BERLIN- The Stephen Decatur varsity football team’s magical late-season run came to a halt last weekend with a 47-14 loss to top-seeded River Hill in the first round of the state Class 3A-East region tournament.
The Seahawks went on a five-game winning streak late in the season to secure the final playoff spot in the Class 3A-East region playoffs. After starting the season 1-4, including a tough 0-3 stretch against Bayside North powerhouses North Caroline, Queen Anne’s and Kent Island, the Seahawks pulled it together and went on a remarkable 5-0 run culminating in a 23-13 win over county rival Snow Hill in the regular season finale.
With the late winning streak, Decatur finished 6-4 and earned the number-four seed in the 3A-East region, but, as usual, the Seahawks had to travel across the Bay Bridge to face a tough River Hill team in Howard County. River Hill went 9-1 during its regular season and earned the top seed in the region playoffs.
It might have been the three-hour bus ride to Howard County or simply being overmatched by the physical River Hill team, or likely a combination of both, but Decatur fell behind early to the Hawks and never recovered. River Hill scored early and often against the Seahawks and built a 33-7 lead by halftime.
In the second half, Decatur recovered somewhat and appeared to gain a little momentum against the Hawks. Early in the third quarter, Decatur scored on a 35-yard touchdown run by John Moor to cut the lead to 33-14, and with nearly an entire half to play, the Seahawks threatened to get back in the game.
However, what momentum the Seahawks gained was quickly lost after a series of miscues. Early in the fourth, River Hill returned a Decatur fumble 90 yards for an apparent touchdown, but the play was called back on a penalty. River Hill then marched 47 yards for a touchdown to extend its lead to 40-14 with just over five minutes left in the game.
On its next series, Decatur fumbled again and River Hill went on a long, clock-consuming drive that culminated in a final touchdown and a 47-14 win. The loss on the road to a Howard County powerhouse did little to tarnish what turned out to be a remarkable season for the young Seahawks.