By PATRICK CASEY
South Walton quarterback Johnathan Ortner threw for 296 yards and six touchdowns as the Seahawks earned a 49-21 home district victory over Panama City Bozeman on Friday night at Seahawk Stadium.
Receiver Sage Roberts was Ortner’s favorite target as the two players connected on eight passes for 111 yards with Roberts hauling in five touchdown passes. Roberts pulled down scoring strikes of 20, 14, 4, 22 and 11 yards while teammate Alex Smith had a 54-yard reception for Ortner’s sixth touchdown pass of the night to put the host squad ahead 46-15 with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
South Walton got a pair of field goals from Austin Garofalo with his 21-yard kick putting the Seahawks up 3-0 on the squad’s first possession of the game.
South Walton limited the Bucks to 75 rushing yards on the night as the visiting team used a fumble recovery to set up their first touchdown of the game with two long pass plays to David Elmore from quarterback Bubba Thompson accounting for their other two tallies.
The Seahawks led 25-8 at halftime with the Bucks forcing the home team to patiently drive down the field on multiple possessions to put points on the scoreboard.
The Seahawks defense recorded two quarterback sacks with junior Jeremy Seilhan providing several tackles for losses on the night.
Bozeman(1-8) converted only one third down attempt in the game and was held on downs five times on the night.
South Walton improved to 7-2 on the year with the victory and secured a playoff berth with a 3-1 mark as the team finished as the runner-up in District 3 of Class A to undefeated Blountstown. The Seahawks will open the playoffs on the road on Nov. 15 when they will travel to face Port St. Joe.
The Seahawks face a tough task this week as they travel into Okaloosa County to play the Baker Gators, who are 9-0 this season and fresh off of a 24-20 victory over Northview that saw the squad wrap up their first district title since the 2001 season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium.
By PATRICK CASEY