The game between the North Myrtle Beach Chiefs and the St. James Sharks was billed as “the battle of the undefeateds” with both squads bringing 2-0 records to the Chiefs' home field.
North Myrtle Beach changed all that and showed why they are ranked No. 3 among the state's 4A teams.
The Chiefs used a balanced offense and a “bend but don’t break” defense to knock off the Sharks following an hour-long lightning delay. They were led by quarterback Ramsey Lewis, who passed for 185 yards and rushed for 133 more.
The Chief defense was led by Billy Barlow with six solo tackles and three assists. The Sharks only attempted nine passes and were sacked on four of those attempts.
St. James actually outrushed North Myrtle Beach 217 to 200 yards. The Sharks were led by Deondray Stanfield, who notched 102 yards rushing. They only put up 28 yards in the air.
North Myrtle Beach head coach Matt Reel said he was proud of his team but they’re young and still learning his system.
“We have a lot of intricate plays and they’re figuring it out,” Reel said. “We need to finish teams off in the third and fourth quarter and that’s a sign of a young team.”
He lauded the play of St. James, especially their strong running back.
“Stanfield is a great player,” Reel said. “I’d love to have him on my team.”
As for his team’s state ranking, Reel said they don’t shy away from talking about it.
“We talk about it every day,” he said. “I tell them they should play like the No. 3 team in the state. If you can’t embrace and enjoy being ranked, then why would we be here?”
North Myrtle Beach hosts Socastee next week. St. James travels to Georgetown.