South Lakes celebrated the start of the new high school football season by winning handily over visiting Falls Church last Friday night, 41-14.
“I think we played a pretty solid game and I’m real pleased with the outcome,” said South Lakes coach John Ellenberger, whose team would like to vastly improve on last year’s 2-8 record.
The Seahawks had outstanding success moving the football against a physically big Falls Church defensive line.
“It’s probably the biggest team Falls Church has had up front,” said Ellenberger. “We ran right at them and our quarterback had a nice game.”
Shawn Rana, South Lakes’ starting quarterback, completed 8-of-12 passes for 150 yards in his first varsity start. He tossed a 15 yard touchdown pass to receiver Sean Price (3 catches, 65 yards).
“He didn’t force balls and he took it and ran a few times which we want him to do [when there is open field],” said the coach, of Rana’s efficient, solid game.
Ja’Juan Jones, a junior running back, brought balance to the Seahawks’ offensive attack with a huge game, rushing for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Ellenberger credited his skill position standout with running the ball well, and credited his offensive line with opening up holes. Another South Lakes running back, Darius Smith, had a good game as well, rushing for 65 yards on eight carries and also catching a pass for 40 yards.
Ellenberger was pleased his players saw good results for all the hard work they have put into preparing for this season. He was especially happy for the Seahawks’ 23 seniors on the roster.
“I’m just real excited for the kids,” he said. “These seniors, and I tell them this all the time, they’re just a bunch of good kids with good character. That’s nice to be around.”
This Friday night, South Lakes will look to make it two straight wins when it travels to Alexandria to take on Thomas Jefferson High. The Colonials, coming off a week one, lopsided loss to Herndon, like to throw the football.
“They speed it up and like to throw it a little bit,” said Ellenberger, of his team’s next opponent. “But I feel real comfortable with our secondary.”
South Lakes’ defensive backfield includes corners Smith and Price, as well as junior safety Seth Hauter, who forced a fumble with a rousing hit in the win over Falls Church. Hauter, as well as being a member of the South Lakes secondary, is also a wide receiver on offense, known for his fierce blocking.