Seminole Ridge 26, No. 9 Wellington 7: Hawks earn first victory
Friday, September 21, 2012
by Joseph Kairalla
Winless Seminole Ridge entered Friday night's game against undefeated Wellington as the underdog.
It was an unfamiliar role for the perennial powerhouse Hawks, but after thrashing the Wolverines 26-7, its safe to say Ridge appears back into familiar territory as one of the area's top teams.
The Hawks, who were beaten handily in each of their first two games, got back to the basics against Wellington by using a power running game and dominant defense to dismantle the Wolverines.
"We don't make excuses anymore," Hawks coach Matt Dickmann said. "We're a very good team, and tonight we started to show glimpses of what we can be."
Running back Silas Spearman led the way for Ridge, running for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns. He gave the Hawks the early lead when he broke a 42-yard scoring run midway through the first quarter.
"All the credit goes to my line -- they open holes and I just run hard," Spearman said.
Ninth-ranked Wellington (3-1) fumbled on the ensuing possession, and again the Hawks (1-2) made the Wolverines pay. This time fullback Alberto Hildago bruised his way in from 1 yard out, making it 14-0.
"We were too sloppy again, but we were able to hide it a little behind the play of our offensive line and running backs," Dickmann said.
Conversely, Wellington struggled offensively throughout. In the first half, the Wolverines gained just two first downs -- one via penalty. The swarming Hawks defense forced a safety midway through the second, making it 16-0. Derek Falk added a 39-yard field goal minutes later to hive Ridge a 19-0 lead at the break.
It appeared Wellington might have a comeback in it when Matthew Sabatino broke a long touchdown run early in the third, cutting the lead to 19-7. But Wellington couldn't get out of its own way as penalties and dropped passes hampered any chance of the Wolverines improving to 4-0.
Twice in the second half, Wellington receivers dropped passes with nothing but open field in front of them.
"We got bailed out," Dickmann said, "but we kept fighting and made it tough on them"
The Hawks put the finishing touches on their first victory of the year when Spearman ran it in from 4 yards out in the fourth quarter.
"We're starting to get healthy and see players play to their potential," Dickmann said. "If we can have another few weeks of solid practices, the ceiling for this team is going to keep getting higher.
"I think we're on our way to we here we want to be."