South River football coach Dave Summey holds his defensive unit in such high regard that he set a limit on the number of points it could yield this season.
"We have a team goal of holding the opposition under 100 points on the season, and tonight was a great start," said Summey, after watching his Seahawks squeeze out a 6-3 overtime victory at Broadneck's Lawrence E. Knight Stadium Friday night.
"In a nutshell, we really take pride in our defense. We put our best 11 kids on defense and all week in practice we emphasize defense."
It was a tremendous defensive effort by both squads, however, that sent the scoreless game into overtime.
Broadneck moved the ballinto Seahawks territory late in the first quarter but came up empty when senior tackle Derrick Raikes put a hit on junior Chuck Eaton to halt a Bruin drive at the 5-yard line.
"We got the ball in there the whole game almost and we couldn't get it in," said Broadneck coachJeff Herrick, whose Bruins have never beaten the Seahawks. "We had acouple missed blocks and there was some good defensive plays by South River."
Three of those "good defensive plays" came courtesy of South River's senior defensive back Joe Messenese. Messenese spoiled Bruin quarterback Brian Tate's debut by snagging three interceptions.
South River produced its most impressive drive of the game in the second quarter when it moved the 64 yards on 13 plays. Two penalties and some blown assignments kept the Seahawks out of the end zone and a bad snap on a field goal try foiled any hopes they had of getting on the scoreboard before the intermission.
"We had horrendous fieldposition all night, and when we did get good field position, we had a few breakdowns," Summey said.
South River's best field position came in the overtime period where each team is given four chances to score from the 10-yard line. The Seahawks won the toss and elected todefend first.
Broadneck moved the ball to the 2 on its first three plays and chose to kick a field goal to avoid being shut out.
The Seahawks then took over from the 10, and two plays later, found themselves 3 feet from victory. Summey immediately summoned for a timeout to make sure all his players were on the same page.
South River quarterback Jake Cameron found the end zone on the next play as he took it up the middle following the lead of senior center Trevor Perkins.
"They're a good football team and you have to give them credit," said Summey of the Bruins, who dropped a 7-6 decision to South River last season.
"I think we gave up 20 pounds a man on the line butour kids just had great heart and played tough."