For three quarters the game between South Lakes and Yorktown was befitting of two teams vying for a conference title. With the teams deadlocked at 10, Yorktown was finally able to break free with 3 touchdowns in the fourth quarter to defeat South Lakes 31-10 and their first Liberty Conference title in team history.
South Lakes’ first-quarter offensive struggles continued as they committed turnovers in Yorktown territory on their first 2 possessions which resulted in an early 7 point deficit to the host Patriots. The Seahawk defense remained stout and shut down the Patriot run game all night while holding their potent passing game to completions of under 10 yards at a time. However, an early opportunity to get Yorktown off the field was negated by a fourth down offside call and enabled Yorktown to retain possession and consume the clock. The struggles to get the Patriots off the field on third and fourth down resulted in South Lakes having just four offensive series in the first half and twelve minutes of possession throughout the night. “Getting off the field on third and fourth down has been our Achilles heel all season.” Coach Jason Hescock stated post-game.
South Lakes’ lone touchdown was almost a turnover as well, but the ball was fumbled at the goal line and recovered in the end zone by an alert Wilson Seneca to even the score. A third quarter field goal by Garrett Matthes evened the game at 10 as Yorktown took possession heading into the final quarter. “Down by 3 we did not want to miss an opportunity to even the game in that situation and also wanted to give the players a morale lift and make it an even game going into the fourth quarter – I was hoping momentum would shift our way but it didn’t happen.”
After a rushing touchdown by Yorktown gave the Patriots an early fourth quarter lead, South Lakes committed their third turnover of the night in Yorktown territory and halt any attempt to draw even. Following the interception, Yorktown quarterback Grant Wilson hit receiver Max Patterson in stride for a 72-yard touchdown reception. The duo connected again for a 61-yard strike after a miscommunication in the Seahawk secondary led to Patterson running free downfield.
Despite what the scoreboard will show, the game was tight and the Seahawk defense was successful in containing the Yorktown offense most of the evening. ”A lot of our defensive game plan was successful until the final quarter – we knew what to do but we just lost focus. There are about seven plays that I can tag on the season that if we executed as planned we could be in a better position heading into the final week of the regular season. These errors are teachable moments but at this point of the season we need players to start executing outside of practice.”
This Friday, South Lakes with host a winless Herndon squad in the latest edition of the Baron Cameron Bowl. A victory would ensure the Seahawks move forward into the postseason. “We would love a situation to rest some guys this week but we are in playoff mode starting now. Herndon has nothing to lose and would want nothing more than to end their season by beating us – if Herndon goes 1-9 it is a successful season for them.”
Tonight, South Lakes (5-4, (2-2)) will host Herndon (0-9, 0-4)) on Senior Night for the “Baron Cameron Bowl.” Kick-off is scheduled for 7 P.M.