BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity football team breezed past county rival Snow Hill, 35-23, last Friday in the regular season finale to earn its first state playoff berth since moving up to the state’s Class 3A last year.
Decatur needed the victory over the Eagles at home on Friday to complete the 7-3 regular season and earn a spot in the Class 3A-East region tournament. The win propelled the Seahawks into the third position in the state’s complicated playoff points system. Decatur will face second-seeded Fallston tonight in the first round of the playoffs on the road.
Decatur got out to a big early lead against Snow Hill and cruised to the victory. With a comfortable lead, Seahawks’ Coach Bob Knox cleared his bench for much of the second half, which allowed Snow Hill to climb back in the game somewhat, although the outcome was never in doubt. Snow Hill was down to just 14 players on its roster after several players were suspended for rules violations.
Nonetheless, it was a huge win for Decatur, which clinched a playoff spot in the Class 3A-East region for the first time. Decatur was moved up in class last year because of increased enrollment figures, which made the path to the post season for difficult for the Seahawks. Being the only school on the Eastern Shore currently classified 3A, the Seahawks playoff fate is tied to teams on the western shore. Just this week, another Bayside Conference school, James M. Bennett, was moved up to Class 3A.
With its 7-3 regular season, Decatur finished with 71 total points to earn the three-seed in the Class 3A-East tournament. Howard High School also finished with 71 points, but Decatur was granted the three-seed by collecting five more bonus points. The Seahawks will face the two-seed Fallston, while Howard will face top-seeded Wilde Lake, which finished the season at 9-1.
When it hosts Decatur tonight, Fallston will be making its first-ever appearance in the state playoffs. If Decatur gets past Fallston, the Seahawks will advance to region championship game, likely against top-seeded Wilde Lake. Should the Seahawks win the region title, they will compete for a chance to play for a state title in M&T Stadium in Baltimore later this month.