A Week 1 bye should have given the Seahawks plenty of time to prepare for the first game of the season, but a curve ball was delivered less than two days prior to kickoff.
Starting quarterback Marcus Miles was unable to suit up due to illness and the coaching staff made the decision to place senior Joseph Dagbe under center. Dagbe has been a staple on defense, special teams and offense during his three years at the varsity level so the decision had a ripple effect across the entire lineup. “In our mind we’ve always had him as a backup it was just a matter of reps and the coaches breaking things down for him. I think the players handled it well.” Coach Jason Hescock commented post-game.
Oakton was coming off an opening-night victory last week against Fairfax; their first home win since the 2016 season. Although South Lakes has had success over Oakton the past few years, there was a constant reminder from the coaches during the week to wipe those past results from the minds of the veteran players. “I told the players to watch the film and see how hard they run and fight, this is not the same team you’ve played in the past. It was a question of getting their mindset flipped to play the opponent in front of us and I think our players responded.”
Dagbe and the rest of the offense moved the ball down the field successfully on their first possession but a high snap deep in Oakton territory led to a turnover. South Lakes was able to hold off Oakton on the ensuing possession and tallied the first points of the 2019 campaign on their next drive with a 31 yard field goal by junior Connor Robles. “I would have liked to get 7 on that possession, but I’m really glad Robles was able to get us on the board”.
After allowing a rushing touchdown early in the second quarter, the Seahawks were able to seize control of the game by scoring on back to back possessions highlighted by a 58-yard strike from Dagbe to junior Andrew Benedetto who shed two tacklers before waltzing into the end zone.
Although Dagbe scored two rushing touchdowns and threw for another, the breakout star of the game for the Seahawks was running back Anthony Giordano. The sophomore ran for 159 yards on 18 attempts and scored the first touchdown of his varsity career in front of a raucous student section. Hescock added “I’m so proud of him. He is a warrior on the field and in the weight room and is a no nonsense guy. It’s great he got rewarded on the field tonight.”
On the defensive side of the ball, South Lakes held Oakton to 85 yards rushing and 100 yards passing. Junior linebacker Ty Rankin led all Seahawks with 8 tackles and the secondary was able to intercept the Oakton quarterback twice.
Next week the Seahawks travel to Vienna to play the Madison Warhawks. A former Liberty Conference foe, the Warhawks will be a step up in competition but Hescock added that he and his coaches will clean things up after watching film and expects South Lakes to play a higher level of football.
Tonight, Friday 9/13, the Seahawks (1-0) will travel to Madison (1-1). Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm.