Seminole Ridge Narrowly Upsets No. 4 Pahokee In 21-20 Victory

Hawk running back Corey Polk tries to avoid a Pahokee defender as he runs for a big gain.

The Seminole Ridge High School football team hosted rival Pahokee High School on Friday, Oct. 19 and added to the sweetness of homecoming night with a big victory, defeating the county’s fourth-ranked team 21-20.

Pahokee struggled early to move the ball against a feisty Hawk defense. Seminole Ridge (5-3, 1-2) moved the ball down to the four-yard line on first and goal, but the Blue Devils stalled the drive with an interception. From there, it did not take long for Pahokee to strike first with a 57-yard touchdown pass that gave the Blue Devils a 7-0 first quarter lead.

A penalty nullified a Seminole Ridge 30-yard touchdown pass, but it would not stop the persistent Hawk offense. Junior running back Corey Polk tied the game at 7-7 when he ran the ball in from 11 yards out.

Pahokee responded with a solid drive into the Hawk red zone. An eight-yard touchdown run reclaimed the lead for the Blue Devils 14-7 with 3:28 remaining in the first half.

The Hawk offense punched back with a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kaimyn Castilla to Brandon Schabert to tie the game at 14-14 to close out the first half.

“It was a big win,” Castilla said. “We’ve been preaching, we’re going to get one, we’re going to get one. Just keep on working, and it will all fall into place. Hopefully, we’ll get a playoff spot.”

Seminole Ridge did not let up on offense, capping a 65-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Ethan Forman to give the Hawks their first lead of the game in the third quarter. The drive also consumed nearly five minutes off the clock. The game settled, with both teams trading punts, but the Hawks eventually created another opportunity to extend their lead. However, penalties pushed them back from the Pahokee 17-yard line to attempt a 48-yard field goal that traveled wide right late in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Devils fought the clock and drove down the field. A pass interference call gave Pahokee a chance at the Seminole Ridge six-yard line with 2:39 remaining. The Hawk defense played tough at the goal line, forcing a fourth and goal, but the Blue Devils were able to punch in a score — all they needed was the point-after kick to hit between the uprights. The kick shanked left and kept the scoreboard 21-20 in favor of the Hawks with just 49 seconds to play. A Pahokee onside kick was inevitable, but the Hawks were able to secure the ball and run out the clock.

“Our kids have been playing hard. I told them let’s play it like a playoff game,” first year Hawks head coach Rick Casko said. “We were prepared to play them, and we knew they were a very good football team. It was a total team effort. We had to win this to keep our chances alive.”

Castilla completed 14 of 27 passes for a total of 198 yards and a touchdown.

The Hawks host district rival Jupiter High School on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.