Sebastian River jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead and went on to overwhelm Okeechobee 41-7 in high school football action Saturday morning at Brahman Stadium.
The game was the District 14-6A opener for both teams. The kickoff was delayed until Saturday at 11 am due to heavy rains that flooded Brahman Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday which made the field unplayable.
The Saturday morning start time does not appear to agree with the Brahmans as they dropped their second consecutive game which started early in the day.
Sharks QB Mavric Pelletier threw for 98 yards and two touchdowns, the first on the final play of the first half to give the Sharks a 27-7 lead at the half. Danuel Oscar rushed for 108 and two touchdowns for Sebastian (2-1).
Oscar said he knew the team wanted to play hard and show everyone what they can do, “We worked all spring to learn formations and plays and it’s all about trust. If you trust that the play will work, the play will work.”
Okeechobee was held to only six yards rushing and a total of 86 yards in offense.
Sebastian took control with touchdown scoring drives of five plays and 47 yards, four plays and 31 yards and two plays and 17 yards in the first quarter. An interception by Jeremy Cummings and a blocked punt gave the Sharks momentum on defense which led to great field position and quick scoring drives.
Okeechobee showed some signs of life in the second quarter as Bubba Fludd returned a kickoff 69 yards to the Sharks 31 yard line. The Sharks defense though forced a three and out as the Brahmans offense would lose eight yards on the next three plays.
Okeechobee’s touchdown came after a defensive stand at the Brahman 34 yard line. The Sharks went for it on fourth down and one but Brahman defensive end Arthur Woodruff stood up Sharks ball carrier Jalan Norris at the line of scrimmage. Two plays later Fludd found Jajuan Cherry open in the end zone for a 33 yard pass play.
The Sharks killed any momentum the Brahmans had built with a 13 play 87 yard touchdown drive in the final 3:21 of the half. They used the clock wisely and were able to score on a 17 yard pass from Pelletier to Durrell Simmons on the final play of the half.
Sebastian added two second half touchdowns to finish off the win. The Sharks drove 50 yards in five plays capped by a seven yard touchdown run by Oscar. The final drive covered 70 yards in 12 plays as Anthony Parks ran the final 22 yards for a touchdown.
Sebastian River hadn’t played in 15 days due to a rain out last week against Centennial. Coach Kevin Pettis said it was hard to keep the team sharp and his coaches had to be creative to keep his team ready.
“I think we played pretty well. Overall I’m happy. We’ll evaluate everything on field and correct our mistakes and missed assignments,” he said.
Pettis said his team knew the game was important because every district game figures to be a dogfight this year. “The only sure way to win the district is to win all the games and you can’t win them all unless you win the first on,” he explained.
Pettis said his offensive line did an outstanding job opening holes and controlled the line of scrimmage for most of the game.
Oscar said the Sharks came out and played hard for four quarters. He said this win should get the team rolling in the right direction.
“It feels great to win. I wasn’t worried about the effort. We hadn’t played in a long time and wanted to show everyone what we can do,” he added.
Okeechobee has a bye week this week and will play at Heritage Palm Bay on Friday, October 2nd.
The Sharks blocked two punts in the game. Sharks with tackles for loss included Joel Morris, Paul Dawson, Louis Smith, Kavon Parks, Anthony Parks and Ronald Freeman. Brahmans with tackles for loss included Juan Martinez, Colton Smith, Angel Garcia and Keegan Sarrows. Jensley Oscar recovered a fumble for Sebastian. Deshon Wellington had a big hit to break up a pass to Sharks fullback Ray Mothershead. The Brahmans called up a number of junior varsity players that contributed which included Sarros and defensive tackle Joshua Madrigal. The JV team was rained out Thursday at Vero Beach.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News