When Friday’s season-opening game between Lookout Valley and Silverdale Baptist Academy finally got under way, the Seahawks came out ready to rumble.
With the game delayed 88 minutes by light rain, lightning dancing through the clouds and thunder rolling over Silverdale’s stadium, the Seahawks jumped on the Yellow Jackets for 23 first-quarter points and romped to a 42-12 non-district game before a nice crowd that stuck around for the entire game that ended at 11:10 p.m.
The Seahawks, who had lost six of the eight previous meetings against Lookout Valley, took the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards in six plays with fullback Lincoln Phillips scoring on a 26-yard run.
The trend was set.
Silverdale got a safety when Lookout Valley, forced to punt, snapped the ball out of the end zone, Phillips scored again on a 28-yard run and freshman quarterback Alex Gonzalez hit senior receiver Tristan Huggins on a 3-yard scoring strike and the Seahawks were in complete control with 5:44 left in the opening quarter.
“I’m really pleased,” Silverdale coach Al Rogers said. “Lookout Valley is an athletic team, but they had some issues with cramping. For us to score 42 points on Lookout Valley, that’s big. I always want the ball first to hit them in the mouth.
“We kept it pretty basic. I guess we showed about 10 percent of our offense and that’s what I wanted to do. But that 10 percent is our bread and butter. We kept a good rotation of backs in there.”
Friday’s point total was the Seahawks’ highest production in nine games against the Yellow Jackets. Silverdale scored 38 in the 2010 meeting of the small-school rivals and won by 30 points, snapping Lookout Valley’s five-game winning streak in the series.
With several Lookout Valley players heading to the sideline with cramps, Yellow Jackets coach Tony Webb requested a running clock with Silverdale leading 36-6 and 8:40 mark of the third quarter.
“We are cursed with the number of kids we have to play,” said Webb, entering his 10th season as the Yellow Jackets’ coach and 17th at the school. Silverdale can play a lot more kids than we can and some of our kids never come off the field.
“That’s just the way it is at Lookout Valley and we have to deal with it. We’ll cramp up some next week, but it’ll get better each week when we’re in a little better shape.”
Silverdale, showing very little of its playbook, stuck with its vaunted ground attack and that alone was more than the Yellow Jackets could handle.
Rogers, who rushed for 1,086 yards and 10 touchdowns while helping the Seahawks reach the second round of the Class 2A state playoffs in 2012, picked up Friday where he left off last season. A year ago, Rogers rushed for at least 100 yards and scored at least one touchdown in six of his last seven games.
On Friday, the speedy Rogers picked up 128 yards on nine carries and scored touchdowns on third-quarter runs of 57 and 13 yards.
“It was good that we came out on a positive note and got the win,” Rogers said. “We made a few mistakes, but they’re fixable mistakes. We’ll practice on those next week.”
Rogers was asked what he thought of his performance.
“We got the ‘W’,” he said. “That’s the main thing.”
Matt Millard added 76 yards on 11 carries and Phillips gained 73 yards on just four tries and the Seahawks, who went 10-2 last season, finished with 289 yards on 28 carries for a 10.32-yard average per play.
“When Phillips gets headed in the right direction he’s hard to bring down,” Al Rogers said. “Matt (McCulley) had a couple of nice runs, but we’ve got to get that ankle better because he was our workhorse last year.”
McCulley is battling an ankle injury and carried only two times for 16 yards against the Yellow Jackets. He led the Seahawks with 1,224 yards of offense and 14 touchdowns a year ago – Rogers had 1,191 rushing and pass receiving yards.
Silverdale had 324 yards of offense while its hard-hitting defense checked Lookout Valley on 119 yards, including 66 on the ground.
The Seahawks stretched the lead to 30-0 when Millard zipped into the end zone from 10 yards out with 8:28 left in the second quarter.
The Yellow Jackets, coming off a 5-6 record in 2012, bounced back with a 61-yard, 11-play drive that was kept alive when the Seahawks were called for a roughing-the-passer penalty on a fourth-and-six play from the Silverdale 9.
Lookout Valley’s freshman quarterback Evan Walker’s pass was incomplete on the play, but the penalty moved the ball to the 4.
On the next play, Jaylen Wynn scored the Yellow Jackets’ first touchdown. Wynn led Lookout Valley’s ground game with 34 yards on 20 carries.
“They jumped on us early, but I was kind of proud of that second-quarter drive,” Webb said. “That was a good one.”
Walker scored Lookout Valley’s second touchdown on a 3-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
“I told our kids that two years ago (Silverdale) came to our place and they were young and we were old,” Webb said. “We’re pups right now and that’s the nature of single-A football. We have a freshman quarterback and we have young backs who have been around, but haven’t played a ton.
“That’s a good team over there. When you’re young and playing an older, more experienced football team, this can happen.”
Lookout Valley 0 6 0 6 — 12
Silverdale Baptist 23 7 12 0 — 42
SB – Lincoln Phillips 26 run (Connor Eischeid kick), 9:39
SB – Safety, ball snapped out of end zone, 7:53
SB – Phillips 28 run (Eischeid kick), 7:07
SB – Tristan Huggins 3 pass from Alex Gonzalez (Eischeid kick), 5:44
SB – Matt Millard 10 run (Eischeid kick), 8:28
LV – Jaylen Wynn 4 run (pass failed), 2:28
SB – Josh Rogers 57 run (kick failed), 8:57
SB – Rogers 13 run (kick blocked), 1:20
LV — Evan Walker 3 run (run failed), 4:44
First Downs 9 14
Rushes-Yards 35-66 28-289
Passing Yards 53 35
Total Yards 119 324
Com.-Att.-Int. 5-7-1 3-5-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 0-0
Punts.-Avg. 2-27.5 1-34
Penalties-Yds. 3-20 5-45
RUSHING — Lookout Valley: Jaylen Wynn 20-34, Evan Walker 4-19, Javonte Epps 5-17, Sean Kirk 4-8, Team 2-minus 12; Silverdale Baptist: Josh Rogers 9-128, Matt Millard 11-76, Lincoln Phillips 4-73, Matt McCulley 2-16, Chance Brown 1-6, Tanner Webb 1-minus 10.
PASSING — Lookout Valley: Evan Walker 5-7-53-1; Silverdale Baptist: Alex Gonzalez 2-4-22-1, Nathan Keylon 1-2-13-0.
RECEIVING — Lookout Valley: Ramone Williams 2-42, Pascual Aranda 1-12, Adrian McGhee 1-0, Jaylen Wynn 1-minus 1; Silverdale Baptist: Colton Rogers 2-32, Tristan Huggins 1-3.
(E-mail Larry Fleming at email@example.com)