Indians get off to fast start in football
Though they scored 21 points in the final quarter of their Sept. 7 football game against Indian River High School, Stephen Decatur would still have needed two more touchdowns to beat the Indians that night.
The Indians hit the ground running to win 36-27 in their first regular-season game at the Seahawks’ stadium, but they’ll need to keep up that level of energy throughout games and the season to come.
Like clockwork, wide receiver Marquel Knight ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter. Kicker Sam Izzo connected to grab an extra point, ending the quarter at 13-0.
The second quarter was entirely scoreless — that is, until, with 4 seconds left, Izzo aced a 30-yard field goal. The Indians eased into halftime, but the Seahawks were gearing up for a comeback to erase that goose-egg from the scoreboard.
“We kind of had the upper hand early,” said IR head coach Ray Steele. “In the second half, I think we let them take over the game a little bit, but we woke up and got our head back in the game,” he said of the fourth quarter.
The second half of the game began with Stephen Decatur earning one touchdown, while Aarron Moore, Knight and Izzo threw up another 13 points. That was just enough to hold the Seahawks at bay during their massive comeback effort in the fourth.
Stephen Decatur scored thrice to put the Seahawks just three points shy of beating IR. But the green-and-gold closed the door when Knight ran 55 yards to get the final touchdown of the game with just one minute left.
Knight rushed a total of 172 yards, while Moore ran 184 and Jalen Griffin earned 70.
Steele said the team needs to work on playing four full quarters, but, overall, “I was pretty pleased. We made some mistakes, but in the first game you’re going to get that, and we’re just looking to see some improvement. … What I like is the way we came back and overcame adversity.”
The Indians will focus on conditioning this week, to prepare for kickoff at 7:30 p.m. at game Friday, Sept. 14, at Milford. Despite solidly beating Milford last year, 41-0, Steele said that, this year, “We’re going to have to work. They’re a big strong, physical team, good athletes, and better coached,” he said, compared to last year.
But the Indians, too, are focusing on improving each week for that kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re just taking them one at a time,” said Steele. “I tell them: one down, one to go.”