By most accounts, looking at Brandon Sinclair’s 407 postseason rushing yards in 2013 as a failure would have been a mistake.
Sinclair had a pair of 100-yard games for Myrtle Beach in last year’s championship run, and it was clear defenses were queuing on him throughout the playoffs. But he stalled out some in the final games, including a 33-yard effort against Daniel in the title game.
The now-junior running back is the first to admit he had a hard go of it individually. All of his carries in the regular season took their toll.
Heading into the second postseason game of this season, Sinclair is anything but worn down. He has his legs under him, and even though he’s been a bit banged up, it’s nothing like a year ago, when bruised ribs bogged him down.
And let's not forget, even with a decreased workload this year, he's still a top-flight Grand Strand running back.
We’ve got some good folks you can follow for Twitter updates. And while not all of them are from The Sun News, we’ve done extra vetting to make it worthwhile for you. Yours truly is staying put for the only local game, Hanahan-Myrtle Beach. Shane Bowen will be making the trek south for Socastee-Stratford. Hilton Head Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette reporter Kendall Salter will be at Loris’ game at Ridgeland-Hardeeville. Chris McKagen of the Hartsville Messenger will be covering Georgetown-Hartsville.
On to some predictions:
No. 5 Waccamaw (6-5) at No. 1 Dillon (11-0) - It stands to reason that Dillon is going to win its fifth state title in seven years, and as successful as the Warriors' season has been, the Wildcats are on a level few in the state can touch. It could lead to a score similar to the 47-7 Dillon win when these two teams met a couple weeks back. Dillon 45, Waccamaw 13
No. 3 Loris (10-1) at No. 2 Ridgeland-Hardeeville (8-3) - Loris will be gunning for its first road playoff win under coach Jamie Snider, and it just so happens that the SCHSL's playoff shuffle could help make that happen. Ridgeland-Hardeeville was a 38-0 loser to the Lions last year in Loris, and Snider's defense is even better this time around. Loris 27, Ridgeland-Hardeeville 6
No. 3 Georgetown (8-3) at No. 1 Hartsville (11-0) - No team in the Grand Strand is heading into its game this week as hot as Georgetown. The Bulldogs have had their best two performances of the season in the last two weeks, a pair of wins over 2014 playoff teams (Wilson, Airport). Hartsville is again undefeated - the team has just two losses in the last three years - and the Red Foxes may have just enough to end a Georgetown season that already includes five road wins. Hartsville 37, Georgetown 30
No. 2 Hanahan (7-4) at No. 1 Myrtle Beach (10-1) - Our game of the week has about a gazillion different storylines: Drayton Arnold's status; a possible Jake Deskins encore; the Seahawks getting a chance to beat the team that knocked them out of the playoffs two years ago. And on and on. Myrtle Beach has been good at moving on from distractions in the past 26 games. It should be able to do it once more. Myrtle Beach 41, Hanahan 31
No. 14 Socastee (7-4) at No. 3 Stratford (8-3) - One more win in the past four games and Socastee could have either been at home Friday or significantly improved its first-round chances. As it stands, the Braves are headed to Stratford, the team that made a run to last year's state finals (before losing to Northwestern). Some of its key pieces are gone, but many of the Knights are still around, and they've put up an 8-3 record against some stiff competition for a reason. Stratford 28, Socastee 20
LAST WEEK: 4-4
For the football junkies hanging around, here’s some links to this week’s coverage:
Myrtle Beach enters tonight’s game against Hanahan without at least one, and possibly two, of its most influential players.
Our Football Friday page includes our Game of the Week breakdown Hanahan-Myrtle Beach, our player to watch, game capsules for our other four contests and area stats leaders.