Saints blowout Sumter Central on homecomingPublished 1:17am Saturday, October 19, 2013
Selma moved one step closer to reaching the playoffs with a dominating 48-7 homecoming victory over Sumter Central Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Selma moves to 3-3 in the region and currently in control of the fourth playoff spot in Class 5A, Region 3.
“If we are going to stay in the playoff hunt, we needed that one,” Selma head coach Leroy Miles said.
The Saints used two defensive touchdowns and a special teams touchdown to blow a close game wide open in the second and third quarters.
In the second quarter with Selma leading 12-7, the Saints Davian Brantley intercepted a pass by Sumter Central quarterback Jadarius Wilson and ran it back 55-yards for a touchdown.
Sumter Central appeared to be driving for a matching score as time wound down in the first half, especially once the Cougars moved inside the Selma 5-yard line. However, on the final play of the half, the Saints Dytarious Johnson returned an interception 100-yards for a game-breaking touchdown to put Selma up 24-7 going into halftime.
“The defense always comes up with big plays,” Miles said about the interception. “The game felt funny because it felt like we didn’t play well.”
“They were able to move the ball on us some defensively. It seemed like we were having trouble stopping them. Then, when they get close to the goal line a defensive back comes up with a big play and we get a touchdown.”
The onslaught continued in the second half. Sumter Central lined up for a field goal with 8:19 left in the third quarter, but the Saints blocked it and Brantley returned it 90-yards for a touchdown to put Selma up 32-7.
“The second half we were able to get it on track,” Miles said. “That is a sign of a mature team. I went in and fussed a little bit at halftime because I wasn’t pleased with how we were playing. The second half we got on the right track.”
Saints running back Adam Bruno scored on a 25-yard rushing touchdown with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter, extending Selma’s lead to 40-7 after a successful two-point conversion.
Selma’s Ricky Austin would add the final score of the night with 11:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, putting the Saints up 48-7. Both teams played a lot of their reserves from that point on.
For a little while in the first half, it looked like the Saints could have their hands full. Boggs scored the opening touchdown on a 36-yard rush around left end, putting Selma up 6-0 after the extra point was blocked, but the Cougars answered right back.
Wilson threw a 66-yard touchdown pass on a play where the Saints defense had a broken coverage, putting Sumter Central up 7-6.
In the second quarter, Kendarious Merchant scored on a 2-yard touchdown to give Selma back the lead.
With Sumter Central driving on the ensuing possession, Brantley intercepted Wilson’s pass and ran it back for a touchdown, to put Selma up 18-7.
Johnson’s interception was the nail in the coffin, even in the first half.
Miles said his team was “lucky” in the first half because the game felt a lot closer than it was going into intermission.
“Like I told our kids at halftime, we were fortunate for the score to be what it was because that isn’t the way the game was played,” Miles said.
“The game was tighter at halftime than what the score appeared to be. That game was way tighter than 24-7.”
Now the focus swaps over to next week’s road game against Satsuma. For the Saints, a win would solidify their spot in the postseason.
Miles said the playoff race will be a big focal point for his team this week.
“Next week, it’s about playoffs,” Miles said. “We’ve got to have that one to be in the playoffs. If we win that one next week we are in the playoffs.”