The Seaford football season has been full of highs and lows and the most recent loss to Polytech was palpable after a come from behind 82-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Vince Evans to James McNeill and a chance to tie the game with less than a minute to play in the game. Seaford head coach Austin Perry opted to play for the two points and Evans on a play to his weak side was unable to connect with Justin Jackson and the Panthers celebrated the 22-21 win on Friday night.
Evans, in his first season as a high school quarterback, is emerging as a standout talent, completing 13 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Seniors Tre’von Paulson and McNeill continue to lead on offense.
“I am not the kind of guy that coaches not to lose, I always coach to win,” said Perry. “Overtime on the road is never a situation you want your team to be in.”
Zahir Seymore follows the tackles on his carry for Seaford in the varsity football game in Woodside. Photo by Lynn Schofer
Seaford struggled in the opening quarter to stay put on the line of scrimmage, giving up 15 yards to penalties. The Panthers held possession for the first eight minutes of play and scored with the extra two points for a first quarter 8-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Jackson intercepted the Panther pass and returned the ball to the 47 yard-line. The ball was handed off to Jakob Keglovits and on two carries covered the yards for a touchdown. Seaford failed to convert two points and trailed 8-6.
Polytech pushed their own possession back on penalties but a face mask by Seaford repositioned the ball and resulted in a first down. On the next play Paulson recovered a fumble and Seaford took over a midfield. Seaford’s Luke Metzner kicked a field goal for a 9-8 lead with 26 seconds remaining in the half. On the kick-off Seaford gave up an 84-yard touchdown return plus two to trail 16-9 at half-time.
In the second half, Seaford’s Regge Gaston received a great block by Jaizzin Long to return the ball to midfield. The Blue Jays moved to the Panthers 22 yard-line where they were stopped on fourth down and turned the ball over on downs. The defensive line came alive in the third quarter and Noah Keglovits collected a sack for an eight-yard Panther loss. Seaford retook possession at the 31 yard-line and Paulson’s overhead catch for a 26-yard touchdown reception tightened the game. Polytech blocked the extra point and remained in the lead, 16-15.
In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter Polytech pulled away when the secondary lost sight of Jalen Anderson for a 42-yard passing touchdown. Seaford denied the Panthers’ two point attempt for a score of 22-15. Seaford took possession at the 35 yard-line and after two completed passes and a quarterback keeper the Blue Jays were at the four yard-line but a fumble on the carry turned the ball over the Panthers.
Seaford frustrated the Panthers resulting in a 15-yard personal foul penalty and punt. On a second down Evans connected with McNeill and Seaford scored on the 82-yard play but fell short on the two-point conversion and Polytech won by one point.
Perry said as the team prepares for the final two games of the season, “We just have to keep fighting. We are still in the playoffs hunt.” Seaford’s final two games are at Bob Dowd Stadium beginning this Friday against St. Andrews. A community tailgating from 5-6:30 p.m. with cornhole, vendors, face painting, and prizes will launch the night.