With his team gathered around him Friday night, Hilton Head High coach Tim Singleton lamented his team's 14 penalties and harped on a handful of mental mistakes.
But he didn't dwell for long.
"Now let's get to the positive," he said. "We got a victory."
The Seahawks jumped out early and held on for a 21-6 homecoming win over Lake Marion, injecting a huge shot of life into their playoff hopes.
Hilton Head High (3-4, 1-1 Region 7-AAA) didn't waste any time attacking. On the Seahawks' first offensive play, Michael Julian faked an option play and pulled up to hit wide-open James Sanders for a 42-yard touchdown pass.
"These kids are still young, and it was crucial that we got some energy early," said Singleton, who accepted an interview request from The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette for the first time since serving a two-week suspension that ended in early September.
The Seahawks tacked on two more scores in the second quarter, getting touchdown runs of 4 and 3 yards from M.J. Simmons. His first touchdown came on fourth-and-goal from the 4.
Simmons started in place of Khalil Lewis, who was suspended after being ejected from last week's loss to Berkeley, and finished with a team-high 48 yards on 13 carries.
That was plenty of scoring against a Gators offense that struggled to find a rhythm. Lake Marion (2-5, 0-2) tried several different looks on offense, but none provided a spark.
With regular starter Chris Jenkins nursing an injury, the Gators had to mix things up at quarterback, using freshman Dereante Jenkins and Mike Williams -- the team's top receiver -- under center.
Unlike a week ago against Berkeley, Hilton Head High's defense didn't let up after a strong start, holding the Gators to 240 total yards.
"At the end of the day, these kids deserve all the credit, because they got after it, they listened, and they're coming together at the right time," Singleton said.
"We're starting to really see some things."
The Seahawks likely need only one more win to earn one of four playoff spots from Region 7-AAA, but with three wins in their past four games after an 0-2 start, they hope they're building toward something more substantial.
"Anything's possible," Singleton told his team after the game. "That's what we're going to say from this point on. That's our motto. Anything's possible."