The Seahawks came back from a 14-point deficit and stopped a two-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter to beat the Wildcats, 22-20, in the Virginia 6A North region playoffs. (Video by Brenton Randolph for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

It’s a pretty embarrassing feeling, Sky Lubreski said, lying on your belly watching your man prance 30 yards to the end zone untouched.

A moment before, the senior linebacker had been airborne with a chance to end the game for South Lakes. His Seahawks were up eight points with less than two minutes to play in their Virginia 6A North quarterfinal, and Centreville tried a trick play — a double-reverse pass — for a desperation touchdown.But Lubreski ran step for step with the Wildcats’ Mark Brown, and as quarterback Presley Egbers floated a pass, safety Andrew Funaki arrived as well: a two-on-one for the ball.

Brown came down with it anyway, and ran untouched for the touchdown. A two-point conversion would tie the game.

“My mind was going in full overload,” Lubreski said.

Riding on that conversion was the reputation of South Lakes football. The Seahawks are two seasons removed from a two-win campaign. They were bounced from the playoffs a year ago in this round by Westfield, another perennial power like Centreville. 

The team set a goal this year to practice on Thanksgiving morning, Lubreski said, which would require reaching the region semifinals. All that road on a defending one two-point conversion.

Centreville called almost the same play. 

Running back Julian Garrett took a direct snap and pitched to receiver Rafael Walker. He ran right and lofted a pass to the back of the end zone to quarterback Jameel Siler

Lubreski, lined up on that side, back-peddled as fast as he could, then dove backward and snatched the pass out of the air. The Seahawks held on, 22-20. They’ll face Lake Braddock on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Burke.

“That moment laying on the ground was pretty surreal,” Lubreski said.

“You don’t prepare for a double-reverse pass to the end zone in practice, but our guy recognizes it and that’s how we win the game,” Coach Trey Taylor said. “We have smart kids.”

That’s what’s helped South Lakes’ football renaissance, he said. Its defense might not be the biggest or fastest — Funaki was the Seahawks’ junior varsity quarterback last season — but they’re well-trained.

Lubreski was supposed to blitz on the play, but when he saw Siler walk up to the offensive line and bark new orders, he thought something was fishy, so he stayed back in coverage.

When Walker rolled right, Lubreski debated coming up to stop him from running the ball, but remembered his responsibility was to cover the back of the end zone. As he started moving toward Siler, defensive tackle Albert Mensah stepped up to tackle the passer.

“That was kind of a crazy play, and I got lost in it a bit, and I had to do what I thought was right,” Lubreski said. “The only reason that we're so good is we do what we're supposed to.”

 As he ran back to the bench, he held the ball high and shouted to his teammates: be ready for practice Thursday morning. 

Host B.J. Koubaroulis breaks down the top plays from the weekend's high school football playoffs around the DMV. (Video by Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)
The Big number: 7.92

Yards per carry for Madison running back Landan Thomas on Friday night. He carried 24 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns as the Warhawks staved off West Potomac in their Virginia 6A North region quarterfinal. 

Northern Virginia player of the week

RB Lamont Atkins, Lake Braddock, Sr.

Atkins ran for three touchdowns and returned an interception for a score in Lake Braddock’s 42-0 romp of Hayfield in the Virginia 6A North region quarterfinals.