Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson seemed a bit jittery on the visiting sideline in the waning moments of his team's game against Bluffton in the Class AAA state semifinals Friday night.
And it wasn't because of the score. He jerked his head around when he was tapped on the shoulder, as if fearing a Gatorade bath was forthcoming. "I don't know what was going on," Wilson said. "I was a little nervous."
That type of celebration will have to wait until next week for this group of Seahawks.
Myrtle Beach earned its third consecutive trip to the state championship with a dominant 47-0 win.
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The Seahawks (13-1) will face South Pointe, a 53-8 winner over Fairfield Central in the Upper State final, in Saturday's state championship game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The Seahawks won the title in 2008 and lost in last year's championship game.
"I really feel good about this team accomplishing our goal of last year," Seahawks quarterback Everett Golson said. "Last year when we lost [the state championship] we said we want to get back. We went 14 weeks and we're here right now. It's good to be back but I just want to win it this year and not end up like last year and lose."
Bluffton, which enjoyed its first winning season in the program's seven years, entered the game 12-1 but was visibly overmatched by both the Seahawks' spread offense and stout defense.
"They're bigger, faster, stronger," said Bobcats coach Ken Cribb, the former coach of both Georgetown and South Florence. "They've been there, done that. ... They come in with a swagger but they're fast, they're big, and they're strong. They have one of the top quarterbacks in the country.
"The difference in the points was simple: against everybody else we matched up, but when this team outmatched us so bad in all three of those things it showed."
Golson completed 15 of 24 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns, and played only one series in the second half.
East Carolina commitment Donte Sumpter was Golson's favorite target early and often.
He caught Golson's first five completions for 104 total yards, and finished the first half and game with eight catches for 150 yards and a touchdown.
"They tried press coverage, which is probably the worst thing you can do to our receivers, so it was a mismatch and we were open most of the night," Sumpter said.
Dallas Goodman added 100 yards and two scores on five receptions, and Daiquone Ford complemented the passing game with 119 yards and a TD on 14 carries.
The defense didn't need nearly that much help.
The Seahawk had Bluffton's double wing offense figured out from the kickoff, holding the Bobcats to three plays in each of their first four possessions for a total of minus-6 yards. Their initial first down on their fifth possession came on a Myrtle Beach unsportsmanlike penalty following a third-down run for no gain, but defensive lineman Ervin Brown stripped running back Zachary Scott of the ball two plays later to regain possession for the Seahawks.Three Bobcats running backs entered the game with more than 750 yards rushing each and a combined 30 touchdowns. Two of the three - Eric Boyles and C.J. Johnson - were both held to negative yards, as was quarterback C.J. Frazier.
Sixteen of the Bobcats' 28 running plays went for no gain or negative yards.
"Our defense did a great job; just a dominant performance," Seahawks coach Mickey Wilson said. "[The Bobcats] have done a great job all year running the football and we really came out and just stuffed them. It was a great scheme, they did a great job. Our defense carried us. We were a little sloppy on offense, in the first quarter especially."
As if to mock Bluffton's lack of production in the first half, C.J. Frazier hit Marquis Webber on a slant pattern late in the second quarter and Webber raced 58 yards to the Seahawks' 11-yard line, but time expired by the time he was tackled. Prior to that catch, the Bobcats had minus-2 yards of offense on 21 plays.
Golson hit Sumpter on the dead run for the game's opening score from 33 yards out on a beautiful throw into the right side of the end zone, and lofted a 9-yard touchdown pass to Goodman over a defender in man-to-man coverage in the left corner of the end zone to make it 14-0 late in the first quarter.
Ford scored on a 4-yard run from a direct-snap 'wildcat' formation to put the Seahawks up 21-0 early in the second quarter, and Golson hit Jerrod Jackson on a 4-yard pass to put the Seahawks up 27-0 at the half.