By George Slaughter
Seven Lakes earned its first victory of the 2020 season with a 14-13 overtime win over Morton Ranch Friday night at Legacy Stadium.
The Spartans are 1-4 overall and 1-2 in District 19-6A. Morton Ranch falls to 1-3 and 0-2, respectively.
The game was a defensive struggle for most of the night, with both teams scoreless through the first three quarters. Seven Lakes got its first touchdown on a 13-yard run by junior running back Michael Amico with 10:12 in the fourth quarter.
“I have to give all the credit to my line,” Amico said. “They were doing some really good blocks, making it really easy to read them follow them, running downhill like I was coached to do.”
The Mavericks responded on their next drive, scoring on a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Jaymarcus Russell with 3:55 remaining.
The Spartans, on their last possession in regulation, were able to drive to the Morton Ranch 39, when, with five seconds remaining, Seven Lakes Coach Jimmy Hamon decided to go for broke. He sent in his junior kicker, Keegon Sneedon, to attempt a 56-yard field goal.
Sneedon was kicking to the south end zone, and strong winds were coming in from the north, which would increase the likelihood of success. Hamon said that Sneedon hit a 55-yard attempt during the pregame warmups.
“He banged it through with no problem (in the pregame),” Hamon said. “He’s got a huge, huge leg.”
On the attempt, Hamon said the Spartans saw that hte Mavericks were putting a man deep, so the kick would have to be covered if it was a miss. The Mavericks got a hand on the kick instead, forcing the overtime.
Seven Lakes had the first possession of the overtime. On its second play, senior quarterback Cristian Beltran hit sophomore wide receiver Beau Clewett for a 20-yard gain the put the ball at the Morton Ranch three. Clewett was wide open in part because his defender slipped. Two plays later, junior quarterback Scott Stanford went in from the 2-yard line.
Stanford described the play as a package designed with him in mind, and that the Spartans had practiced it during the week.
On the ensuing possession, Morton Ranch drove to the Seven Lakes 8-yard line, where senior quarterback Jaymarcus Wilson took it in for a touchdown. However, the Mavericks missed the extra point, sending the Spartans and their fans into a long-awaited frenzy.
Coming into Friday, the Spartans were last in the district in offense, averaging 19 points per game. But Amico said the team had a decent amount of points against Taylor, a 49-31 loss. The game against Katy, a 59-3 loss, was another story.
“We’re just looking at it game by game,” Amico said. “We’re doing what we can and we’re always trying to put points on the board.”
Friday’s win is the first time the Spartans have defeated the Mavericks since Hamon came to Seven Lakes in 2018.
“I couldn’t be more proud for these guys who have worked so hard to get to this point, to get this victory against Morton Ranch,” Hamon said.
Seven Lakes will have an open week next week. Morton Ranch will next face Tompkins, which defeated Taylor at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Legacy Stadium.