SANTA ROSA BEACH — Senior Sage Roberts had eight receptions, including five for touchdowns, to lead the South Walton Seahawks to a 49-21 win over the visiting Bozeman Bucks Friday night in District 3-1A football.
With the win, South Walton clinched its first playoff berth since 2009.
The Seahawks, who now boast a 7-2 record, 3-1 in district won only one game last season. Bozeman slumped to 1-8, 1-3
South Walton finished as runners-up to Blountstown in District 3 and advances to the postseason. After they travel to Baker next Friday for their last regular-season game, the Seahawks play at Port St. Joe in the first round of the regional playoffs.
South Walton junior quarterback Jonathon Ortner completed 21 of 40 passes for 298 yards and six touchdowns. Roberts had five of the TD catches - 20 yards, 15, 4, 22 and 12. Alex Smith was on the receiving end of the other Ortner TD toss, a 55-yard strike at the end of the third quarter.
The Seahawks also got the job done on the ground, rushing for 148 yards with senior Zach Reese leading the way with 62 yards in 12 carries. Blayze McBrayer came in the fourth quarter and carried the ball five times for 32 yards.
The Seahawks were up 38-8 when the Bucks scored on an 89-yard pass play. Quarterback Bubba Thompson hit a wide-open David Elmore who completed a dash to the end zone. Matthew Oberley kicked in the point after for a 39-15 score with 49 seconds to play in the third quarter.
South Walton answered in 20 seconds, with Ortner putting the ball up on the first play from scrimmage to Smith who took it 55 yards.
Bozeman came right back in three plays with Thompson connecting with Elmore again, this time for a 76-yard TD strike. Thompson completed 5 of 15 passes for 195 yards. He also scored on a 2-yard run for the Bucks in the first quarter.
The Bucks had 99 yards on the ground with David McKee picking up 73 yards in 10 carries.
Starting from its 35, South Walton pushed the ball downfield to the 10-yard line, then scored one last time. On fourth down, freshman kicker Garofalo booted a 30-yard field goal, his second of the game. He kicked a 22-yarder in the first quarter.