South Lakes rallies back to stun Chantilly


Photo via Rei Linam(r.linam/Instagram)

Marc Goldstein, Sports Editor


While many people have changed their focus from the football season to the upcoming winter sports season, the South Lakes football team wants the attention to remain on them. They are one of two Seahawks teams still playing, along with the Girls Volleyball team. The football team faced its biggest test to this point on a frigid Friday night. Once the Northern Virginia sun set on the day, the DC Metro area faced cold weather that only football players can appreciate. For anyone who attended this game, they understood just how cold it was under the dark, starry night. The spectators might remember the game for the weather, but the players will never forget the game due to the classic battle that unfolded on the field. 

We start the recap at the end of the third quarter, everything up to that point can be described as not very good for South Lakes. They stared at a 16 point deficit, with a score of 30-14. That’s a tall task at home, with good weather, and a lot of time, but consider the circumstances:   on the road against a team with two more wins, and a cold night. It would have been acceptable for the Seahawks to simply lay down and call it a good season. They didn’t, and that says enough about the team. They started the comeback early in the fourth, scoring a touchdown and adding a two point conversion, with that being their only real option, to put it all on the table. Their next task on the road back was to stop, or at least prevent the Chargers from scoring, with a score of any kind virtually ending the game. They did that: mission accomplished. Next step: score a clutch touchdown and the two point conversion. They did that: mission accomplished, again.

The game ventures to the first overtime period, and for all of those who aren’t familiar with the overtime rules, here they are. There is a coin toss at the beginning to determine who possesses the ball first. Both teams get a chance to score, getting the ball at the other team’s 25 yard line and a touchdown by team #1 doesn’t end the game like in the NFL, but it forces team #2 to match them. If it is still tied at the end of an overtime period, team #2 receives the ball first in the second overtime, and the process repeats until the game is decided. In this case, Chantilly won the coin toss and elected to allow South Lakes to get the ball first, most likely to know what they will have to do before they get the ball (whether they would simply need a score of any kind or a touchdown). The Seahawks promptly scored a touchdown and kicked the extra point, 37-30 Seahawks. Chantilly scored in one play, the game was going to a second overtime. 

This go-round, the Chargers would get the ball first. They had just scored in one play, so it seemed like a tall task for the Seahawks to have to stop them. It appears that this South Lakes team likes small odds, doesn’t it? They got the job done, forcing the Chargers to kick a field goal, not exactly ideal for either team. Chantilly would have rather put more pressure on South Lakes, and South Lakes would have rather not give up anything. Nonetheless, South Lakes was down 40-37 with the ball, and a chance for them to win the game. Guess what happened next? Joseph Dagbe, who finished the game with 5(!) touchdowns, created enough space for himself to squeeze inside the pylon and dive into the endzone. Game over. 

The scene that ensued was an unforgettable one. Dagbe’s teammates sprinted over to celebrate with him and each other. They celebrated more than a win, but a gutsy one too. They advanced to play again next week. This is a bittersweet win, though. Dagbe later announced on his Instagram that he was playing with a sprained ankle since the 2nd quarter. He was later pictured wearing a boot over his right foot. It is unknown what his status is for next week, but it seems unlikely that the senior captain, playing in his final games will sit out a playoff game. Their opponent is a demon that needs to be exercised, too. The Westfield Bulldogs have knocked the Seahawks out of the playoffs countless times, and a win against them would mean more to many players who have experienced losses to the Bulldogs that ended their season. It doesn’t matter, though, because the Seahawks are going to enjoy this victory and give Westfield their best punch in hopes of knocking out a heavyweight.