carries.
Cameron Smith was 1-for-6 for 12 yards.
Antaun Miller and Colby Cannon recovered fumbles.
MICHAEL PAUL is the sports editor at the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or at email@example.com.