South Lakes bounced back from a one point loss in Week 7 to notch a 21-3 victory on the road versus conference foe Washington-Liberty Friday night.
The Seahawk defense exerted its will against the Generals and limited the host team to an identical tally of 78-yards rushing and 78-yards passing. Although the South Lakes secondary was held without an interception for just the second time this season, the front seven was able to sack the General’s quarterback six times led by Gabe Gibson and Anthony Giordano. “He was just “head-snapping” the center and guard all night,” Coach Jason Hescock explained when talking about Gibson. “He was just exploding off the ball and pushing those guys back each time.”
On the other side of the ball, the South Lakes offense totaled 478 yards on the night highlighted by a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown by receiver Andrew Benedetto, but that was not the most interesting play of the game. After a scoreless first quarter and South Lakes holding a 7-0 lead, Washington-Liberty punted with the intent of pinning South Lakes deep in their own territory. Receiver Joseph Dagbe picked up the short kick on the South Lakes 22-yard line and weaved his way downfield towards the left pylon but a goal-line hit by a General player knocked the ball out of Dagbe’s arm and into the end zone before being called for a touchback. When talking about the play post-game Hescock said, “The ref explained that the runner fell out of bounds and then he recovered the ball. It’s what I saw but I wanted to see if the ref had a different view; it was the right call.” The resulting play gave the ball back to Washington-Liberty which led to their only points on the night, a 33-yard field goal by kicker Pedro Palacios.
Seahawks quarterback Marcus Miles was intercepted three times, his first picks of the season, but Washington-Liberty was unable to turn the interceptions into points. It is the first time this season that South Lakes lost the turnover battle. “We went 5 or 6 weeks without a turnover and the floodgates kind of opened up. On the last turnover, the coaches were debating run instead of pass but wanted to show something on film in that situation that future opponents hadn’t seen before when they prepare to play us. In hindsight, it was a bad result but it is a teaching moment for everyone.”
Coach Hescock went on to praise the work of the scout team and others that don’t always get to see the field Friday night as a big reason why the team was successful against the Generals. “The scout team provided a great example of the Washington-Liberty offense during our preparations which helped out our defense. We’ll need the same this week.”
This week South Lakes will host the surprising McLean Highlanders as part of Homecoming Week. Hescock called them a “blue-collar” team that does not quit. “I told the boys you play the player and not the name on the jersey. We’ve had success against them in the past but that is not the team we are playing Friday. We’ll have to avoid all the distractions and emotions of homecoming. If we play bad it can ruin the atmosphere…we just need to play good football and keep focus.”
Tonight, South Lakes (4-3) will host McLean (4-3). Kick-off is scheduled for 7 P.M.