ASTPOINT – Coach Tony Yeomans was quite pleased that in his first year as head coach of the Seahawks, the young men have earned a 6-4 record.
He’s not so happy that his team didn’t make the playoffs, even though Jefferson County, with a 4-6 record, did.
“It ain’t right, the playoff system’s got a lot of kinks in it,” he said, after his team managed to finish just three points behind Jefferson in the point totals.
The reason for that is because teams are awarded points, for a win or a loss, based on four tiers – those against teams who have won 80 percent of their games, those who have won 60 percent, those who have won 40 percent, and those who have won fewer than that.
“You should have to have a winning record,” said Yeomans. “There’s a flaw in the system. This is about the kids and you’re taking that away from them. It’s just not right. Is that fair for people with a winning record?”
Yeomans said the state should have looked at the playoff system in Georgia, rather than turning to a method employed in Kansas, not traditionally viewed as a football state.
The top four teams in the region will square off Friday night, with Jefferson County hosting top finisher Blountstown, and #3 Port St. Joe hosting runner-up Cottondale.
Yeomans said he tried to schedule a bowl game for Friday, an option available to teams, but couldn’t find any takers. “We’re done,” he said.
Yeomans said junior cornerback Ethan Riley, who led Class 1A with nine interceptions, has been named the Apalachicola River Valley Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Senior tight end Landen Abel and senior runner back Dalyn Sheridan both made first team offense, while junior defensive end Tonnor Segree and junior linebacker Rufus Townsend both made first team offense.
Big Senior Night win over Munroe
The Seahawks, who all season have listened toYeomans’ mantra for them to “keep chopping wood,” closed out the regular season Thursday night with a resounding “Timber.”
By felling the Munroe Bobcats 49-8, the Seahawks finished 6-4, the first winning record in school history and the best since Josh Wright posted a 4-6 record at the school in 2009.
The game wasn’t a flawless performance for the Seahawks, when senior Dalyn Sheridan, after delivering a 35-yard run around end had the ball stripped on the Munroe 11 early in the first quarter.
But coach Rodell Thomas’ Bobcats (1-10) were unable to advance out of their red zone under a fierce rush by the Franklin County defensive line, that pinned junior running back Michael Starling back on the 1.
“It was a pretty dominant performance on our defense and then our offense picked it up,” said Yeomans.
Sheridan redeemed himself on the second play of the next drive, when he ran it in from 31 yards out. With four minutes left in the half, he rushed seven yards for a score, and then again early in the third quarter, when he rambled 25 yards into the end zone to cap a 65-yard drive.
Sheridan, who finished with 12 carries for 134 yards, earned his fourth and final touchdown with 2:30 left in the third quarter, when he scooped up a fumble by junior Julian Harrison on the Munroe 25 and ran it in for the score.
With two minutes left in the first quarter, junior fullback Rufus Townsend bulled his way in from the 7.
With 20 seconds left in the half, Riley, who finished with nine rushes for 204 yards, broke a 65-yard run, and then freshman quarterback Lamarius Martin hit senior tight end Landen Abel with a 10-yard pass in the corner of the end zone, with the Seahawks going into the locker room ahead 24-0.
With a little under six minutes left in the third quarter, Martin snuck it in from the 5, but for the second time of the night, the team failed to covert the two-point conversion try.
Usually a reliable booter of extra points, junior Abner Ramirez had one kick hit the goalpost, and a later attempt blocked. Senior Jack Harris managed to connect on just one of his four extra point kicks.
“We probably had more penalties this game than we’ve had all year but we corrected some things and talked to them about having composure and playing like we play. We lost our composure and I teach composure and I was a little upset about that,” said Yeomans.
The Bobcats earned their lone score with four minutes left in the game when junior quarterback Joshua Glynn ran it in from five yards out, and then converted the two-point conversion.
After putting all 10 of his seniors in on defense in the fourth quarter, Yeomans engineered the team’s eighth and final touchdown when eighth grader Colin Amison, at quarterback, connected on a 20-yard scoring strike to older brother senior Christian Amison.
“I wanted them to go out together and play together,” said the coach. “That’s something they’ll take away for the rest of their lives.”