Seminole gets a needed district win in a sloppy contest with Northeast.
By JAMAL THALJI
Published October 2, 2004
ST. PETERSBURG - There are mistakes that hurt a team and mistakes that cost a team.
The Warhawks made a lot of the former Friday night. But the Vikings paid for the latter.
Seminole held onto a 14-13 road win over Northeast, securing a key Class 5A, District 10 game at John M. Sexton Field the Warhawks needed to stay in the playoff hunt.
Seminole survived four turnovers, an interception and three fumbles, one on a botched punt snap deep in Warhawk territory and the last on the final clock-killing drive.
But Northeast's mistakes cost more. The Vikings missed a handoff on third and 1 at the opposing 18 late in the third quarter, then were stuffed on fourth and 2. But it was the botched extra-point snap in the fourth that cost Northeast (2-2, 0-1) a tie with 7:18 left.
Tied for second in 5A-10, the error-prone Warhawks (2-2, 1-1) played enough defense to make someone else pay for their mistakes.
"I don't know if either team played defense, but I guess we played it when we needed to," coach Sam Roper said. "It's always great when you win, but when you beat Northeast it's a little bit sweeter."
Vikings coach Jerry Austin said his team's two-game slide is worse than it looks. Left tackle Devin Deloach and right tackle Mike Rodriqez are both out with injuries. Two two-way threats also are missing: Jerrell Lamb to a suspension and Sherman Clemons to injuries late.
"Oh, yeah, we're not very good," Austin said. "We're banged up and not very good."
Seminole's botched punt snap with 25 seconds left in the first gave Northeast the ball at the 17, and Clemons swept right 6 yards to take a 7-0 lead.
Warhawks quarterback Devin Collins heaved a bomb that Colby Erskin chased down for 53 yards. That setup Erskin's 13-yard end-around to tie it at 7 with 5:31 left in the half.
Seminole scored on the first possession of the second half. Colby burst right to score a 5-yard touchdown to go up 14-7 with 6:59 left in the third. That quarter Erskin also stuffed Clemons on fourth and 2, planting him a foot shy of the first down.
Northeast's sputtering passing game almost tied it in the fourth.
Gerald Lewis snatched a Chris Bench pass in the end zone from a Warhawks defender for the touchdown. Then Northeast rolled the extra-point snap, leaving it at 14-13.
"All year we know we've been better than the teams we've played," Erskin said. "There was always that one big play, and we didn't let the one big play happen this week."