PALMETTO -- This season has come down to "so close yet so far" for the Southeast Seminoles. Three narrow setbacks down the stretch kept Southeast from the playoffs.
Palmetto, on the other hand, is in the postseason for the fifth straight year.
Withstanding a determined Southeast effort, the Tigers finished the regular season Friday night with a 56-35 victory. The win for Palmetto (4-5) ends a two-year skid against the Seminoles.
"If there's a best 1-9 team in the state, they're one of them," Palmetto coach Dave Marino said of the Seminoles. "They've got some good players over there, and they always do."
"But I'm just happy for our seniors. I'm real excited for those guys to get a big win like this, and it will kick-start some momentum going into the playoffs."
Palmetto got the early jump in the contest, scoring the first two touchdowns of the night. The first came on an 80-yard gallop from Quincy Washington, who would finish the night with 241 yards on 28 carries and four touchdowns.
"He's an athlete," Southeast coach John Warren said. "They have athletes all over the place, and we knew we would have our hands full stopping them."
Facing a 35-21 deficit at intermission, Southeastern scored first in the third quarter when Keshawn Moultrie recovered a Kevin Johnson in the end zone for a Seminole touchdown. But the Tigers finished the period with three straight scores, the last coming on a Keandre Land 25-yard interception return, to put the game out of reach.
"We just couldn't match them point for point," Warren said. "I can never fault these kids for their effort, but we just made too many mistakes. If we could have played with this kind of energy and emotion in the district, I have no doubt we could have been district champions."
Quarterback Sean Allison helped the Palmetto cause, completing 10 of 18 passes for 188 yards. Dearius Washington had four catches for 102 yards.
"We try to stay balanced," Marino said. "We're going to lean on Quincy. He's an incredible running back, but we also have playmakers on the perimeter, and we're going to throw the ball. All the kids stepped up and made plays."
Thomas had the big night for Southeast, completing 14 of passes for 216 yards. Dmitry Smith caught six passes for 134 yards. Kevin Johnson led the ground game with 138 yards on 12 carries.