(Nov. 22, 2013) The Stephen Decatur Seahawks gave it their all, but the football team came up short during last Friday’s 3A South Regional tournament semifinal game against the Lackey Chargers.
The No. 3 seeded Seahawks took a three-plus hour bus ride to Indian Head, Md. to battle the second-seeded Chargers on their home turf.
Lackey scored twice in the first half to lead 14-0 at halftime.
During the break, Decatur Coach Bob Knox told his players “We’re still in this ball game.”
“We’ve been down before and we’ve come back,” he said.
Knox said his players responded to the halftime speech. Senior P.J. Copes scored on the opening possession of the third quarter to cut Lackey’s lead to eight points.
The Chargers (9-2) held the visiting Seahawks scoreless the remainder of the game and the 14 points they tallied in the first half was enough to win 14-6 and advance to the regional finals.
“They were more athletic, faster and a little bit bigger than us, but we were really physical. We took a lot out of them,” Knox said. “We had the opportunity to win, but we just didn’t make the plays when we had the chance… If the game would have been five quarters I think we could have won. We just didn’t have enough time.”
Copes carried the ball 18 times, racking up 149 yards in his final game as a Seahawk.
Junior quarterback Justin Meekins rushed four times for 42 yards. He was 5-for-9 passing for 47 yards.
Chase Sams, a senior, led the Decatur defense with 13 tackles. Sophomore Dryden Brous made eight tackles and senior Andrew Borradaile stopped seven Chargers.
After going 2-3 the first half of the season, the Seahawks won their last five games to qualify for the playoffs. They finished the year 7-4.
“If you told me at the beginning of the season we’d be 7-4 this year with the schedule we had, I’d be ecstatic,” Knox said.
The coach said he was proud of his players for their effort and performance this season.
“They’re not the most athletic, but they have a lot of heart. They claw and scratch until the end of the game,” Knox said. “These kids are overachievers. They never gave up. The word ‘quit’ isn’t in their vocabulary. They’re like the Energizer Bunny, they keep going and going.”
Knox said he will lose six starters on offense and five on defense to graduation. Meekins will return as a senior next season to lead the team along with several other players.
Knox also brought up about a dozen JV players at the end of the season. Many of them got beneficial varsity game experience during the Nov. 8 match against Snow Hill. They also made the trip to Indian Head to watch the varsity team compete.
“Experience is key. They see what they need for next year if they want to come back to this [the regional semifinal] game and win it,” Knox said.