Seahawks Edge Rams with Huge Comeback

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity football team won its fourth straight game last Friday, beating Parkside, 25-24, but it certainly didn’t come easy.
The Seahawks fell behind early, lost prolific running back and scorer P.J. Copes to a shoulder injury, and saw its deficit widen in the second half before mounting a ferocious comeback led by a gutty performance by quarterback Justin Meekins to pull out the narrow 25-24 win over Parkside. Since falling to Easton, 28-14, on Homecoming in early October, the Seahawks have now won four in a row to improve to 6-3 and more importantly started to solidify a post-season berth.
Parkside’s Dalonte Waters, who rushed for 295 yards and three touchdowns, got the Rams on the board first with a 68-yard TD run for an early 7-0 lead. Meekins answered with a 62-yard touchdown run of his own and Austin Dundore converted the extra point to tie the game at 7-7, which is how the first quarter ended.
In the second quarter, Waters busted loose again for a 52-yard touchdown run to stake the Rams to a 14-7 lead at halftime. Early in the third, Waters dashed 55 yards for his third touchdown of the game and pushed the Parkside lead to 21-7. The Rams would add a field goal in the third to take a 24-7 lead into the final quarter.
Trailing by 17 points with a quarter left in the game, the Seahawks began their furious comeback attempt. Meekins pulled Decatur to within 11 points with a 10-yard TD run to cut the lead to 24-13 but the extra point failed. Shortly thereafter, Meekins hit Demond Henry with a 16-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 24-19 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
After both teams swapped turnovers, the Seahawks dug in with a defensive stand and forced Parkside to turn the ball over on downs with about five minutes left. Meekins then hit Shawny’e Jones with a 46-yard TD pass to put the Seahawks ahead, 25-24. Decatur went for a two-point conversion in an attempt to extend its lead to three points, but the effort failed and the lead remained 25-24. After trailing the Rams by 17 going into the fourth, the Decatur comeback was complete but there was still work to do.
Parkside drove down to the Decatur 24-yard line with time running down. However, a fourth-down pass sailed incomplete and the Seahawks held on for the dramatic 25-24 win. With the win, Decatur improved its bid for a post-season berth with just one game remaining. The top four teams in each region in the state advance to the state playoffs and the Seahawks sat firmly in third place when the point standings were updated this week in the 3A-South region.
Huntingtown is firmly in first with 86 total points, followed by Lackey in second with 69. Decatur sits in third place with 63 total points, while Thomas Stone is in fourth with 58. Thomas Stone and Lackey play each other on Friday. Meanwhile, Decatur finishes the regular season with its annual finale against Snow Hill on the road tonight.
Almost every year, the game has implications on one or both team’s playoff hopes. Last year, the Seahawks beat the Eagles, 40-24, to salvage a .500 record but fell short of the state playoffs. Two years ago, however, Decatur needed a 56-20 win over Snow Hill to finish at 7-3 and earn a three-seed in the state playoffs. The Seahawks face the Eagles on the road tonight at 6 p.m.