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NMB Chiefs open home football season with 35-7 win over South Florence

By John Smithson

The North Myrtle Beach Chiefs varsity football team beat South Florence 35-7 last Friday at the Hank Hester Field on senior night to go 2-0 in the 6AAAA region. The Chiefs followed up their big win at Darlington last week with another solid team performance on both offense and defense to send the visiting Bruins home with their second loss, in their first game played against North Myrtle Beach.

South Florence won the toss and following the usual long kickoff from Zane Smith, they began play on their own 20 yard line. Billy Barlow stopped the Bruins for a five yard loss. South Florence completed a pass, but the receiver fumbled backwards to the eight. The third down handoff was fumbled by the Bruins, the Chiefs recovered at the five, and on the Chiefs first offensive play, Nyliek Livingston ran it in for the touchdown. Zane Smith kicked the PAT and the Chiefs led 7-0 with 10:40 left in the first quarter.

South Florence began their next offensive series on their twenty after another long Smith kickoff. Three plays later the Bruins were forced to punt to the Chiefs 47, but the Chiefs were penalized 15 yards due to sideline interference and started their drive on their own 32 yard line. The Bruins offside penalty and two short Chief runs brought up a third down pass from Cameron Freeman to Xavier Anderson for a first down at South Florence’s 45. Livingston then ran to the 32. Freeman lost six yards on a bad snap, but Livingston went left for 15 yards, up the middle to the 13 and a first down, followed by a run off the left side untouched to the end zone for the Chiefs second touchdown and 14-0 lead.

Zane Smith’s PAT was followed by another long kickoff and another three and out by the Bruins. After a short punt, the Chiefs offense began their next scoring drive at the South Florence 45. Livingston ran for eight yards but Freeman lost eight trying to pass. Livingston got the eight back on a run to the 36 and the Chiefs got their first down on a South Florence offsides penalty. From the 31 yard line Devin Montgomery rushed twice to the 20 and the end of the first quarter.

Freeman got the Chiefs their third touchdown of the night on the first play of the second quarter as he rolled right, stopped and then lofted a pass to Chandler McCall in the corner of the end zone for six points. Smith made it 21-0 with his kick.

South Florence continued their lack of offense following the kickoff, as they were penalized for illegal motion, failed on two pass attempts and a run, to set up yet another punt from their 26. Following the kick to the Chiefs 38, Livingston zigged and zagged past Bruin defenders to their 49 yard line. Freeman’s incomplete pass was followed by another Livingston run to the 36 of South Florence. The Chiefs Will Murray came in the game and failed to hit on two passes, but his third pass on fourth down led to a pass interference penalty on South Florence as they tackled McCall trying to make a catch.

With a first down on the 19, Livingston ran to the 15 and then took it to the 4 yard line but was stopped just short of the touchdown on his next try. Cam Freeman barged off the left side for the score and the Chiefs 28-0 lead. South Florence’s next possession was short-lived as the clock ran out in the second quarter.

The Chiefs returned the second half kickoff and started their offense at their 34 yard line. Following a delay of game penalty, an incomplete pass and a snap over Freeman’s head back to the 17, it looked like the Chiefs might have to punt. Livingston stopped all thoughts of that as he took the handoff, headed right and down the sideline until he was knocked out of bounds by a Bruins defender at their 20 yard line. The Chiefs passed the ball to the Nick Moss at the 12 to set up a fourth down run for the first down by Freeman to the 5. Livingston ran it to the one, and the Chiefs fifth touchdown followed on a direct snap to Elijah Vereen who ran it over the right side for six points. Smith once again hit the PAT and the Chiefs led 35-0 late in the third quarter.

The Bruins returned the kickoff to their 16 and began their drive for their only score of the game. They got their first first down of the game on a crossing pattern pass to their 30. Two short runs were followed by a quarterback keeper for a first down at their 40 yard line. The Bruins then got to the Chiefs 27, but were penalized for a block in the back and moved back to the 42. After a four yard gain to their 46 and the end of the third quarter, the Bruins moved to the Chiefs 45 for a first down. Then the Chiefs roughed the passer and gave South Florence a first down at the NMB 29.

The Bruins got a big pass play down the left side for a first down at the Chiefs 10. A diving catch on a LaNorris Sellars pass got the ball to the Chiefs five, and Sellars ran up the middle for their only touchdown of the night. Following the PAT the score was 35-7.

 The Chiefs had their only three and out on their next possession, and with a “running clock” for most of the half, the Bruins did not have enough time to get more points as the game ended 35-7.

Following the game, Nyliek Livingston was named the player of the game for the second straight week as he rolled up 189 yards on 17 carries. However, coach Matt Reel was pleased with all phases of the team’s play. “Our offensive line did a tremendous job. We controlled the line of scrimmage and helped Livingston to those yards. Our defense also played like they should. They reacted well to South Florence’s offense and based on the team’s performance it is an exciting time to be the coach of this team. 

Next week we meet Wilson, always a tough place to play. We like to enjoy Friday night, enjoy Saturday and then get back to work on Sunday,” Reel said.

About John Smithson