ROSALIA — Despite suffering its first loss of the season one week earlier against Cedar Vale/Dexter, the Sedan Blue Devils still had plenty to play for in the final three weeks of the regular season in pursuit of their first postseason berth in nine years.
SHS took a big step towards that goal last Friday as it blew out Flinthills 58-8 in an Eight Man I-District 1 contest that was called early in the third quarter due to the mercy rule.
“I was very happy in the way our young men came out and performed,” said SHS coach Mick Holt, whose squad was coming off a 64-32 home loss to CVD on Sept. 28. “You never know how teenagers will respond after a disappointing setback, but I thought the way we came out and played was very admirable. I thought our defense was still kind of soft early in the first quarter, but once some of the players started playing more physical, it seemed to be contagious. Before long, they were flying to the ball and coming up to hit, whether it was taking on a block or making a tackle. It was fun to watch the way our defense played.”
With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 5-1 overall while also moving to 2-1 in District 1 action. Sedan faces a tough challenge on Friday when it travels to Central of Burden for a pivotal district showdown. The Raiders — 4-2 overall following a 78-30 victory at Oswego — have won three straight games in district play and share the District 1 lead at 3-0 with Cedar Vale/Dexter.
Sedan dominated every aspect of its game against Flinthills. Not only did the Blue Devils nearly double the offensive statistics by a 308-162 edge, they also forced the Mustangs into five turnovers for the game — three fumbles and two interceptions.
The Blue Devils had control of things from the start, striking for 30 first-quarter points. Dameion Hatten put them on the board first with a 28-yard touchdown run. Tayte Halderman followed with scoring scampers of six and four yards. Later in the period, Hatten found Eli Campbell for a 23-yard touchdown pass to help Sedan open up a huge advantage after one quarter of play.
The SHS defense got in on the scoring action early in the second period. Campbell picked up a Flinthills fumble and returned it 59 yards for a score. Sedan added two more scores before halftime on a 10-yard run by Hatten and a two-yard dive into the end zone by Isaiah Smilko. The Blue Devils had a chance to end the game in the first half due to the eight-man mercy rule, but a touchdown by Flinthills just before the break prevented that from happening.
Of course with the comfortable lead, it was just a matter of time before the Blue Devils would end things. In fact, less than two minutes into the third quarter, Cody Joslin broke loose on a 56-yard scramble into the end zone to finish off the 50-point victory.