A single touchdown drive, and a short drive at that, was all that Roosevelt could muster against Seaford on Saturday night. But because the Rough Riders' defense was stellar, one score was enough.
Raymond Jones had three sacks, including the last two plays of the game, and Roosevelt held on for a 7-0 victory before a packed house at Seaford in a battle of Nassau IV unbeaten teams. The defending county champion Rough Riders improved to 3-0 while Seaford dropped to 2-1.
Seaford coach Rob Perpall generally disdains the punt, but that tactic backfired midway through the first quarter. On fourth-and-6 from the Seaford 34, Matt Natland's long pass fell incomplete giving the Rough Riders favorable field position.
Rob Hansen did the bulk of the work on the short drive, carrying on three of the four plays for 29 yards, including a 16-yard burst up the middle for the game's only touchdown. Joe Sukhra added the extra point and that was the last time the team totals on the scoreboard changed all night.
"I'm shocked it was such a low-scoring game," Roosevelt coach Joe Vito said.
It was partially a product of superb defense -- James O'Hagan led the Seaford effort -- and partially a product of sloppy offense. There were numerous penalties on both teams and the quarterbacks combined for a total of three completions.
It took a botched Roosevelt punt attempt early in the second quarter to give Seaford its best scoring chance of the night. A poor snap forced Sukhra to make a leaping grab and prevented him from getting off the kick as he was tackled by James O'Hagan and John Lauretti giving Seaford possession at the Roosevelt 35.
But the Vikings were unable to capitalize as Stony Brook-bound defensive end Raymond Jones hit Natland as he was about to deliver a third-down pass and the ball fell incomplete. Despite being in Roosevelt territory, Seaford punted and the kick bounced into the end zone.
Roosevelt then went on its most sustained drive of the first half, with Johnnie Akins finally getting untracked. The elusive tailback carried seven consecutive times for 59 yards, including runs of 15 and 26 yards, that put Roosevelt on Seaford's 21. Facing fourth-and-1, a hard count by quarterback Justin Terry drew his own team offsides. Then on fourth-and-6, Terry's pass on a rollout fell incomplete.
Roosevelt had the better of the field position, with workhorse Akins churning out 163 yards on 36 carries. The Rough Riders nearly scored late in the fourth quarter when they drove from their own 20 to Seaford's 21-yard line. The drive featured Justin Terry's only two completions of the night -- passes of 13 and 15 yards to Kyle Moore that produced big first downs.
But on fourth-and-2 from Seaford's 21, James O'Hagan stuffed Akins for a three-yard loss to give the ball back to the Vikings.
But Denzel Barnes' leaping interception four plays later effectively ended Seaford's chances. The Vikings got the ball back with 15 seconds left, but Jones chased down Natland twice and the game, fittingly, on a defensive play. "Raymond was so quick off the ball, they couldn't hold him," Vito said.