Myrtle Beach shocks Hartsville at home, denies Red Foxes 3rd straight lower-state championship
By Drake Horton
All things come to an end. It’s the timing of that ending that determines the significance of what was ended.
This past Friday night, the Hartsville Red Foxes entered its game against the Myrtle Beach Seahawks having not lost at home since the 2011 season. By the time the clock hit all zeros, that seven-year winning streak was no longer.
Behind an explosive offense that threw everything they had in the playbook plus the kitchen sink, the Seahawks avenged their one loss of the season, defeating the Red Foxes 52-31.
“There were a lot of things that were different that we didn’t see on film,” Hartsville head coach Jeff Calabrese said. “They swung for the fence and there were some certain things that caught us off guard that we didn’t practice, we didn’t know, that they had kept at bay so hats off to them. We knew they were going to do something different, we just didn’t know what it was.”
The last time these two teams met it was four weeks ago and the region championship was at stake.
Hartsville came out victorious in that, defeating the Seahawks 70-34. That result led a lot to believe that this game was going to be more of the same and the Red Foxes were just going to cruise into 4A state championship game.
This Myrtle Beach team was different, however. Like Calabrese alluded to after the game, the Seahawks appeared to bring a whole other playbook along with the a little bit of trickery to keep the Red Foxes off balance for a majority of the night.
From unbalanced formations with offensive linemen splitting out wild, to an onside kick following a touchdown in the third quarter, Myrtle Beach was doing a little bit of everything and quarterback Luke Doty was at the center of all of it.
He finished the game with four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.
But while the 21-point lead seemed large on the scoreboard, the game was a lot closer. In both the first and third quarters, Hartsville and Myrtle Beach matched score for score.
It was in the second and fourth quarters that the Seahawks were able to put the game away. In those two quarters Myrtle Beach outscored the Red Foxes 24-3.
Calabrese does not want the disappointment of this loss to drown out the success of this season despite not making it back to Columbia for a third straight year.
“If you measure it solely on the fact if you win a state championship as a success or failure, I think that is unfair,” Calabrese said.
“These young men fought their tails off all season long and had a tremendous, tremendous season. I hate that it ended this way, but I am just real proud of my team and these kids.”
Hartsville finishes the season 12-1 overall.