The Sewanhaka Indians did not close out the regular season the way they had hoped.
The Indians traveled to take on a tough Garden City Trojans team on Saturday, Nov. 1, with a chance to seal up home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Indians kept the game close, but ended up falling, 42-8.
Brenton Mighty was able to punch the ball in early on for the Indians, with Elijah Tracey rushing in for the two-point conversion. As the first half was winding down, the Indians saw themselves kicking off to the Trojans, trailing 17-8.
The Indians defense was able to not only hold up, but force and recover a Trojans fumble. The Indians would then drive the ball the length of the field and find themselves just yards away from pay dirt.
As Tracey scrambled he was tripped of the ball, allowing the Trojans to once again take over. On the next play, Trojans running back Brian Haeffner, broke out a 75-yard run, sending the Indians into the half trailing 24-8.
“If we would have scored and got the two we would have been down only one,” said Sewanhaka head coach George Kasimatis. “I think that is what did us in.”
However, Kasimatis believes his junior, quarterback will bounce back just fine.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without him,” he said after the game. “He is so confident I know he will come back strong.”
The Trojans continued to pound the ball on the ground in the second half, behind the legs of Haeffner and Tim Schmeizenger, who added a seven yard score of his own.
The Trojans offense was just too much for the Indians to handle. Kasimatis, who believes his team could compete had they played their game and not tried to do more than they normally do, said the Trojans have a great run game, but change things up just enough to keep the defense on their toes.
“They are an excellent team and their skill position kids are as good as any team in the county,” he said. “Haeffner is an all-county level back.”
Kasimatis said his team simply made too many mistakes.
“We put the ball on the ground and we did not execute consistently on either side of the ball,” he said. “Sometimes we worry too much about what the other team is going to do and not on what we have to do.”
The Indians, who finish the regular season at 5-3 and the five seed, will now turn their focus onto the playoff game, this Friday at 1:30 p.m., against the fourth seeded, Wantagh Warriors (5-3).
It will be the Indians fist time matching up against the Warriors in over five years.
“It should be a very competitive game,” Kasimatis said. “I think we match up well. If we play our game, we can compete with anyone.”