SPANISH FORT, Alabama — The South Walton Seahawks spoiled Snook Christian Academy’s first-ever homecoming, flying off of The Hill at Spanish Fort High School with a 37-16 victory over the Eagles …
SPANISH FORT, Alabama — The South Walton Seahawks spoiled Snook Christian Academy’s first-ever homecoming, flying off of The Hill at Spanish Fort High School with a 37-16 victory over the Eagles in varsity football action Friday night.
While both teams have birds of flight as their mascots, it was the Seahawks ground game that proved to be the undoing for the Eagles, rushing for 255 yards on 48 carries and five touchdowns, led by senior running back Daniel Leuze, who rushed for 165 yards on 23 carries and two scores. Sophomore Emerson Inestroza added three rushing touchdowns, chipping in a total of 61 yards on 13 carries for the Seahawks.
Things looked good for the Eagles early after the two teams traded three-and-outs on their first drives, but Snook took advantage of good field position, pinning South Walton back at their own 11 with a tackle for a five-yard loss by senior Allen Brown, followed by pass on third down that was almost intercepted by Ladarious Roper.
After a short punt, Snook took over at the Seahawk 36 and didn’t take long to score with Camaje Casey rolling 36 yards for the score. It looked as if the Eagles would fail to convert on the point-after, but Keldrick Koen, pinned in the backfield, would pitch the ball back to Trell Prim, who would find his way to the end zone to tack on two points and make the score 8-0 with 7:47 left to play in the opening period.
The Seahawks would strike back near the end of the first quarter, off an Eagle interception which gave the Florida visitors the ball deep in Snook territory at the 23.
Two plays and a penalty later, the Seahawks would strike pay dirt on an 11-yard run by Leuze and Elliott Gambla would add the extra point to cut the lead to 8-7.
Both team’s defenses would hold fast through the rest of the first half with Snook giving up just one first down and Walton two until the closing minute of the first half.
The Seahawks would take over near midfield and drive 50 yards in six plays, aided by two Snook penalties, scoring with just 7.4 seconds left on the first half clock to take a 14-8 lead into the locker room.
Neither offense would score in the third quarter, the only points coming on a South Walton sack of quarterback Camaje Casey in the Snook end zone to take a 16-8 lead with 4:07 left in the third.
But the Seahawk run game, that had just 88 yards in the first half, would come alive in the second, led by Leuze, who had 118 yards in the final two periods of play.
Leuze added his second score of the game, a 20-yard run, to open the fourth quarter, scoring with 11:50 remaining in the contest.
The Eagles looked to make a comeback on the ensuing kickoff with Ladarious Roper taking the kick, running to his right and handing off to Prim, who was racing back to the left, turning up to a wide-open field all the way to pay dirt. Casey hit senior Will Crosby in the end zone for two points to cut the lead back to within one score at 23-16.
But the Seahawks would add two more scores, both on 1-yard runs by Inestroza to put the game out of reach.
Casey (9-18-1, 110) and Prim (2-3-0, 24), along with freshman Raven Faiupu (3-4-0, 29 yards in the fourth quarter), led the Eagles aerial attack completing a combined 14 of 25 for 153 yards and one interception. In addition to completing two passes, Prim caught four for 60 yards and Roper had four catches for 28 yards.
Casey also rushed for 43 yards on 16 carries with Roper adding 29 yards on four carries and Prim 23 yards on four carries.
The Eagle defense kept the game close forcing four turnovers, including two interceptions by Roper and one by Faiupu, along with a fumble recovered by Riley McGregor; along with four sacks and three tackles-for-loss.
But penalties would prove costly with the two teams combining for 27 totaling 219.5 yards (10 for 95 yards for the Seahawks, 17 for 114.5 yards for the Eagles, including three penalties that were half the distance to the goal.
The Eagles fall to 3-2 on the season and take a week off from competition before traveling to Tallahassee, Florida, Oct. 6 to take on the McClay Marauders (2-2).