Mainland quarterback Cameron Hadley had a big night in the Buccaneers' 27-9 win over rival Seabreeze.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
Mainland’s victory was more than just a rivalry win.
With their 27-9 win, the Buccaneers (6-3) not only put themselves in the playoffs but also ended Seasbreeze’s season. The Sandcrabs (5-5) have a bye next week.
What was an eight-point match-up at halftime, the game was put out of reach with the most electrifying play of the game.
Mainland quarterback Cameron Hadley, on fourth down, rolled to his right and, instead of looking to pass, brought the ball down and jumped over a Seabreeze defender and into the endzone to put the Buccaneers up 24-9, with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
“(He’s) a difference-maker,” Mainland head coach Scott Wilson said of his quarterback. “He won MVP of the game. He was so focused and worked so hard (in practice).”
Hadley also threw a touchdown pass to David White and had another rushing touchdown.
“He doesn’t need much (space),” Seabreeze head coach Marc Beach said of Hadley. “And we knew that. We’ve seen the film. He’s just a special kid and he has that talent.”
For Seabreeze, injuries and turnovers were an issue all game.
Quarterback Connor Blair threw two interceptions, on back-to-back drives in the first half, leading to seven points for Mainland.
The first interception, which was picked off by Meiko Dotson and returned to the Seabreeze 5-yard line, resulted in a 37-yard missed field goal by Chris Miglioranzi.
Dwayne Copeland intercepted a pass on the next possession and returned it to the Seabreeze 10-yard line.
On second down, from the 7-yard line, Hadley ran for a touchdown, putting the Buccaneers up 7-3 early in the second quarter.
Mainland pushed the lead to 14-3 when Hadley found White for a 6-yard touchdown pass.
“You can’t turn the ball over,” Beach said. “We turned it over eight times against them last year, and three in the first half (Friday night).”
Blair, who Beach said injured his hand and wrist in the game, entered Friday night having thrown only three interceptions in 142 passes.
Seabreeze was also without standout defensive back, receiver and returner Charles Nelson, who didn’t play due to an injury.
The Sandcrabs answered the White touchdown catch less than a minute later when Blair lowered his shoulder and ran over Dotson, who had intercepted him earlier.
The Jordan Patsch extra point brought the score to 14-9, with 9:11 left in the first half.
Mainland plays Olympia Nov. 9, at home, before its matchup with Lake Gibson (9-0) in the first round of the playoffs.