The North Myrtle Beach Chiefs varsity football season ended this past Thursday night on the road in the second round of the state 4-A playoffs to Myrtle Beach by a final score of 35-27.
The Chiefs (6-5) led through most of the second, third and fourth quarters, but a late surge by the Seahawks put them ahead by one late, and then finished the Chiefs in the closing minutes.
Playing on a cold, windy and rainy night at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, the Seahawks (11-0) opened the scoring with a 66 yard drive to make it 7-0, two and a half minutes into the game.
North Myrtle Beach answered with a 74 yard drive that ended with Ramsey Lewis carrying the ball into the end zone from the one yard line. The successful extra point attempt from kicker Zane Smith made it a tie game at 7 each, midway through the first.
Smith added a 29 yard field goal minutes into the second quarter and the Chiefs took the lead and momentum.
Less than a minute later, Zyon Belle carried the ball in from 14 yards out, and with the Smith extra point, the Chiefs led 17-7.
Myrtle Beach was able to get it to within a score near the end of the first half of a two yard touchdown run that set the halftime score at 17-14.
The second half began with an 80 yard touchdown run on the first play of the Chiefs opening drive. Zyon Belle took the handoff from Lewis and gave the Chiefs a 24-14 lead, with the Smith extra point.
Smith added a 26 yard field goal with just over two minutes to play in the third to set the score at 27-14 heading into an all Myrtle Beach fourth quarter.
The Seahawks scored on defense, through the air, and on the ground in the fourth quarter, while shutting out the Chiefs. The final score of 35-27 sent the Seahawks to the third round of the state playoffs.
On the night, Zyon Belle led all rushers with 15 carries for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Ramsey Lewis had 21 carries for 79 yards, while going 3-15 passing for 25 yards.
North Myrtle Beach’s defense was led by Trace Hall with 7.5 tackles, followed by Chandler McCall with 7 tackles.
North Myrtle Beach Head Coach Matt Reel was frustrated after the game, but hopeful, “The preparation begins for next year. We’ll honor this senior class and this group for what they’ve done,” Reel said. “ The good news is, we’re super young. We’ve got a ton of guys coming back, but we’ve got some big shoes that we’ve got to fill.”