FOOTBALL: Seaholm shocks Southfield, kicks-off playoff run with a bang
BIRMINGHAM – The outcome was stunning.
That said, the resolve exhibited by Birmingham Seaholm on the high school football field Friday night was far from surprising.
The grit-laced Maples have been beating the odds and hitting their opponents over the head like a sledgehammer for the past two seasons (17-3 since 2012, undefeated in league play).
Friday was more of the same, as Seaholm pulled the upset, rallying late in its playoff-opener to snare a pulse-pounding 17-16 downing of heavily-favored Southfield.
With the victory, Seaholm (9-1, two-time defending Oakland Activities Association Blue champs) advances into the district finals for the first time in eight years.
Miraculously roaring back from a 16-3 deficit in the final three and a half minutes of action to collect the win, the Maples sent Southfield, a club loaded with premiere college talent and projected by many as a potential Ford Field participant in a few weeks, home from the postseason early.
Seaholm senior quarterback Brandon Altman did his best Tom Brady impression, sparking the comeback by tossing a pair of touchdowns in the closing minutes.
His 21-yard scoring hook-up with slot receiver Justin Bryant at the 3:25 mark of the fourth quarter made it 16-10 and then his 30-yard touchdown strike to split end Austin Paritee with 25 seconds left tied things at 16-16, setting the stage for Ryan Nolan’s extra-point boot to win it.
“That was amazing,” said second-year Seaholm head coach Jim DeWald of the game’s jaw-dropping conclusion. “Not many people gave us a chance, but these guys believed in themselves and believed in the team. Nobody quit, they kept pushing. This team has so much heart it’s pretty awesome.”
Altman was 7-of-14 for 155 yards through the air and tacked on another 100 yards using his feet to headline the Maples’ offensive assault.
Paritee caught five balls for 115 yards and his game-winning grab that came on a leaping catch in the back-corner of the end zone. He and Bryant are both juniors.
All-league Maples’ senior safety Dylan Kanaan intercepted a Southfield pass in the final moments to sew up Seaholm’s first playoff-win since 2005.
On the horizon for Kanaan and his Maples’ teammates is a much-anticipated showdown with private-school rival Birmingham Brother Rice next week.
Southfield ends its season 7-3. Filled with Division I prospects and commits – over a half-dozen in all – the Bluejays’ captured an OAA White crown a couple weeks ago and were riding a seven-game winning streak going into their OAA crossover affair against Clarkston (a 20-10 loss) last week
Bluejays’ senior field general and Bowling Green-commit Jalen Brady found wide receiver Devonte Alfred for a 5-yard touchdown and junior tailback DeAndre White blazed up the sideline for a 96-yard touchdown to highlight Southfield’s stat sheet.