Decatur Beats Snow Hill
BERLIN- Stephen Decatur's varsity football team beat county rival Snow Hill, 23-13, last Friday in the regular season finale to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the state Class 3A-East region tournament.
After starting the season with a 1-4 record, including an abysmal mid-season 0-3 stretch, the Seahawks won their last five games to improve to 6-4 and clinch the fourth playoff spot in the 3A-East Region tournament. Decatur entered last Friday's season finale tied with Howard for the fourth in the 3A-East point standings with Bayside rival James M. Bennett lurking close behind in fifth.
However, Decatur took care of business against Snow Hill, beating the Eagles, 23-13, to earn a trip to the state playoffs and at least one more game. Howard was eliminated from contention when it lost to Hammond, 17-12, and although Bennett clobbered Wicomico, 49-3, it fell just short of Decatur in the point standings.
In the end, Decatur finished with 60 points to take the fourth spot, while Bennett finished close behind with 59.3 total points. The state's point system is based on win-loss records against quality opponents with higher points awarded for win over schools in higher classes.
For example, three of Decatur's wins came against Class 2A teams in the Bayside Conference, with two more coming against 1A teams Snow Hill and Washington. Decatur did beat the only other Class 3A team on its schedule, Bennett, which proved to be the difference for the Seahawks.
The win over Snow Hill clinched the state playoff spot for Decatur, however, as it usually does. The two teams always play in the regular season finale with a playoff spot for either team, or both, on the line. Last year, Snow Hill beat Decatur to end the Seahawks' hope for a playoff spot. Two years ago, it was Decatur beating Snow Hill to clinch its first playoff spot since moving up to Class 3A.
The regular season was a roller coaster ride for Decatur, which lost several key players to injury along the way. After falling to Rising Sun, 34-19, in the season opener, the Seahawks rebounded with a 47-14 rout of Washington.
Decatur then went into a mid-season tailspin, dropping three straight to Bayside North powerhouses by a combined score of 121-31. The Seahawks lost to North Caroline, 51-24; Queen Anne's, 35-0; and Kent Island, 35-7, during the dismal stretch to fall to 1-4 on the season.
Decatur then got red hot at the right time against familiar foes in the Bayside South starting with the all-important 20-13 win over Bennett. Since then, the Seahawks have beaten Easton, 47-6; Parkside, 38-6, Wicomico, 27-20; and Snow Hill, 23-13, to improve to 6-4.
The Seahawks travel across the Bay Bridge tonight to face powerhouse River Hill, which is the top seed in the Class 3A-East region. The Hawks went 9-1 during the regular season and finished with 102 total points. River Hill's only loss came at the hands of Atholton and the only other game when the Hawks were really tested was a 14-7 win over Glenelg. Otherwise, River Hill shutout three opponents and scored over 40 points in four games. The Hawks beat Mt. Hebron, 51-0, last week in its regular season finale.