Seabreeze, the mainland on the hot streaks enter the playoffs
The Seabreeze High School football team is hosting its first playoff game since 2007.
The mainland, on the other hand, is in the playoffs for the 28th consecutive year.
Both teams are right on schedule.
Sea Breeze will host Rockledge in the District 2-5A quarterfinals on Friday, November 12, at Daytona Stadium.
The mainland will be on the road for a second game with Orlando Jones in the District 2-6A quarterfinals.
In 2019, Seabreeze coach Pat Brown took over a team that went 1-9 and scored no more than seven points in any of their losses.
Sandcrabs went 5-5 in Brown’s first season. This year, they went 6-4, ending the season with four straight wins.
Brown said that after 17 seniors graduated and added a few transfers and freshmen to the squad, it took time for the Sandcrabs to find their identity this season.
“It took time to figure out which pieces fit,” he said.
After teams successfully run against the Sandcrabs early in the season, they bolstered their defensive streak.
Jamary Hicks and Thomas Pouncey Jr. started the season as contestant appearances. Both juniors volunteered to help out in defense, and are now champions in the defensive line.
They helped support a few things. “They are kind of unsung heroes,” Brown said.
But perhaps the number one reason the Sandcrabs’ defense improved was to develop a defensive tackle for a 275-pound sophomore, Mike Shropshire.
“From week to week, how much he has improved is scary,” Brown said.
The mainland (5-4) has also emerged as the season has progressed under head coach of the year Travis Rowland. The Bucs started the year 1-3 and were in danger of missing out on the playoffs at the time since 1993.
But they have won four of their last five games, with the November 5 season finale in the Jacksonville Bulls cancelled due to bad weather. Their only loss during that time was to Jones, 33-21, on October 15 in Orlando. The Tigers jumped to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter.
“As they got into the game, they spent 78% of the time,” Roland said. “Then they went out and ran the ball, shockingly enough. It took us a minute to adjust our mentality. Once we settled down, they didn’t score again until the fourth quarter.
“We’re kind of ready for everything now.”
Roland said the Bucs have improved their passing technique in recent weeks and have become more balanced.
“We’ve thrown 10 to 12 touchdown passes over the past month,” he said. “Now our running game continues.”