By Gene Nardi
The Seminole Ridge High School varsity football squad rolled over the John I. Leonard Lancers last Friday night, winning 45-14 before a capacity crowd at Callery-Judge Stadium.
The win lifts the Hawks to a 2-0 start on the season.
Seminole Ridge started the game shaky, fumbling the opening kickoff, but recovered it deep in their own territory. A brief rough start eventually turned into a high-powered offense that ran on eight cylinders most of the night. The Hawks scored on every possession in the first half.
The Hawks drove 95 yards, consuming eight minutes off the clock for the first score. Running back Kerrith Whyte ran in from just 3 yards out. Jacob Curran’s point after gave Seminole Ridge an early 7-0 lead.
John I. Leonard responded as soon as they touched the ball on the ensuing kickoff, running it back 65 yards for the touchdown to cut the lead to 7-6. The Lancers’ point-after kick was blocked.
Seminole Ridge would mix it up on offense to move the ball. A crucial decision to go for the first down on fourth and five on the Lancer 15-yard line proved to be effective, as the Hawks converted with a yard to spare. E.J. Elien would eventually run it in from the left side to extend the Hawk lead to 13-6.
The Hawk defense stifled the Lancer offensive attack most of the night. It was the special teams that the Lancers needed to put points on the board.
The Lancers ran back a second Seminole Ridge kickoff 100 yards for the score to close the gap, 28-14. But the Hawks put in another score to close the half 35-14. Turnovers and the Hawk defense haunted the Lancers throughout the game.
The final score came in the fourth quarter, when Hawk kicker Jacob Curran on a fourth and 15, hit a school-record 51-yard field goal. Seminole Ridge closed out the game 45-14.
Seminole Ridge quarterback Zach DeCosta threw 11 for 13 for 165 yards and three touchdown passes.
Elien rushed for 149 yards and a score. Whyte is credited with a score. Running back Darrell Hickman also had a rushing score. Receivers Pernel Rattray, Jalen Young and tight end Tanner Zaskey each had a touchdown reception. Curran had the 51-yard field goal.
Seminole Ridge was back in action Thursday, Sept. 12 at Park Vista High School, but the score was not available at press time. The Hawks return to the field Friday, Sept. 27 at Palm Beach Central High School.
ABOVE: Hawk receiver Pernel Rattray tries to pull away for more yards.