BEAUFORT | If Andrew Doss wasn’t limping off the field Friday night, he was probably in the end zone. And J.J. Jones was keeping him company.
A banged-up Doss ran wild all night and scored four times, and quarterback Ryan Burger found Jones for three scores to help Myrtle Beach win a 49-37 shootout over Beaufort in the Class 4A lower state semifinals, setting up a showdown with rival North Myrtle Beach for the lower state crown.
The Eagles landed the first blows, as Daniel Phares picked off Burger on the first series, setting up the first of Beaufort quarterback Tyler Haley’s two touchdown runs, but Doss took over after that. The power-packed back sliced through every hole the Seahawks’ offensive line was able to open against a stout Beaufort defensive front and capped off back-to-back drives with short touchdown runs to give Myrtle Beach a 14-7 lead.
It looked like the Seahawks might be in a bind when Doss limped off holding his lower back late in the second quarter, but he came back two plays later to line up in the wildcat and punch in a two-yard touchdown and added a punctuating score late in the fourth quarter.
“It’s the playoffs,” Doss said. “I got banged up, definitely, I had a bunch of carries, but even if I had a broken bone, I’m going out there for my team. It’s a team sport, and I had to play my part for us to win.”
The turning point came near the end of the first half, when Beaufort was driving and looking to cut into a 21-10 deficit before getting the ball to start the second half. Myrtle Beach’s TJ Auston changed those plans, picking off Haley near the goal line and returning it to the Beaufort 8. On the next play, Burger found Jones for the first of their touchdown hookups and a 28-10 halftime lead.
The Eagles kept swinging, though, and Jaylin Houseal broke a long run to set up Amariee Morris for a four-yard touchdown to get Beaufort back within two scores with 5:56 left in the third quarter. But the Seahawks never let up, putting together another impressive drive that ended with Jones hauling in a ridiculous one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone.
Haley broke a 75-yard run on the next play to set up his own touchdown run, but Myrtle Beach held serve again, in an unorthodox manner. Facing fourth-and-long, the Seahawks lined up for a field goal before shifting into an offensive formation, and Burger looked deep for Jones. Flags came out for defensive pass interference, but the pass deflected off the defender’s helmet and Jones snagged it for a touchdown.
The teams traded touchdowns the rest of the way, but Beaufort couldn’t close the gap thanks to the Seahawks’ unstoppable offense. Still slowed by an ankle injury, Burger was able to scramble for big gains when he couldn’t find an open receiver, and Doss and Jones were simply too much for the Eagles.
Now the Seahawks have another road trip on their itinerary, albeit a much shorter one to take on North Myrtle Beach in a rematch of the Chiefs’ 34-6 win Nov. 6.
“We told everybody we had to be road dogs this season,” Jones said. “Going on the road in the playoffs is always going to be tougher, but whenever that happens you’ve got to create your own environment.”