If there's a singular fact we can take away from last night's games, it is that a handful of teams look awfully ready for region play.
North Myrtle Beach's final tune-up for what many expect to be the de facto Region VII-AAA title game was exactly what coach Perry Woolbright wanted. The Chiefs defeated Green Sea-Floyds 44-7. In the process, Woolbright was able to rest his starters for an entire half.
Those players are going to need it. North Myrtle Beach's biggest game in Woolbright's four-season tenure is this week. The Chiefs will play host to a fellow 5-0 team Socastee. The Braves are perfect through non-region play for the second consecutive season. However, this is somewhat new territory for the Chiefs.
North Myrtle Beach is 5-0 for the first time since 1997, and the Chiefs have never been 6-0. Needless to say, this is a big one, both in terms of the present and overall school history. We'll have plenty more on that game as the week goes on.
As for the rest of our area games, there was plenty to note from Friday night.
BROKEN RECORD: Brandon Sinclair did it again. The Myrtle Beach Sophomore ran for 260 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries against Conway. That comes one week after he ran for 304 yards against Carolina Forest. Through five games - all against opponents from a larger class - Sinclair now has 964 yards and 11 touchdowns. It also helped Myrtle Beach win its first game in the last three weeks. Sinclair is putting himself in uncharted territory.
GUTSY PERFORMANCE: Bradley Adams' Georgetown team has pulled off some nice victories in his four seasons as the Bulldogs head coach. Georgetown nearly pulled off what would have been its most unlikely one last night. The Bulldogs, using a slew of players normally assigned to other positions at running back, fell 18-14 at Loris. It's only the second time all season an opposing team has scored two touchdowns against the Lions.
NO FEAR IN LORIS: Want some perspective on Loris' 4-1 start? The Lions have now played three Region VII-AAA teams - St. James, North Myrtle Beach and Georgetown. Jamie Snider's team is 2-1 in those games, and in each of the three, both teams' scoring finished in the teens. Playing in those close games early could be a huge benefit moving forward. Loris will head to 0-5 Marion this week before getting a much improved Waccamaw team on Oct. 11. Then, it's games against Mullins and Class AA powerhouse Dillon (who, surprisingly enough, was blown out by Marlboro County last night).
AYNOR, WACCAMAW STILL WINNING: Loris isn't the only 4-1 team in Region VIII-AA. Aynor and Waccamaw, courtesy of two more double-digit victories Friday, are also entering region play with just one loss. Aynor's roll may be tougher to keep going, considering the Blue Jackets head to Dillon this week. However, the way these two teams are running the ball, either or both could have a major impact in the region standings. It may not be all about "Dillon University" and "Loris Tech", the teams Aynor coach Jody Jenerette joked about during the preseason.
WEEK 6 SCHEDULE:
Socastee (5-0) at North Myrtle Beach (5-0) - The Sun News/WBTW Game of the Week
Wilson (1-4) at Myrtle Beach (2-3)
Georgetown (3-2) at St. James (2-3)
Aynor (4-1) at Dillon (3-2)
Loris (4-1) at Marion (0-5)
Mullins (2-3) at Waccamaw (4-1)
C.E. Murray (0-5) at Carvers Bay (4-1)
Johnsonville (3-2) at Green Sea-Floyds (0-5)
OFF WEEK: Carolina Forest, Conway