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South Walton scores 22 first quarter points to cruise by Rutherford

The Seahawks led 32-6 at halftime and picked up win No. 4 on the season

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA- Playing on a Wednesday night changes up the preparation for high school football teams and can affect performance.

Coming off a 61-14 loss to rival Walton, the South Walton Seahawks were looking to bounce back against the Rutherford Rams at Tommy Oliver Stadium. With only a couple days of practice, results seemed to be up in the air on what South Walton would be able to do on minimal practice time. 

The Seahawks came right out of the gates with a touchdown on their opening series. 

The Seahawks came right out of the gates with a touchdown on their opening series. 

Phil Tisa’s group piled on 22 first quarter points and never looked back in a dominating 46-6 performance over the Rams. The Seahawks improved to 4-1 on the season while the Rams dropped to 0-6.

“I thought we started out well,” Tisa said. “I thought we played solid for the first quarter and about three quarters of the second. We’d like to clean up more from the rest of it. Overall pleased with the way we started.”

The Seahawks’ offense came out with an uptempo approach to the game and wasted no time putting the first points on the scoreboard. Quarterback Carson Hawk scored on a 1-yard run to put the Seahawks up 8-0.

South Walton quarterback Carson Hawk finished with 148 yards passing and 49 rushing. 

South Walton quarterback Carson Hawk finished with 148 yards passing and 49 rushing. 

Not long later, Hawk was at it again but this time through the air, connecting on a 72-yard strike to receiver Gabe Hanson and pushing the Seahawks’ advantage to 15-0. Hawk added another scoring in the first quarter to put South Walton up 22-0.

South Walton platoons Hawk and Wells Bettenhausen at quarterback and the duo did just fine in running the offense. Hawk ended up finishing the night completing 11-of-14 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 49 yards, adding two more scores. Bettenhausen went 10-of-15 for 80 yards and added 83 on the ground.

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South Walton wide receiver Bret Bailey scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Carson Hawk on Wednesday night. 

South Walton wide receiver Bret Bailey scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Carson Hawk on Wednesday night. 

Rutherford (0-6) had a difficult time getting drives out together, but also trouble holding onto the football. The Rams ended the night with a half dozen turnovers, giving the Seahawks numerous extra opportunities. 

Seahawks’ cornerback Jack Hood recovered one of nearly a half dozen fumbles by the Rams. 

Seahawks’ cornerback Jack Hood recovered one of nearly a half dozen fumbles by the Rams. 

The Rams were able to finally get on the board just before halftime when quarterback Wy’kien Waters hit Jevon Hamilton (four catches, 25 yards) on an 11-yard touchdown pass. Down 32-6, the Rams had a tough time finding any way to threaten on any drives except for a couple. 

Jevon Hamilton led the Rams with four catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.

Jevon Hamilton led the Rams with four catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.

Hawk connected with wide receiver Brett Bailey on a 6-yard scoring pass and kicker Zander Cobb knocked down a 24-yard field goal, gave the Seahawks a commanding 32-6 lead at half. From then on, South Walton (4-1) played a lot of backups throughout the second half. 

It wasn’t until the waning minutes that defensive back Cooper Darke would flip over to offense and score on a short run to initiate the running clock. Darke also notched an interception in the second half. 

 “It was important to us,” Tisa said about bouncing back from last week’s loss to Walton. “I think our pride got hurt. That’s what we preached in the two days of practice we had. I think it was important to come back out and get some redemption. We did some good things, but there’s plenty to fix.”

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.