Myr­tle Beach de­feats Hartsville, ad­vances to the state ti­tle game

The Sun News (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY T.J. LUNDEEN

The sto­ry­book end­ing is yet to be writ­ten, but Myr­tle Beach avenged a bully on Fri­day night, de­feat­ing Hartsville 52-31 to claim the Class 4A Lower State crown and ad­vance to play Greer for the state cham­pion- ship on Satur­day at Wil­liams Brice Sta­dium in Columbia.

The Sea­hawks (11-1) bot­tled up ex­plo­sive Hartsville (12-1) quar­ter­back Tiyon Evans for much of the night, stop­ping him from tak­ing over the game like he did when the two teams met in the reg­u­lar sea­son. On the other side, Myr­tle Beach quar­ter­back Luke Doty had his best show­ing of the sea­son, rip­ping off long runs and fir­ing passes into tight win­dows with ease. He fin­ished the night with nearly 300 yards pass­ing and over 200 yards rush­ing, all while pil­ing up seven touch­downs.

“He was sharp tonight,” said Doty’s coach, Mickey Wil­son. “He worked his tail off to get to tonight and have a great game. I don’t know what the stats look like, but I know he was on his game tonight. It was im­pres­sive, for sure. He’s a kid that can run the foot­ball re­ally well and we felt like that was some­thing we could take ad­van­tage of with the way their de­fense lined up.”

The first matchup be­tween th­ese teams, a 70-34 Hartsville vic­tory on Nov. 1 that clinched the Re­gion 6-4A ti­tle for the Red Foxes, got away from Myr­tle Beach due to turnovers and the on­slaught of the Hartsville of­fense. On Fri­day, the Myr­tle Beach de­fense closed out Novem­ber by shut­ting down the Hartsville of­fense and send­ing Evans to an early exit from the game with an in­ter­cep­tion around the 8-minute mark in the fourth quar­ter.

“It was one of those nights where ev­ery­thing just came to­gether,” Wil­son said. “It was back-and-forth in the first quar­ter, but af­ter that we set­tled down and re­ally did a great job on the de­fen­sive side of the ball. Our de­fen­sive staff is amaz­ing. The big­gest thing is when we got beat; we went back home and learned from our mis­takes. We learned and got better and that’s all that you can ask for.”

All week at prac­tice, and since the Nov. 1 loss to Hartsville, the Sea­hawks have talked about how they would learn from that re­sult and be better be­cause of it. With their chance to back up those words, the Sea­hawks left no doubt with their play on the field.

“Af­ter the first game was over, the coaches and play­ers agreed that los­ing like we did on this field was prob­a­bly the best thing that hap­pened to us this sea­son,” said se­nior of­fen­sive line­man Evan Jumper. “It re­ally hum­bled us and got us to re­fo­cus on the ba­sics and we grinded to get back here. We knew that we could get back here in the play­offs if we worked our tails off and that’s ex­actly what we did.”

Myr­tle Beach came out of the gate ag­gres­sive, win­ning the toss and tak­ing the ball to start the game. Doty led his team on a crisp scor­ing drive, cul­mi­nat­ing it with a 15yard pass to Wy­att Roache. Hartsville would answer with a long drive of its own, capped off by Evans’ first rush­ing touch­down of the night. Doty would rip off a rush­ing score and two more passes be­fore half­time, while Evans would lead an­other touch­down drive and a field goal be­fore the break. Evans then took the sec­ond half kick­off 100 yards for a Hartsville score, trim­ming the Myr­tle Beach lead to 28-24. Doty would score twice in the third quar­ter and again in the fourth quar­ter to build the in­sur­mount­able lead.

“Coach Wil­son and I talked about this one a lot, that this would be a great story to come back and beat th­ese guys in the play­offs,” Doty said. “This re­ally is a sto­ry­book; we’ve been work­ing for this since May. At the start of spring ball, we were hop­ing for this mo­ment and we worked hard all sum­mer just to get here. We wanted this op­por­tu­nity, but be­ing here is sur­real.”

Now Doty, a Univer­sity of South Carolina com­mit, will get to lead his team for the first time at Wil­liams Brice Sta­dium, chas­ing the sto­ry­book end­ing to his first sea­son as a start­ing quar­ter­back.

T.J. LUNDEEN For The Sun News

Myr­tle Beach quar­ter­back Luke Doty (9) es­capes the Hartsville de­fense on his way to a 210-yard, two-touch­down night.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.