Many high school quarterbacks would consider what Luke Doty has done against Hartsville alone a good season.
The Myrtle Beach senior has done it in three games.
Doty threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 85 yards on the ground to lead the Seahawks to a 42-21 win over Hartsville at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium Friday night.
“It’s just a level of competition that Hartsville brings,” Doty said. “They’re a great team. They have great athletes and they’re coached really well. It just raises the standard of our play.”
The two teams met twice last year — once in the regular-season finale where the Red Foxes claimed the Region VI-4A championship with a victory and again in the lower state finals, where Myrtle Beach dominated. Combined with those two games, Doty has now thrown for 897 yards and 10 touchdowns and run for another 334 yards and three scores.
The latest boost to his career number charts against Hartsville came despite the fact that he didn’t have his best game, by his standard or that of offensive coordinator Wes Streater. Of course, onlookers may argue with that.
Doty led the Seahawk offense to touchdowns on each of the team’s five first-half possessions and spread the ball around considerably. In total, several different receivers caught a pass, and all of them had at least one first-down reception.
Leading the way was J.J. Jones, the junior who earlier in the day received his third Power-Five offer (from Penn State) and hauled in six passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
“Luke’s always a very consistent player,” Jones said. “He’s an Elite 11 kind of quarterback. You would love to have that kind of quarterback for any team, really.”
Doty’s biggest hiccup against Hartsville — which trailed 28-0 in the second quarter and never closed the gap to within three scores — was a third-quarter interception in which Red Foxes’ defensive lineman Kevon Haigler made an athletic move from his spot in the trenches and picked it out of the air. However, that and any other perceived mistakes were all manageable and easy to overcome — thanks to all the stuff he did right.
Some of that was to be expected given what he had accomplished against Hartsville last year, when Jeff Calabrese’s team was downright loaded and still had Tiyon Evans pre-graduation. Calabrese said during pre-game that he estimated some 40 players who were in uniform last year are no longer a part of the team for a variety of reasons, and in many ways he was starting over with some of the basics.
Regardless, the unanimous No. 1 team in Class 4A dismantled Hartsville, ranked No. 8 in the latest polls, and made it look relatively easy. Xayvion Knox had three touchdown runs, linebacker Shedrick Pointer was all over the field defensively and had another double-digit tackle night and all those receivers made up for the loss of Adam Randall, who is expected to miss at least another month while he recovers from a shoulder injury.
And, of course, there was the guy getting all of them the ball.
“He showed a lot of poise,” Seahawks coach Mickey Wilson said of Doty. “He had some time in the pocket and he did a good job of letting things develop and going through his reads. He easily could have got back there and took off. Even though he had to do that some, he did a good job of taking care of the football.”