The Thomas Jefferson Colonials rallied behind two fourth-quarter interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, to beat the South Lakes Seahawks 17-7 in the 2011 season finale for both teams Friday night.
South Lakes, coming off its first win of the season last week against Marshall, couldn't build upon that momentum as the first half ended in a scoreless tie. Both teams' offenses were sluggish on the soft, muddy field in Annandale; the only real scoring chance came when the Seahawks had a second-and-goal inside TJ's 5-yard line, but an errant shotgun snap pushed South Lakes out of field goal range and resulted in a turnover on downs.
The Seahawks then fumbled the opening second-half kickoff, allowing TJ to convert the turnover into a field goal and a 3-0 lead. South Lakes answered with a touchdown pass from Calvin Vaughan to Rashaan Jones to take a 7-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
As the Seahawks were driving near midfield early in the fourth quarter, Ian Ladner anticipated a Vaughan pass to Chris Maginniss and jumped the route for an interception he returned all the way to the South Lakes five-yard line. Two plays later Patrick O'Connor scored on a four-yard run for the go-ahead touchdown and a 10-7 lead.
After the teams traded punts, South Lakes was driving for a potential game-winning score near midfield again with three minutes left in the game. A Vaughn pass in the right flat bounced off Brian Brinson's hands right to Alex Zaita, who took the interception down the South Lakes sideline for a touchdown to clinch the first Liberty District victory for Thomas Jefferson (3-7) all season.
South Lakes, under first-year coach Marvin Wooten, finished 1-9, its worst season since a 1-8 record in 2001.