The Seminole Ridge High School football team shut out rival Wellington High School 19-0 on Thursday, Sept. 28 to remain unbeaten (4-0) on the season.
The much-anticipated district match-up between two of Palm Beach County’s top teams was an important game for both, but the Hawks came out on top.
Seminole Ridge head coach James Parson, in his second year, was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We’re really excited just to be able to take one step forward,” he said. “It didn’t matter what we did the three games before. Our next goal is to win every game.”
The Hawks have notched one district win, which puts them in the driver’s seat so far, being undefeated on the season, and in district play. Wellington falls to 2-2 and will have to rebound to contend for a playoff spot, considering their one district loss and the new FHSAA point system in place. District runners-up are no longer guaranteed to advance to the postseason.
“We were up and down, but it happens,” Wellington coach Tom Abel said, referring to his backup quarterback having to leave the game with an injury. “I think we’re going to be fine. It’s business as usual. We’ve got to get these guys to believe in themselves and go from there.”
Wellington has lost both of its starting quarterbacks early in the season, and may have to rely on running back Mike Massamino to step in and take snaps. “We’ve been grooming him, so it’s still business as usual,” Abel said.
Seminole Ridge played a near-perfect first half, and that was all they needed to notch the victory. Both teams struggled early, moving the ball through most of the first quarter. The Hawks took the lead at the end of the first quarter when running back Corey Polk drove the ball in from a yard out. Daniel Freire’s point-after kick lifted the Hawks to a 7-0 advantage entering the second quarter.
The Wolverines could not get anything going offensively, while Seminole Ridge used deception to its advantage, fake punts and field goals to keep Wellington off balance. The Wolverines drove inside the Seminole Ridge red zone once in the first half but could not convert the drive into points.
Seminole Ridge capitalized on Wellington miscues in the second quarter. Hawk defensive end Zachary Cohen sacked the Wellington quarterback in the end zone for a safety. The defensive points extended the Hawk lead to 9-0.
Seminole Ridge would pile on another 10 points in the second quarter before the end of the half. Kaimyn Castilla connected with receiver Jeremiah Brown on a 44-yard scoring pass, and Freire’s 27-yard field goal lifted the Hawks to 19-0 entering the locker room.
Wellington’s defense kept the Hawks out of the end zone the rest of the game, but the Wolverine offense could not capitalize. Wellington drove twice, deep inside the Hawks’ 10-yard line, but came up empty. The miscues continued for Wellington offensively. Low snaps and dropped passes proved costly.
The Hawk defense continued to pressure the Wellington offense through the second half and did not allow a score. They limited the Wolverine offense to just 113 total yards and five first downs. Castilla completed 12 of 18 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown.
Seminole Ridge traveled to Palm Beach Gardens High School on Monday, Oct. 2 for a make-up district game, defeating the Gators 21-18 in overtime. Wellington hosted Palm Beach Central High School for its second district match-up, falling to the Broncos 34-20.
The Hawks celebrate homecoming Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. against Palm Beach Lakes High School, while Wellington travels to William T. Dwyer High School for a non-district game at 7 p.m.