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State Title Game
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in First Round Game
Photo: The Delmar defense collapses on Woodbridge running back Andre Cannon. Below, Delmar quarterback Dustin Johnson and head coach Dave Hearn enjoy the waning moments of the Wildcats' win.
DELMAR -- The effects of Delmar High School's Henlopen Conference Southern Division championship win last week were apparent from the first possession of the first round Delaware Division II state tournament football game Friday night.
The Wildcats, spry and alert from the outset, devastated visiting Woodbridge, 33-0, on a bitterly cold night to advance to the Division II state championship game.
Delmar will face unbeaten St. Elizabeth (11-0) on Friday night, Dec. 1, for the Division II title at Caesar Rodney. The time will be determined later this week. St. Elizabeth ended Middletown's three-year reign as state champion with a 20-6 win in another first round game on Saturday, Nov. 25.
Top-seeded Delmar, now 10-1 with 10 straight wins, put up 14 points Friday night before its offense even ran a play against a Woodbridge team that still seemed a little dazed from last Friday's 27-15 loss.
The Blue Raiders, who finished their season at 8-3, watched as Wildcat Ian Hudson scooped up a botched punt and ran it in from 16 yards out for a 7-0 Delmar lead just two minutes into the game.
Woodbridge's special teams were caught napping again on the next punt, which Wildcat return man Dustin Johnson ran back 61 yards for a 14-0 advantage with 8 minutes left in the first quarter. Johnson was hemmed in on the sideline but broke free to the other side of the field for the touchdown.
And that was pretty much all she wrote for the Raiders, who could muster no offense against a tenacious Wildcat defense that was even better this week than it was a week ago.
The Wildcat defense, keyed by the likes of linemen Lamar Stewart, Michael Hunt and Scott Price and linebackers Zarar Shauket, Lawrence Sinagra and Vince Stewart, completely shut Woodbridge down, allowing only 75 yards of total offense and 6 first downs.
While the Delmar defense and special teams put the Raiders in a hole, the Wildcat offense finally got onto the field and put up some points of its own.
Johnson scored from three yards out to give Delmar a 21-0 lead with 2:05 left in the first quarter, a lead the Wildcats took into the locker room despite coughing up a fumble and an interception and gaining only 90 yards of total offense in the first half.
Delmar padded its lead in the third period on a pair of touchdown runs by Hudson, one from 1 yard out and the other from 26. Hudson finished with 131 yards on 15 carries.
Photo: Delmar defensive lineman Jamie Wegner stops Woodbridge running back Bo McDowell in his tracks, while Delmar running back Ian Hudson skirts around end for a nice gain.
9:52 -- DELMAR (7-0 Delmar)
8:00 -- DELMAR (14-0 Delmar)
2:05 -- DELMAR (21-0 Delmar)
9:13 -- DELMAR (27-0 Delmar)
3:17 -- DELMAR (33-0 Delmar)
Total Offense -- Delmar 42-226, Woodbridge 48-75.
Rushing -- Delmar 33-190, Woodbridge 30-25.
Passing -- Delmar 3-9-2, 36; Woodbridge 7-18-1, 50.
First Downs -- Delmar 15, Woodbridge 6.
Fumbles/Lost -- Delmar 3/2, Woodbridge 1/1.
Penalties/Yards -- Delmar 3-20, Woodbridge 8-29.
Delmar -- Ian Hudson 15-131, Raymond Hammond 6-44, Sean Hudson 2-12, Marcus Brown 2-9, Maurice Stewart 1-4, Jeff Wright 1-0, Jonathan Ellis 1-(-1), Dustin Johnson 5-(-9).
Woodbridge -- Andre Cannon 8-16, Chris Horsey 4-15, Bo McDowell 2-8, Jeremy Maddox 2-(-1), Jamil Young 14-(-13).
Delmar -- Dustin Johnson 3-9-2, 36.
Woodbridge -- Jamil Young 7-17-1, 50; Andre Cannon 0-1-0.
Delmar -- Raymond Hammond 1-13, Demeris Cannon 1-12, Sean Hudson 1-11.
Woodbridge -- Allen Neal 2-24, James Faulkner 1-13, Chris Horsey 1-6, Jeremy Maddox 1-3, Andre Cannon 2-2.
Photos: Delmar defensive ends Scott Price (47) and Mike Hunt (46) converge on Woodbridge quarterback Jamil Young.
Photos: Delmar's Lamar Stewart and Demeris Cannon (left photo) exchange high-fives, while defensive end Mike Hunt (46) celebrates another tackle for a loss.
