Seahawks' hot start sets up rematch with rival NMB

Myrtle Beach's Luke Doty celebrates a touchdown with William Bauguess in the win over Marlboro County on Friday. The win sets the Seahawks up for a game with North Myrtle Beach at Doug Shaw Stadium on Friday, Nov. 23. Photo by Janet Morgan/Myrtle Beach Herald janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

When Myrtle Beach traveled to Marlboro County one month ago, the Seahawks' offense struggled to a 21-0 victory against a stingy Bulldogs' defense.

In Friday's second-round playoff rematch, the Seahawks (9-1) needed less than six minutes to match that score en route to a 42-14 win at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

Following an unsuccessful Bulldogs' onside kick to start the game, Myrtle Beach quarterback Luke Doty threw touchdown passes to Da'Ron Finkley and Wyatt Roach.

On the Seahawks' third possession, Doty broke loose for a 44-yard TD run to give the Myrtle Beach a 21-0 lead with 6:37 remaining in the first quarter.

"Marlboro County is a good team and we had a hard time moving the ball against them the last time we played," said Doty, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for two. "We always want to get off to a good start. I think the difference this week was our preparation. We had a good idea about what we wanted to do and everybody did their job."

The Bulldogs (7-4) refused to roll over without a fight, countering with touchdown runs by Jacardi Riggins and Elijah Blair and intercepting a pair of Doty passes.

But Doty's long touchdown bomb to Finkley gave Myrtle Beach a 28-14 halftime edge, and the junior quarterback used his feet again on a touchdown run in the third to push the lead back to three touchdowns.

The Myrtle Beach defense turned in another solid performance, posting eight sacks and getting a late pick-six from Xayvion Knox, who weaved his way to pay dirt to put the game on ice.

The win sets up another Region 6-4A rematch in next week's Lower State semifinals against rival North Myrtle Beach, which defeated Wilson 34-22 on Friday.

The Seahawks and Chiefs met in Week 10 with Myrtle Beach taking a hard-fought 17-14 victory. The second showdown will be played at Shaw Stadium next Friday night.

"That's our biggest rival in town and in the region right now," Doty said of North Myrtle Beach. "That's who we're focused on right now. We're ready to go."

Janet Morgan is the editor of the Myrtle Beach Herald. Contact her at 843-488-7258 or at janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com.

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