The Seminary Bulldogs defeated the Raleigh Lions 22-6 on Friday night to advance to the third round of playoff competition. Sub-50 degree temperatures and muddy field conditions set the tone for a physical contest between two gritty football teams. Though the Lions held the lead for the majority of the game, the Bulldogs slowly wore down their opponents for three second-half touchdowns and another victory to extend their season.
Raleigh captured momentum early in the first quarter with a fumble recovery inside the end zone on Seminary’s opening drive. Three plays later, junior quarterback Zedric Keyes hit sophomore Margro Perkins for a 76-yard touchdown. This score — the only of the first half of action — gave Raleigh a 6-0 advantage that would stand for over half the contest.
The Lions’ defense played incredibly well in the second quarter, allowing just one first down and forcing three turnovers in the period. Similarly, the Bulldogs’ defensive unit made crucial stops in the period, including a turnover on downs inside the red zone to keep the Lions from extending the lead before halftime.
Seminary finally created momentum of its own in the third quarter, recovering a fumble to take over possession in positive field position. Moments later they capitalized with a touchdown run from junior Jordan Barrett. Perkins blocked the extra point attempt for the Lions, keeping the score knotted up at 6-6 entering the fourth quarter.
Following another Lions fumble, senior Antonio Mobley fought his way into the end zone from five yards out to give Seminary their first lead of the night with just over 10 minutes left in regulation.
Under pressure to score, Keyes and Perkins went to work on the next drive. Perkins caught three consecutive passes for 64 yards to bring the Lions into the red zone with an opportunity to tie the game. However, a fierce pass rush from senior Nathan Pickering and company stalled out the drive, forcing a turnover on downs and the biggest defensive stop of the night.
To seal the deal, Barrett broke loose for a 53-yard rushing touchdown on the ensuing drive to extend Seminary’s lead to 22-6 with under six minutes to play, which ultimately became the final score of the contest.
Barrett finished the game with 17 carries for 98 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Marquis Crosby accumulated 95 yards on 14 carries, including a 47-yard burst that set up a Bulldogs touchdown.
Margro Perkins had another phenomenal performance for the Lions. The sophomore carried the ball eight times for 39 yards and caught six passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. Keyes completed nine passes for 157 yards and a touchdown.
After winning four of their final six contests to reach round two of the playoffs, the Lions’ season came to an end with a 5-8 (3-2 Region 6-3A) record.
The Seminary Bulldogs, 11-3 (5-0 Region 8-3A) will move on to round three and host the defending 2A North champions, the Winona Tigers, for a chance to advance to the south state championship.