BY GENE NARDI
The Seminole Ridge High School varsity football team hosted Broward’s South Plantation on Friday, Aug. 22 in a preseason match-up. The Hawks edged the Paladins 24-20 for the win before a capacity crowd at Callery-Judge Stadium.
Although Seminole Ridge never trailed in the contest after a pair of scores by running backs Kerrith Whyte and Dalton Case, South Plantation did manage to tie the game 14-14 in the first half.
The Hawks defense stepped up and kept the Paladins out of the end zone for the rest of the half. Seminole Ridge did manage to regain the lead with a 28-yard field goal by Jacob Curran to close out the first half of play 17-14.
Seminole Ridge held the Paladins on their initial drive of the second half, and then continued with their ground-and-pound game, chipping away at the game clock.
With less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Hawks launched a 65-yard drive, capped off by Whyte’s second rushing score of the night from 4 yards out. Curran’s point after extended the Hawk lead to 24-14.
The bruising ground game made it difficult for South Plantation’s team to establish an offensive assault, but they did get their opportunity late in the game, only to be stopped by a Travis Tanner interception on the Seminole Ridge 9-yard line.
The Hawks looked to put another punishing drive together but were cut short by an interception inside the Paladin 25-yard line. With less than three minutes to play, South Plantation mounted a drive to close the gap, and eventually reached pay dirt with a 2-yard rushing score. The score was too little too late, though, as their attempt at a 2-point conversion fell incomplete.
The Hawks ran out the clock to seal the 24-20 victory.
Seminole Ridge’s run-game churned out more than 300 total yards. Whyte had 11 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Jalen Young carried eight times for 106 yards. Tanner had 17 rushes for 120 yards and is credited with an interception. Cornerback Shaquille Bussey also had an interception.
Seminole Ridge will travel to Boca Raton on Friday, Aug. 29 to take on the Bobcats in the regular season opener at 7 p.m.
ABOVE: Hawk running back Sean Edwards finds some room to gain yardage up the middle.