A packed parking lot. A standing-room-only crowd rimming much of the Silverdale Baptist Academy football field. More folks than not wearing jackets and pullovers by halftime to ward off the slight autumn chill.
Until the host Seahawks' nonregion showdown with traditional power Donelson Christian Academy began Friday night, it had all the makings of a TSSAA Division II September classic, even if Silverdale entered the evening as the state's fifth-ranked team in Class AA and Nashville's DCA the No. 1 team in Class A.
Alas, at least on this night, class size apparently mattered as the Seahawks roared to a 21-0 lead on their way to a statement-making 48-28 victory on homecoming.
"The difference between them last year and this year is 180 degrees," said DCA coach Paul Wade, whose Wildcats had won their two previous meetings with the Seahawks. "That's a really good football team, and the quarterback is what makes them go."
That quarterback, Brett Rogers, certainly made Silverdale go against DCA (5-1), throwing for 272 yards and three touchdowns and running for 58 yards and two more scores.
And what Rogers didn't do, the other half of Silverdale's dynamic duo did. Seahawks running back Connor Delashmitt caught two touchdown passes, ran for two scores and wound up with 129 rushing yards and 87 receiving yards to move Silverdale to 5-0.
"Every person on this team plays a part," said Delashmitt, who went over 5,000 all-purpose yards for his career. "We wouldn't be the same without every single person. The relationships we have with each other, coaches and players, is what makes this team special."
Second-year Silverdale coach Mike Connor echoed Delashmitt's words when he said of his squad, which is likely to move up in next week's state rankings: "(These kids) believe in each other and their coaches."
It showed throughout. The Seahawks not only outgained the Wildcats 445-297 in total yardage, but each time DCA showed signs of rallying, Silverdale quickly scored another touchdown to tamp down any serious chance of a rally by the Wildcats.
The first came near the end of the second quarter, right after Cameron Booker took a short pass 33 yards to the end zone to pull DCA within 21-7. Connor then dialed up a screen pass to Delashmitt that covered 50 yards for yet another Seahawks touchdown and a 28-7 halftime lead.
And when the visitors blocked a punt to get within 28-14, another Seahawks score pushed the lead back to 35-14 and ended any serious doubt about the outcome.
"We were pretty hyped," said Delashmitt, whose team will face Notre Dame next week.
As Connor has turned Silverdale into a DII-AA power, he has constantly preached the slogan "rinse and repeat."
Said Delashmitt after posing for pictures wearing his homecoming king crown, "We hear that phrase every day."
It's clearly working. But Connor said something else is also working.
"We're not flinching anymore," he noted.
If Friday night was any indication of the Seahawks' football future, it may be their opponents doing the flinching in the future.