Seabreeze went down swinging in the season opener against nemesis Spruce Creek on Friday, Aug. 25. The Hawks won 14-6 in the annual rivalry game played in front of a capacity crowd at “the Nest” in Port Orange.
“My kids are not quitters,” Seabreeze head coach Lester Davis said. “There are some things we have to work on, no doubt, but they fought all the way to the end. They were in a fight.”
The Hawks converted Seabreeze’s opening kickoff to a yardage spree led by Spruce Creek quarterback Luke Smith. With 9:18 left in the first quarter, Derry Norris ran in a touchdown from the 2-yard line.
My kids are not quitters. There are some things we have to work on, no doubt, but they fought all the way to the end. They were in a fight. — Lester Davis, Seabreeze head coach
The Sandcrabs held the Hawks to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter then forced a turnover just before halftime. Defensive end Brody Boda forced Smith to fumble on a pass rush with seconds remaining in the second quarter. Linebacker Dylan Hayes got the scoop and ran for a 77-yard touchdown. A sea of white and red swarmed the field, resulting in a 15-yard penalty against Seabreeze.
“We scored a touchdown, we ran out onto the field — that was the plan,” Davis said. “I want these kids to feel good — celebrated. Regardless of how we scored, we scored and we celebrated it.”
Spruce Creek’s Cam Oxendine ran for a 60-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put the Hawks up 14-6.
Seabreeze quarterback Hayden Hayes scrambled for yards with two seconds left in the fourth quarter but ran out of time.
Hayes suffered a minor injury just before the half but said he and his teammates always keep their heads down and keep working.
“Obviously, there are some things we have to work on,” he said. “I’m glad we fought to the end and didn’t give up. We put a lot of work in for this week. It didn’t come out the way we wanted it to. Just got to put in more work next week and hope for a different outcome.”
Seabreeze (0-1) heads to Bartram Trail on Friday, Sept. 1. The Bears won 20-17 in their season opener against Ponte Vedra last week. Seabreeze wide receiver, running back and free safety Denali Campbell said his team is going to go back to practice this week and work hard in preparation for Bartram Trail.
“I love all my coaches and teammates,” he said. “We are becoming the family we talked about during the summer. We are just going to take our ‘L’ and keep moving forward. Coach Lester pushed me to be my best. He put me on both sides of the ball and expected big things from me, so that’s what I’ve got to do.”