BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity football team thrashed county rival Snow Hill, 56-20, last Friday in the regular season finale to clinch a berth in the state Class 3A-East playoffs.
Just as it has in the last few years, Decatur needed a win over Snow Hill to reach the state 3A-East semifinals and took care of business with a 56-20 win. With the win, the Seahawks clinched the fourth spot in the 3A-East semifinals and will face top-seeded Atholton on the road tonight.
The Seahawks face a tough opponent in Atholton, which finished the regular season with a 9-1 record to earn the number-one seed. Atholton finished with 61 total points in the state’s graduated point system based on wins against quality opponents. Atholton’s only official loss of the year was a forfeit of a week one 39-0 win after it was learned the team had violated offseason practice schedule rules. Otherwise, Atholton was perfect on the year and allowed just 55 points all season.
Decatur, meanwhile, finished with a 7-3 record and earned the fourth spot in the 3A-East tournament with 41 points, just ahead of Hammond (40) and Reservoir (39). The state’s point system rewards teams for wins over opponents in higher classes, often making it difficult for the Seahawks because most of the teams on the Eastern Shore in the Bayside Conference are Class 2A or even 1A in some cases.
After beating Washington, 52-6, in the season opener, Decatur lost its next two to Indian River and Kent Island to fall to 1-2. The Seahawks then reeled off five straight wins to improve to 6-2. Decatur fell to Bayside South rival Wicomico, 37-7, before routing Snow Hill in the season finale to clinch the last 3A-East playoff spot. River Hill (8-2) is the number-two seed, while Howard, also 7-3, is the three-seed.
Despite the loss to Decatur in the finale, Snow Hill also finished with a 7-3 record and earned a number-three seed in the state Class 1A-East semifinals. The Eagles will face Bayside foe Cambridge-South Dorchester in the first round tonight. In the Class 2A-East tournament, Kent Island is the top seed and will face Patterson Mill in the first round, while Wicomico is the second seed and will face Fallston in its opening round game of the state tournament.