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Photo: Cape Henlopen tight end Alex Hense on a 4-yard reception from quarterback Joe Cahill.
CAMDEN -- Mistakes continued to plague the Cape Henlopen High School football team and seriously dimmed any post-season hopes the Vikings had on Friday, Oct. 27, 2000.
Turnovers, penalties and missed tackles doomed the Vikings in a 24-0 Henlopen Conference Northern Division loss at Caesar Rodney that ended their shot at a North title as they fell to 1-2 in the division and 5-2 overall.
Although it's too early to know how the points system that determines at-large berths in the state tournament will shake out, the loss probably ended Cape's chances for a Division I state tournament berth, too.
Cape, ranked 5th in the state, held its own in the first quarter Friday night but things quickly unraveled in the second period as the Vikings found themselves trailing the 6th-ranked Riders 17-0 at halftime.
After committing a pass interference penalty on third down that gave CR a first down on the Cape 33, the the Riders drove the remaining 33 yards in 6 plays with running back Charles Clark, the game's leading rusher with 165 yards, scoring on an 11-yard burst that put the Riders up 7-0 with 8:36 remaining in the first half.
The Vikings then committed a critical special teams mistake as punt returner Larry Miller misplayed a punt that bounced off him and into the hands of CR's Chris Hartley at the Cape 11. A 1-yard plunge by Clark made the score 14-0 with 2:10 left in the half.
Cape failed to generate any offense on the ensuing drive and with 1:07 left in the half, the Viking defense fell apart as the Riders drove from their own 47 to the Viking 7 to set up a 25-yard field goal by kicker Meagan Collins that made it 17-0 as the half expired.
On that drive, Clark ran twice for 27 yards and running backs Stephon Beckham and Carl Dyton had carries of 10 and 9 yards, respectively.
The Riders went up 24-0 in the fourth quarter when quarterback Tom Sawyer ran in from 4 yards out after dropping the snap and picking it up for a broken play touchdown.
The Vikings were outgained by CR 290 total yards to 109 and trailed 18-9 in first downs.
Cape visits Dover on Friday, Nov. 3, while CR (6-1 overall, 3-0 Henlopen North) awaits a visit from unbeaten Sussex Central in another Henlopen North showdown next Friday.
8:36 -- CAESAR RODNEY (7-0 Caesar Rodney)
2:10 -- CAESAR RODNEY (14-0 Caesar Rodney)
:01.2 -- CAESAR RODNEY (17-0 Caesar Rodney)
10:15 -- CAESAR RODNEY (24-0 Caesar Rodney)
Total Offense -- Caesar Rodney 61-290, Cape Henlopen 41-109.
Rushing -- Caesar Rodney 56-290, Cape Henlopen 30-100.
Passing -- Caesar Rodney 0-5-0, Cape Henlopen 2-11-2, 9.
First Downs -- Caesar Rodney 18, Cape Henlopen 9.
Fumbles/Lost -- Caesar Rodney 3/1, Cape Henlopen 2/2.
Penalties/Yards -- Caesar Rodney 9-90, Cape Henlopen 7-64.
Caesar Rodney -- Charles Clark 22-165, Carl Dyton 9-57, Stephon Beckham 13-47, Tom Sawyer 5-2, Mike Henry 1-1, Shaun Rickards 1-11, Rich Pemberton 1-7, Brian Palmer 1-0, Mike Myers 1-4, Mike Pullium 1-4, Jason Carpenter 1-2.
Cape Henlopen -- Tykee Perry 14-41, Kyle Mansfield 9-36, Shane Massey 3-0, Joe Cahill 4-23.
Caesar Rodney -- Tom Sawyer 0-5-0.
Cape Henlopen -- Joe Cahill 2-11-2, 9.
Cape Henlopen -- Alex Hense 2-9.
Cape Henlopen head coach Brian Donahue on the loss:
"I thought we were playing petty well there for awhile defensively. Clark did a heck of a job running the ball, running that belly play and winding it back. We had trouble stopping him but I thought we stopped a lot of other things that they did. And then when we had opportunities offensively there early when we had it down here, we didn't take advantage of that, so that certainly didn't help us. And then we had some fumbles in pretty poor field position and they certainly took advantage when they had the ball in our territory like they should have."
Donahue on the second quarter:
"I don't know how many times we had it in the second quarter, but they probably took a pretty long drive somewhere there in the second quarter and I don't know when we fumbled a punt in there. I don't know if that was the second quarter or not, so that was one punch. They probably took a long drive after that and then I think they got down here again in pretty good field position after that for the field goal."
Donahue on the second half:
"I still felt like in the second half our kids were playing hard. We just couldn't get anything done offensively. We're proud of the kids and CR did a heck of a job."
Donahue on Caesar Rodney:
"They've got a big physical line and they have all the things that are hard to stop in an offense. They can run theball, they can throw the ball, they've got a good back in Clark and they've got good halfbacks to compliment him."
Donahue on the rest of the season:
"We're going to do what we've always done after a loss. We're going to roll up our sleeves, get back into the ditch and try to dig the ditch the best we can and come back next week and bounce back from a loss like this. That's a sign of character people who can do that, and hopefully, we think we've got some character people on the team."
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