Daytona Beach Seabreeze 43, Ridgewood 3

By DAVID MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
Published November 17, 2007

NEW SMYRNA BEACH - Long after most of the underclassmen had slipped into the cool, dark night clutching pizza boxes and cans of soda for the long ride home, the visiting locker room at New Smyrna Beach Sports Complex Stadium swung open and Byronell Arline trudged outside.

His knee was swollen, his foot was still bruised, and he bore the look of a young man unsure of what had just happened.

"Nobody even thought we'd be in the playoffs," the Ridgewood running back said in the wake of a 43-3 loss to Daytona Beach Seabreeze in a region quarterfinal.

But that was little consolation for the Rams. Seabreeze stifled Ridgewood's power running game, holding Arline to a season-low 81 yards on 32 carries. The Rams gained just nine first downs, and completed 2-of-15 for 60 yards.

Ridgewood looked out of synch from the start. While punting on its first possession, a long snap hit Arron Jackson in the thigh, giving Seabreeze a first down on the Rams' 18. The Sandcrabs only managed a field goal, but it was a sign of things to come.

Seabreeze running back Leroy Houston rushed for a touchdown, caught a touchdown and passed for a touchdown as the Sandcrabs used four quarterbacks.

Houston's 74-yard catch-and-run late in the first quarter put them up 16-3. Starting quarterback Troy Dannehower limped off the field at the end of the play. But it didn't matter. Seabreeze's backups completed 12-of-20 and threw three touchdowns, two in the second half.

"They just played better than we did," Ridgewood coach Chris Taylor said.

Houston finished with 183 yards from scrimmage. Seabreeze gained 417 yards of offense. And Ridgewood's dream season came to an end at 9-2.

"It's a shame it had to end like this," Taylor said, "but this Ridgewood team has done things that no Ridgewood team has ever done. ...They set the bar."

David Murphy can be reached at dmurphy@sptimes.com or 352 848-1407.

Daytona Seabreeze 43 Ridgewood 3