(Sept. 13, 2019) The Stephen Decatur football team’s coaching staff and players have been chomping at the bit to play their first game on their new turf field.
“They were super excited. It was like you almost couldn’t keep the lid on a boiling tea kettle,” Decatur Coach Bob Knox said.
The Seahawks were originally scheduled to battle the Arcadia Firebirds last Friday, but Accomack County Public Schools were closed due to inclement weather, so the game was moved to Saturday.
The sun was shining and the weather was pleasant Saturday afternoon. It was a pictured-perfect day for a football game.
“It was a great day for football and for the first game ever played on that field,” Knox said. “The setting was great, the field was great, the atmosphere was great, the surroundings were great.”
Knox walked the length of the field during the pre-game warmup.
“It sent tingles up my spine,” he said.
Senior captain Devin Waters scored from four yards out to put Decatur on the board with 3:08 remaining in the first quarter. Senior Hawk Almony’s kick was good.
Sophomore Austin Airey tallied the Seahawks’ second touchdown with 34.4 seconds remaining in the quarter. Almony’s kick boosted the Berlin squad’s advantage to 14-0.
With about seven minutes left in the second quarter, senior Teron Wright scored, and again, Almony’s kick was good.
Junior Koby Higgins added to the lead 1:20 before halftime. Almony’s extra point gave Decatur a 28-0 advantage going into the break.
Sophomore captain, quarterback Ashten Snelsire, saw Higgins had a few steps on his defender and fired the ball as he made his way into the end zone. Higgins jumped up and picked the ball out of the air for the 73-yard touchdown with 3:40 on the clock in the third quarter.
Almony’s kick made it 35-0.
Arcadia scored twice in the fourth quarter, but Decatur held on for a 35-14 victory.
“I think they played well in the first half. I think they kind of eased up in the second half,” Knox said. “I think we kind of took our foot off the pedal. The kids need to learn to finished what they started, to go full speed through the finish line.”
Higgins finished with two receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
Waters rushed 128 yards and had one touchdown. On defense, Waters made eight tackles and one interception.
Junior Max Green had five tackles and one interception.
Knox said senior captain DeCameron McAfee “was a pain in the quarterback’s side the entire game.”
“He was really pressuring their quarterback,” he said.
Knox said the win was an overall team effort.
“They were excited to get the first win on that field. I know the kids loved playing on it,” he said. “They made history. They were the first team to play on that turf field that won.”
Knox thanked the Worcester County Public School’s Board of Education and County Commissioners for allocating the funds for the field.
“It’s a top-of-the-line field,” he said. “It’s all smooth, no clumps [and] the drainage is fantastic. It was fast. It makes fast kids look even faster.”
A dedication ceremony for the new “Robert G. Knox Field and Louis H. Taylor Stadium” will take place during halftime of Decatur’s Friday, Sept. 20 game against the Easton Warriors. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Before then, Decatur will head to Centreville to take on the Queen Anne’s Lions, tonight, Friday, at 7 p.m. on their new turf field.
“It’s their first game at home and we would like nothing better than to spoil the party,” Knox said. “We need to be mentally prepared, clean up the missed tackles and play physical.”