SEBASTIAN — The big game of the year for most high schools is Homecoming and Friday night at Sebastian River High School did not disappoint students and fans.
Coach Randy Bethel and his staff did a lot of film preparation for their game against Okeechobee.
“We were concerned over their efficiency in their passing game,” Coach Bethel said. “Our main focus was to get to the quarterback and disrupt their routes.”
Okeechobee received the ball to start the game but was unable to move the ball. Sebastian River took over the ball and put together a 4-play 52-yard drive that was capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by running back Nikko Finnegan.
Okeechobee matched Sebastian River when quarterback Jack Radebaugh kept the ball and scored the touchdown on 1 yard quarterback sneak. The game was tied 7-7 with 3:52 left in the first quarter.
Following the short kick-off, running back Johntavis Brown rushed up the middle for a 61-yard touchdown run. Sebastian River lead 14-7 with 3:35 left in the first quarter.
Okeechobee fumbled the kickoff and Sebastian River’s special teams recovered the ball at the 14-yard line. Two plays later, running back Nikko Finnegan took the handoff 14-yards for the score with 3:13 left in the first quarter.
With just 38 seconds in the first quarter, Sebastian River quarterback Norris Rogers found wide receiver Stephen Clark in the corner of the end zone for 10-yard touchdown completion.
Two plays later, quarterback Norris Rogers handed the ball off to running back Johntavis Brown for a 24-yard touchdown run.
“We had planned to utilize him more in the passing game, but he had some good runs, especially when he ripped off the 61-yard run,” Coach Bethel said of Brown’s running. “He is hard working as all of my players.”
The first half ended with Sebastian River leading 35-7.
Rains came to start the second quarter, slowing the Sebastian River offense. After 12 minutes of offense fireworks, Sebastian River did not score again until linebacker Kendall Gibson picked up an Okeechobee fumble and ran it 67 yards for the touchdown.
Near the end of the half, running back Octavia Jefferson had an 8-yard touchdown run with 1:04 left in the half. The first half ended with Sebastian River leading Okeechobee 49-7.
The third quarter flew by as neither team was able to sustain a drive, but as the third quarter ended Sebastian River found themselves in field goal range.
To start the fourth quarter, Sebastian River’s kicker, Michael Nottage hit a 39-yard field goal to put Sebastian River up 52-7.
Okeechobee scored a late touchdown when quarterback Jack Radebaugh found wide receiver Al Morris for a 2-yard touchdown reception, with just 2:29 left in the game.
The final score Sebastian River 52, Okeechobee 14.
Sebastian River’s quarterback Norris Rogers was three of 10 for 26 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Johntavis Brown had three carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Nikko Finnegan had four carries for 34 yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Stephen Clark had three catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Kicker Michael Nottage was seven for seven on extra points.
Sebastian River is on the road next week, when they travel to Jensen Beach High School.