Game of the Week
Rips Dover 26-7
Audio Clips | Video Clips
Other Games of the Week
Photos: The Sussex Central defense swarms on Dover quarterback Collins Evans for a sack (above). Sussex Central running back Yoree Washington leaves Dover defender Pierre Bowers in his dust while Knight wide receiver Andrew Weatherly races to the end zone with a 70-yard touchdown pass (below).
GEORGETOWN -- On a clear night in Georgetown, one could hardly blame the Dover High School football team for ducking for cover from all of the thunder and lightning.
Sussex Central unleashed its thunderous ground attack and defense, punctuated by lightning strike touchdowns, to ravage the previously unbeaten Senators, 26-7, on Friday, Oct. 20, 2000.
The impressive victory by the state's third-ranked team over the state's eighth-ranked team raised the Golden Knights' record to 7-0 overall and more importantly, 3-0 in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division. Dover dropped to 6-1 overall and 1-1 in the North.
The Knights' have a bye week now, giving them two weeks to prepare for their next Henlopen North showdown against defending division champion Caesar Rodney on Friday, Nov. 3.
After a 68-yard touchdown gallop by standout running back Pierre Bowers, the Senators were helpless against a Sussex Central team that nearly doubled its opponents' yardage for the third straight week.
After Bowers' touchdown, the Knights went on an 11-play drive that culminated in running back Yoree Washington's 24-yard touchdown run.
Washington led the Knights with 132 yards on 17 carries, while Bowers led Dover with 172 yards on 20 attempts.
After an exchange of possessions, Sussex Central took the lead for good on another big play, this one a 20-yard TD run by George Davis. The extra point gave the Knights a 14-7 advantage with 9:52 remaining in the first half.
The Knights made it 20-7 a few minutes later when lightning struck again, this time in the form of a 70-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blake Hershelman to wide receiver Andrew Weatherly on Hershelman's only completion of the evening.
After a long halftime for homecoming, the Knights took complete control of the game on the first possession of the second half.
Marching 55 yards in 10 plays, Sussex Central went up 26-7 on Hershelman's 1-yard TD plunge.
The Knight offense put together one more long drive after that but failed to score when a 24-yard field goal attempt missed following a drive to the Senator 6.
11:00 -- DOVER (7-0 Dover)
5:00 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (7-7)
9:52 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (14-7 Sussex Central)
5:12 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (20-7 Sussex Central)
6:52 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (26-7 Sussex Central)
Total Offense -- Dover 40-213, Sussex Central 60-409.
Rushing -- Dover 36-205, Sussex Central 53-339.
Passing -- Dover 1-4-1, 8; Sussex Central 1-7-1, 70, TD.
First Downs -- Dover 8, Sussex Central 20.
Fumbles/Lost -- Dover 2/2, Sussex Central 1/0.
Penalties/Yards -- Dover 6-33, Sussex Central 7-60.
Dover -- Pierre Bowers 20-172, Lawrence Dixon 7-22, Collins Evans 8-6, Jason Lilly 1-5.
Sussex Central -- Yoree Washington 17-132, George Davis 15-83, Blake Hershelman 11-55, J.J. Ricketts 8-43, Andrew Weatherly 2-26.
Dover -- Collins Evans 1-4-1, 8.
Sussex Central -- Blake Hershelman 1-6-1, 70, TD; Leroy Mann 0-1-0.
Dover -- Jason Lilly 1-8.
Sussex Central -- Andrew Weatherly 1-70.
Sussex Central head coach John Wells on the victory:
"It's a big win, but we said awhile ago it means nothing. We've been 7-0 before. We've not clinched anyuthing. We've not done anything. Now we have two weeks to prepare to get ready for CR. That's next on our list. That's the way our team approaches the season, one game at a time, one week at a time, and we want to get better this week. Even though we don't have an opponent Friday, we want to get better this week."
Wells on the Knights' reaction to the 68-yard TD run by Dover's Pierre Bowers on the game's second play:
"The staff was calm about it and the boys were. That's what is impressive about this group. They could have faltered and taken two or three possessions to get momentum back. They came right back and attacked it right back down the field and stuck it in the end zone. They didn't falter, they didn't get hyper, they didn't lose concentration, they kept their focus."
Wells on the Knights' "Thunder and Lightning" offense:
"Our line, on both sides, has been dominant in the first seven games, and when that happens a lot of things can open up for you. We've got some weapons that we can hit with a quick pass or a long run or we can grind it out. So far we've shown we can do that, but we've got to keep getting better."
Wells on Central's troubles scoring from inside the 20 the last two weeks:
"Yeah, they (defenses) put nine or ten guys in the box. Usually when we're inside the 20, we've got the lead, so you don't want to throw the ball in the flat and somebody pick it off and run it back on you so yeah, we get a little more conservative inside the 20. Inside the 20, with the lead, we're a little more conservative, but if we're down, or even, we wouldn't have to be so conservative. With the lead we're not going to do anything crazy inside the 20-yard-line."
Sussex Central running back Yoree Washington on beating previously unbeaten Dover:
"We're just taking it one game at a time. Now, obviously Dover is out of our mind. We're thinking about CR. We've got two weeks to work for them. We're going to work hard all two weeks for it. It's not a break for us. To tell you the truth, most people think a bye week is a break. For our team, the bye week is the hardest week of the season. That's your whole five days to work as hard as you can for your hardest team you might play all season. For our team it's not an off week."
Washington on the hard running that led him to 131 yards rushing against Dover:
"I had a couple of talks with a couple of more experienced players on the team. They knew I had the speed. They just told me I had to work on my vision, just look for seams, and tonight I guess it was there. I saw more seams and just used the speed I have."
Sussex Central defensive end Orlando Farrow on containing Dover's explosive offense:
"Through the week, the coach told us what to do and we just did what he said. He put a lot of stuff on the defensive ends so we could shut down Lilly (Dover receiver Jason Lilly) and Lilly couldn't pass the ball, so they couldn't really do anything with the passing. Bowers, we shut him down except for the first play."
Farrow on the defense's reaction to Bowers' 68-yard TD run on the game's second play:
"It didn't seem to shock us because we've played Glasgow and McKean and we were down, but we know that when somebody scores on us, we've got to come back and get more serious. If somebody scores on us we get mad and take it personally. We just came together and stopped him."
Farrow on his free-wheeling defensive style that wreaks havoc on opposing offenses:
"That's the kind of player I am. I see somebody with the ball, I just try to force the end and hurt 'em."
Farrow on the defense's rattling of sophomore Dover quarterback Collins Evans:
"That was our game plan. He's a sophomore and that's something we wanted to say, 'Welcome to the varsity'."
Sussex Central offensive lineman Matt Lawrence on the line's domination of opposing defenses this year:
"We put that on our shoulders. We've got three -- four now -- real good backs and we try to block the same for all of them. We just play hard. Dover is fast, real fast, especailly that Bowers kid can run. I just knew that we had to hold the ball, for most of the game, and keep it away from him."
Play of the Game:
Sussex Central's Andrew Weatherly hauls in a 70-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blake Hershelman
Copyright © 1999 Sussex County Online