BY GENE NARDI
The Seminole Ridge High School varsity football squad hosted Palm Beach Gardens High School on Friday, Oct. 4 to open District 9-8A play. The Hawks fell to the Gators, 40-28.
Palm Beach Gardens was first to break the ice, and went up 13-0 early in the first quarter. The No. 7 Hawks (2-3 on the season, 0-1 in district) battled back, scoring 14 unanswered points to take a one-point lead.
On a critical early fourth and one on their own 25 yard line, the Hawks decided they needed a spark and converted for a first down. The next play, E.J. Elien ran 75 yards for the Seminole Ridge score. Jacob Curran’s point after closed the gap 13-7.
Hawk quarterback Zach Decosta then connected with PernelRattray Jr. on a 65-yard touchdown pass. Curran’s point after gave Seminole Ridge their only lead of the game, 14-13.
Both offenses lit up the field with hot performances, grinding out yards and points. The Gators powered back to take a 28-14 lead midway through the second quarter. The Hawks, determined to go blow-for-blow, found the end zone again when Jalen Young exploded 14 yards through the Gator defense, dragging defenders attached at his jersey across the goal line for the touchdown, ending the first half with the Gators up 28-21.
The second half started with a possible Seminole Ridge comeback, as the Hawks drove down to the Palm Beach Gardens 28 yard line, but they could not convert on a fourth and six play, turning the ball over on downs.
The Gators would deliver another blow to the Hawk defense, adding to their tally to take a 34-21 lead. The Hawks responded with a score, as Young ran it in from one yard out, and Curran’s point after cut the lead 34-28.
But the Gators would score for the last time, as they worked the clock in the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach for the Hawks and sealing the 40-28 win.
The Hawks, now 2-3 on the season and 0-1 in district play, will travel to Santaluces on Friday, Oct. 11.
ABOVE: E.J. Elien looks to run to the outside as he stiff-arms a Gator defender.