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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 6 years ago

Sandcrabs' playoff hopes rest in final two games

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The Seabreeze Sandcrabs have a few more losses than they'd like. But they can still make the playoff, in their final two games of the season.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

With two games remaining in their season, the Seabreeze Sandcrabs still aren't sure they'll make the playoffs.

With a 4-4 record overall, 1-1 in the district, the Sandcrabs' final two games will be played against district opponents Pine Ridge and Mainland. Winning both games puts the Sandcrabs' through, into the postseason.

“We should be favored to win (against Pine Ridge),” Beach said. “They're just a young football team and don't have a bunch of kids. Mainland is a big rivalry game, and anything can happen.”

But for Seabreeze to give itself the best opportunity to end the season with two wins, Beach’s players will have to reverse what’s become a concerning trend: losing games late in the fourth quarter.

“It just seems like we’re just not finishing,” Beach said. “It doesn't just come down to offense or defense. It’s a few plays or drives here and there throughout the game.”

All four Seabreeze losses came after the team had a lead in the fourth quarter. So Beach has added new elements to practice to improve late-game performances. But maybe more importantly, he said, the team needs to put those games behind them and move forward.

Although they’ve played their last official home game, the Sandcrabs will return to Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium Nov. 2, after traveling to Pine Ridge.

History repeats itself on Senior Night

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, Oct. 18, on Senior Night. It was another loss that came down to a single fourth-quarter drive, when New Smyrna 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 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,” 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.”

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