Seymour can't recover from rough start

Oct. 19, 2013 @ 12:04 AM

In a matter of minutes — really one minute — Seymour was doomed.

Looking to snap a four-game losing streak at Morristown East on Friday night, the Eagles barely had time to get warmed up when things went wrong. A kickoff return score, a pair of penalties, an inadvertent whistle and a safety left Seymour nine points down in an instant.

“It’s 9-0 and heck, we’ve not blinked,” said Eagles coach Jim Moore.

It didn’t get much better. The Hurricanes rolled to a 44-7 victory at Burke-Toney Stadium that left Seymour tumbling to a fifth straight loss.

“It just seemed like we didn’t come out ready to play,” said Devin Davenport. “That’s what happens when you don’t. You get beat.”

Very little went Seymour’s way, but it was that first minute that seemed to be particularly devastating. The Eagles (2-6, 1-4 District 2-AAA) hit a sky-high opening kick, hoping to force a fumble and get the ball back. Bryson Stephens did drop the kick before scooping it up and flying through the approaching defenders 79 yards for the touchdown to give the Hurricanes (7-1, 4-1) a quick lead.

“We had four guys down there on the ball,” Moore said. “They ran by the ball. The kid just caught it after they ran by him and heck, there’s nobody there.”

The hole got deeper when Seymour received the ball. The Eagles were flagged for delay of game before their first snap. Quarterback Nick Sexton was pressured and called for intentional grounding on the next play.

Finally, Seymour found some success when Sexton faked a handoff and cut outside. But a whistle blew the play dead after just a yard. The quarterback stepped out for a safety the next play.

Sexton said it was an unusual series of events.

“Never in my life,” he said. “And it didn’t get much better after that, in the first half at least.”

Stagnant drives continued to pile up for the Eagles the rest of the half. Morristown East found success with big plays, running around the right side and racking up touchdown runs of 88, 25 and 19 yards to take a 30-0 lead into the break.

Sexton finished 10 of 32 for 134 yards with a 76-yard touchdown pass to Larry Kennedy to open the second half and an interception. The Hurricanes got 336 yards on the ground, including 212 and three touchdowns from Matt Thompson. Nearly 200 of Morristown East’s rushing yards came on scoring plays.

It was a steady downhill night for the Eagles the moment the opening kick flew through the air.

“As a quarterback, as a leader you’ve just got to forget (the start) and try to get everybody moving forward from that,” Sexton said. “Obviously, I didn’t do a good job of doing that tonight.”