The Sesser-Valier/Waltonville Red Devils could not overcome their mistakes and lost to the Carrollton Hawks, 37-14, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Carroll Kelly Field in the opening round of the Class 1A state playoffs.
"The better team won today," said head coach John Shadowens. "They had a great passing game, one that we had not played against this year."
The first quarter saw the ball go back-and-forth between the two teams. The Devils were the first to get on the scoreboard with 4:52 left in the first quarter. Quarterback Reid Basso connected on a 30-yard pass to Tanner Eubanks. Jayon Malone scored on the two-point conversion making the score 8-0.
The Hawks found the end zone with 1:12 remaining in the first quarter, tying the game at 8-8.
The Devils got the ball to start the second quarter. Their drive was stopped when Basso threw an interception. The Hawks made the Red Devils pay with a 46-yard touchdown pass to make the score 16-8.
SVW got the ball back but was forced to punt. A bad snap on the punt resulted in excellent field position for the visitors. The Devils held their ground on defense and the Red Devils were able to capitalize right before the half. With three seconds left on the clock, Malone found Eubanks for a five-yard scoring pass. The two-point conversion failed, but the gap had been narrowed to two points at 16-14.
It turns out that would be as close as the Red Devils would get on this day.
The Hawks scored on a run from the Devils' 1-yard line and converted the two-point conversion making the score 24-14. They scored yet again in the third quarter on a 67-yard pass play for a 30-14 lead.
Carrollton tacked on one final score and point-after-kick to account for the final margin of victory.
Basso was intercepted twice in the second half, thwarting potential drives. SVW also fumbled late in the game, but the outcome had already been determined.
The Red Devils end the season with a 7-3 record. Carrolton will take on Camp Point next Saturday.