The plan never went right last season, but what a difference a year can make.
During the games last season when the Stephen Decatur football team went 2-8, something just didn’t seem right. Either the offense played poorly, the defense was porous or a combination of both contributed to the Seahawks’ downfall.
But after Decatur’s 21-13 win over Wicomico High School on Saturday, the Seahawks are soaring with a 2-0 record.
Head coach Bob Knox said he and his team got back to basics and the offensive line has been the key.
“I think it has especially on the offensive line,” Knox said. “Last year, we were more of a gimmick team, and we’ve gotten back to what I like to do best, which is here we come and if you can stop us, well, that’s great.”
The record last season really frustrated the line, Knox said. He said the whole team felt they were better than two wins.
One of those wins was against a tough North Caroline team that is now a favorite in the Bayside North.
But the Seahawks aren’t focused on wins and losses because Knox knows they can’t win every game.
Now, they just want the effort.
“I tell the kids, ‘Don’t worry about wins and losses,’ ” Knox said. “ ‘Worry about how hard you play. At the end of each game, go look in the mirror and if the person looking back at you said you played a good game, you played as hard as you could and be satisfied.’ ”
Players such as senior left tackle Ernest Shockley are buying in too. The returning starter believes that practice has really motivated the Seahawks.
“A new team, a couple new players and what we’re doing out here —the way we practice —hard work has no choice but to produce results,” Shockley said.
To the right of Shockley is senior left guard Andre Jordan, junior center Jion Joobeen, sophomore right guard Justin Mangiello and senior right tackle Cole Barrett.
Those five have helped senior running back rush for close to 300 yards this season and four touchdowns, including three against Wi-Hi.
“I tell the offensive line, ‘Dryden didn’t rush for 159 yards last week and three touchdown, you did,’ ” Knox said. “Dryden just happened to be the guy that was carrying the ball.”
“I played line, and you never get any credit,” Knox added. “It’s always the glory guys.”
Brous has given the line credit after each game, and even tight end De’Quan Andrews, whose big frame does as much blocking as the line, gave props to Shockley.
The senior said Shockley was down field blocking on the tight end screen that went for a big gain on third down.
“Coach is pushing us pretty hard in the weight room over the summer, he pushes us hard in practice and those games last year motivated us this year to start winning,” Andrews said.
He can rumble, Knox said of Andrews, but it’s his attitude Knox loves.
He just goes out and does what we need to have him do,” Knox said.
Decatur will need all of the pieces to stay together for the game against Easton at 6 p.m. Friday.
“Easton is fast, big and a ticking time bomb,” Knox said. “Their 0-2 record is an underachievement and they could snap out of it soon.”
With a little more consistency on offense, and continued aggressive defense, Knox feels wary, but confident of the Seahawks’ chances.
“They’re a ticking time bomb and they’re waiting to explode on somebody,” he said. “Hopefully, we won’t let them.
“That’s the plan.”
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