It’s been two seasons since Keijuan Major has touched the ball on offense for Indian River before Friday night against Stephen Decatur.
Two touchdowns and over a hundred all-purpose yards running all over the Seahawk defense, he lived up to expectations in a 28-21 win.
“I’m a captain so they wanted me to step up and I stepped up,” Major said. “We got a couple of scores off of it.”
IR (1-0) jumped out on the Seahawks early in the first, forcing a -1-yard punt by Meekins on the first Decatur drive followed by a quick three and out on the next possession. Taking a sweep to the left, Major went 60 yards to find paydirt to open scoring in 2014.
“That was my first time getting the ball since my sophomore year so I thought I lost it a little bit but I (saw) a big hole that the line opened for me,” Major said. “I took it, did a little cut move to score.”
The Seahawk offense would continue to struggle on their next drive with a pick off Meekins to the seven-yard line where Deshawn Aiken would take it to the right, making it 14-0 for Indian River.
“Deshawn comes in and he’s electric with the football,” Steele said. “He’s learning, it’s his first year of varsity football.”
Momentum would shift in the second quarter when Meekins made up for his first punt, pinning River back at the ten. Holding the Indians on the drive, a weak punt would give Decatur (0-1) the ball on the Indian River 27. Seeing a hole on the right, Dryden Brous would stumble into the end zone to bring the game within seven.
“We’re gonna spread it around with who we throw the ball to, who runs the ball,” Decatur head coach Bob Knox said. “We don’t have a true star, we’ve got a number of kids who can do a good job when we spread it around.”
Forcing a fumble on the next kickoff, Decatur took over on the Indian River 38 and would be knocking into the final two minutes. After overthrowing his target on third down, Meekins would hit R.J. Hayman for a 7-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-all.
“I think we had some jitters coming out in the first half, Indian River’s a good football team and they came after us and knocked us back a step,” Decatur head Knox said. “We got our feet underneath of us, we went back and went after them — scored two touchdowns, tied it up 14-14.”
Once again, it was a different game for Indian River in the third as Major exploded down the left side after taking a pass from quarterback Deshawn Aiken to make it 20-14 following the missed kick.
“The quarterback, did a good job seeing me on a flat route to open up the field,” Major said.
Not to be outdone by his fellow wideout, Shaq Hall would take a throw to the left sideline before cutting back all the way for 75 yards. Following the two-point conversion Indian River was up 28-14.
“I saw them all go to the outside and I saw my blockers push them all to the outside so I just saw the cut and gone,” Hall said.
Coming to within 11 on their first drive after being doubled up, Decatur would stop three straight IR runs to take over on its 34 with just over seven remaining to play. Using a series of roll-outs, Meekins would find Hayman twice before launching a high throw to the corner to Matt LeCompte for 22 yards making it 28-21 with 4:19 remaining.
“We had been spreading out, running the comebacks the whole time we were spreading it out and that time we took the kid running the comebacks – had him run a post corner,” Knox said. “The kid that was in the slot ran the out and we got behind the corner, Justin threw it right where it had to be.”
Relying on the defense after giving up the touchdown, Steele refused to see a repeat of 2013 when the Seahawks came back to beat the Indians in Dagsboro.
“I told the defensive coach ‘not last year all over again,'” Steele said.
Holding the Decatur offense to short, quick throws in the final minute after a failed fourth down conversion, Indian River sealed the win with an open-field tackle to end the contest.
Decatur returns to the gridiron next Friday night against Bayside North opponent Queen Anne’s, Indian River returns to DIAA play against Smyrna of the Henlopen North.