Big 4th pushes Irmo over Myrtle Beach in second round of state playoffs

Posted 11/11/23

The Irmo Yellow Jackets kept on stinging during Friday’s 55-24 win over Myrtle Beach in the second round of the 4A South Carolina High School League football playoffs. 

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Subscribe to continue reading. Already a subscriber? Sign in

Get 50% of all subscriptions for a limited time. Subscribe today.

You can cancel anytime.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Big 4th pushes Irmo over Myrtle Beach in second round of state playoffs


The Irmo Yellow Jackets kept on stinging during Friday’s 55-24 win over Myrtle Beach in the second round of the 4A South Carolina High School League football playoffs. 

The Yellow Jackets and the Seahawks exchanged multiple explosive plays in the game’s first three quarters, but in the fourth, Irmo took its 10-point lead and extended it by three touchdowns. 

 “These guys are scared to lose,” head coach Aaron Brand said. “I don't have that senior speech ready. … These guys know I don't have it ready, so they want to do everything they can to make it survive and advance to the next weekend, and we did a little bit more than survive and advance.”

Running back Jaden Allen-Hendrix rushed for two touchdowns and almost 200 yards. He even made contributions as a receiver, scoring a 57-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half. 

“We had a heck of a test tonight. Coach Wilson and that group right there came out with a good game plan,” Brand said. “Our horses were just too much for them tonight, and when both of those 200-plus pounders in the backfield get to going downhill, man, we're just tough to stop.”

Telvin Smith scored three touchdowns, two as a return man on special teams and one as a receiver. 

“It feels great because I know it helped my team, helped uplift us, especially how close the game was in the first half,” Smith said. “I feel like we really needed it, and I feel like it made a very big impact on the game.”

Irmo jumped out to a 14-3 lead to start the game. 

Quarterback A.J. Brand kept the ball for himself, fighting through defenders to score a 14-yard touchdown. 

Myrtle Beach responded with a field goal but failed to stop Irmo from finding the endzone for the second time. Not long into the Yellow Jackets' second drive, Allen-Hendrix scored a 62-yard rushing touchdown. 

“They kept crashing and crashing,” Allen-Hendrix said. “So in my mind, just take it slow and just look for the cutback. Man, when I did that, the cutback was there and I just took off.”

The Seahawks scored their first touchdown in the second quarter. Quarterback Gibson Goodroe hit receiver Rayvon Green on a fourth and 14 from Irmo’s 24 to cut the deficit to four points.

Irmo snatched momentum back less than two minutes later after Brand threw a deep ball to receiver Donovan Murph who ran into the endzone for a 57-yard touchdown.

“I got to put trust in all my guys,” A.J. Brand said. “I just trust them to make a play, and they made it, so I'm definitely grateful for them and all my other weapons on the field.”

The Yellow Jackets went into the halftime break up 18 points after Allen-Hendrix scored his second total touchdown of the game. Myrtle Beach came out of the break fighting to get back in the contest. 

The Seahawks had some success in the quarter, cutting the Irmo lead to 10. But the team’s inability to stop Irmo from making big plays destroyed any chance at shifting the momentum. 

Myrtle Beach started the half with two pass plays of over 25 yards to cut the lead to 11. But right after this Smith scored his first touchdown on a 93-yard kickoff return. 

“We've been waiting to bust on our special teams all year, and lo and behold, Smith went for two tonight,” Aaron Brand said.

A failed Irmo two-point conversion allowed Myrtle Beach to cut the lead to 10 on its next drive after a trick play caught Irmo off guard. Goodroe passed downfield to one of his receivers, who then pitched the ball back to running back Malachi Washington for the score. 

Myrtle Beach had the opportunity to cut the deficit even more after Allen-Hendrix fumbled on the following Yellow Jackets possession. However, safety Matthew Blocker picked Goodroe off to get Irmo the ball back. 

Neither team capitalized on their turnover and Irmo gave the ball back to Myrtle Beach. The Seahawks took the ball into enemy territory to end the quarter, but the drive stalled in the next quarter. The Seahawks brought their kicker on to try a field goal but missed. 

That was the final blow that buried the Seahawks. Myrtle Beach failed to score any points the rest of the way, and Irmo ended the game on a 21-0 scoring run. 

Allen-Hendrix scored his third touchdown of the game from 10 yards away to go up 17, and on the following Seahawks punt, Smith scored his second touchdown.

 They knew they weren't going to be able to come back once I scored,” Smith said. “So I think it just lifted our team up, and then it put them down just enough for us to do what we had to do.”

Smith muffed the next punt he saw, giving Myrtle Beach the ball back with good field position. The Seahawks failed to capitalize on the free possession, turning the ball over on downs.

Smith made up for his mistake and scored the game's last touchdown on a 13-yard reception from Brand.

Irmo remains unbeaten (12-0) and advances to the third round of the 4A playoffs. 

The Yellow Jackets will have to hit the road for their next game and play No. 2 seed James Island in the lower state semifinals. Last season, Irmo narrowly lost to James Island in the second round, 24-22

“Definitely got a little sour taste in our mouth from last year,” A.J. Brand said. “Nothing that we can't get over. I know we're going to come in and battle. I know we're going to come in, and it's going to be a dog fight.”

Other scores from around Lexington County

Dutch Fork 31, T.L. Hannah 28

White Knoll 50, Fort Dorchester 7

Brookland-Cayce 34, Philip Simmons 13

Gilbert 49, Hanahan 35

Gray Collegiate 62, Chesnee 14

Bethesda Academy 32, Northside Christian 6

Third round matchups

Gaffney at Dutch Fork

Sumter at White Knoll

Irmo at James Island

Crestwood at Brookland-Cayce

Gilbert at Camden

Strom Thurmond at Gray Collegiate

irmo football, sc high school playoffs columbia sports, lexington county athletics


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here