Delmar linebacker Zarar Shauket on going to the state championship game:
"This is the best thing that's happened to me in my life. I'm saying this for most of the team, too. Our first goal was to get the South back. The second goal was to get that ring for the first time ... start off this 2000 year with a state championship, with a new school, get the South back, it can't get any better than this."
Shauket on the defense's performance:
"Our defense has stepped it up every game since Sussex Central. The second half (against Woodbridge Friday) we stepped it up one more notch. The first quarter we did all we could and the second quarter we gave up a little bit. Then we got a little talk in here and stepped it up in the second half, executed on both sides of the ball, and came out with the victory."
Shauket on the Delmar defense making people take notice:
"Our defense has been there all year long. We haven't got a lot of recognition because of our offensive weapons and that's fine. But we're getting it now."
Shauket on not letting down after beating Woodbridge handily last week:
"We had it in our heads that we could beat them all along. We had to step up, step it up."
Shauket on a preference of St. Elizabeth or Middletown:
"I want Middletown, to tell you the truth, but whoever it is, bring it on."
Delmar quarterback Dustin Johnson on reaching the state championship game:
"That's what we worked for all summer and that was our goal. Now we've achieved it. We wanted to get to the championship game and now we want to win it, win the rock. That's the prize."
Johnson on whether he and his father talk about Dustin winning a state championship the way his father Donald did with Delmar in 1976:
"Not really, but I want to (win a state title like his father). That's something I wanted to do."
Johnson on the big special teams plays against Woodbridge:
"Coach Hearn said special teams could make or break a game, that's what he told us in practice yesterday. It certainly did it early. We got up 14-0 and our defense came to play and we shut them down."
Johnson on the defense's performance:
"We knew we had to step it up to the next level. It's playoff time. It's time for us to go. We've got to win the state championship."
Johnson on not letting down after beating Woodbridge handily last week:
"We had to come in here level-headed because we knew they were going to come to play. They wanted to knock us off."
Delmar coach Dave Hearn on the defense:
"They were prepared for what (Woodbridge quarterback Jamil) Young was going to bring them. I think they realized (after last week) that you've got to wrap him up. He still got a way a few times, but I think that gave us a little better feel. They had to feel the same way about us ... you know what you're up against. The defense came a little bit quicker and we played better in the secondary, but we didn't give him much time to throw."
Hearn on the two early punt returns for touchdowns:
"That was tremendous. We were hoping ... I'm sure they were, too ... we were hoping to make something big happen fast. I wasn't expecting two lightnings to strike but that was nice to get started that way."
Hearn on his thoughts as Ian Hudson ran into the middle of a bunch of Raiders to pick up a bouncing punt and return it for a touchdown:
"Our linemen were confused because a couple times early in the season we got near the ball with several of our linemen. So we had a little drill to teach them, get away from the ball. And then here comes Ian flying up in there so one of the linemen came off after the play and said, 'I thought you said get away'. I said, 'Well, he can do it, you guys get out of the way'. He's heads up. He's done that once before this season."
Hearn on Dustin Johnson's punt return for a touchdown:
"We have several plays set up but he does things you can't teach. Tyrone Handy, when we had him here he was the same way. We do a nice job with the punt returns. The kids do a good job. We just set them up and they do a great job. When you've got somebody back there, he (Johnson) doesn't really need much. If you just get in the way, he does the rest."
Hearn on his players no getting overconfident after beating Woodbridge handily last week:
"I think the kids were confident, but overconfident, I don't think so. They knew they were capable of beating us. We talked about that all week. They've won eight games and they're a good football team. They're real aggressive on defense. I told them we were going to make mistakes, which we did, and then they're going to throw us for a loss, which they did, but sooner or later we're going to make plays, too, because we've got good people also."
<Hearn on his players' lack of state tournament experience:
"We have kids that have been to state tournament games. We've got a few that have. I do think every game here in the last 4 or 5 weeks, when you get into a season where you win 8 or 9 in a row, it seems like every game gets to be a big game, it's almost like a tournament game. For us, we felt like we couldn't lose a game and still get into the tournament. So it was almost like we were in the tournament three or four weeks ago."
Hearn on playing Middletown or St. Elizabeth in the state championship game:
"They're two different styles of teams. They're both real good football teams. Both have beaten us in the tournament in the past and broken our hearts. St. Elizabeth is a finesse team. They're not huge, but they're bigger than us. Middletown is more of an in-your-face power football team. It's two different styles, so it's not like it's two teams similar. Again, we don't care who it is. We just have our hands full no matter which one we get."
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