New Smyrna Beach scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Seabreeze Sandcrabs on Senior Night.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
It seems as if history continues to repeat itself for the Seabreeze Sandcrabs this season.
The Sandcrabs scored to close out the first half but gave up 14 unanswered points in the second to lose 21-14 to New Smyrna Beach on Senior Night. It was another loss that came down to a single fourth-quarter drive, when New Smyrna Beach tied the game 14-14 on a 76-yard touchdown pass.
On the team's following possession, a steady drive to work the clock in an attempt to jump ahead just before the buzzer, the Barracudas scored a 58-yard touchdown on a play-action pass.
Seabreeze was able to put together another drive when it needed it, although it was aided by two New Smyrna Beach penalties early on.
Big plays from Jason Hewitt, Connor Blair and Trey Rodriguez gave the Sandcrabs first downs on the drive, ultimately putting the team inside the 10-yard line with under a minute to play.
On fourth down, with the game on the line, Blair was unable to connect on a fade route to Jalen Hinson, and the Barracudas took over to remain undefeated.
Seabreeze tried to score on a slant route by Raushod Floyd the play before, but Blair was also unable to connect.
“They did a better job on defense than we did on offense,” Seabreeze head coach Marc Beach said after the game. “We have to give them credit. They’re 7-0 for a reason. It just seems like it’s the same story. It’s about finishing ballgames.”
The three other Seabreeze losses this season came down to late-game plays by the opposing team.
Seabreeze spoiled two of its own scoring opportunities in the first half. The first came after long pass from Blair to Rodriguez put Seabreeze at the 13-yard line. A poor snap resulted in a blocked field goal.
The Sandcrabs also left points on the field when Blair’s pass to Hinson was intercepted in the end zone by New Smyrna Beach’s Deon Washington.
“We left some points out there in the first half,” Seabreeze head coach Marc Beach said. “It could’ve put us in a little better situation.”
The Sandcrabs defense held New Smyrna Beach to seven points in the first half, including a fourth-down stop that led to a Seabreeze touchdown to end the first quarter.
With the Barracudas putting together a drive with under two minutes left in the first half, the Seabreeze defense, led by junior linebacker Kailik Williams, stopped New Smyrna Beach on a stretch play to give the ball back to the offense.
Blair dropped the ball off to running back Trey Rodriguez on a swing pass, and Rodriguez ran down to the New Smyrna Beach 22-yard line.
Seabreeze took a 14-7 lead after Blair found Hewitt on a post route with seven seconds remaining in the half.
The Seabreeze defense continued to play well in the second half, at one point forcing New Smyrna Beach into a fourth-and-20 situation, after Josh Stevens picked up his second sack of the game.
The first Sandcrabs’ score of the game came at the end of the first quarter.
The Seabreeze offense slowly pushed the ball down the field, before it picked up some momentum, the result of Blair’s pass to Floyd for a first down, putting the Sandcrabs at the 15-yard line.
Rodriguez scored his 11th touchdown of the season on a 13-yard run.
The Barracudas tied the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter when they went for it on fourth down from the 27-yard line.