Game of the Week
SC This Time
Return Key 39-6 Win
Notes | Audio | Video
Photos: Sussex Central's George Davis (right) takes off on a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown. Below, Sussex Central head coach John Wells.
GEORGETOWN -- A year can make an awfully big difference in a teenager's life.
Just ask the Sussex Central High School football team.
A year ago in their season-opener, the Golden Knights were digging out of a 24-point hole to escape with a thrilling victory over a dangerous Delmar team.
On Friday, Sept. 8, 2000, however, the Knights, a year older and wiser, needed no such dramatics in a 39-6 season-opening victory over Delmar.
Sussex Central, which returns all by three players from last year's 8-2 club, scored on its first drive against Delmar and clamped down tight on the two Wildcats who hurt them so much last year, quarterback Dustin Johnson and running back Ian Hudson.
Senior captain George Davis led the Knights with 136 yards rushing, including a touchdown run of 22 yards, and a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown that gave the Knights a 20-0 lead with 8:22 remaining in the second quarter.
The Knights also scored on an 8-yard run by quarterback Blake Hershelman, a 73-yard touchdown pass from Hershelman to split end Andrew Weatherly, a 1-yard dive by Yoree Washington, and a 17-yard scamper by Orlando Farrow.
Davis' 22-yard TD gallop put Sussex Central up 33-6 at halftime. By game's end, the Knights, using their big size advantage, had ground out 365 yards rushing and 76 more through the air for 441 yards of total offense.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, never got untracked offensively as the Knight defense limited them to 207 yards of offense, with more than a third of that coming in the game's final 9 minutes.
More importantly, the Knights didn't allow Johnson and Hudson, the Wildcats' two big playmakers, to rip off any big gains. Johnson's longest run from scrimmage was 7 yards and his longest pass went for 26 yards to Hudson.
The pass was Hudson's longest play of the night. His longest run covered just 8 yards as he finished with only 22 yards rushing. Contrast that to a year ago when Hudson rushed for 136 yards against the Knights.
Delmar did score in the first half on a beautiful tight-rope catch of an 18-yard Johnson pass by Michael Hunt in the back of the end zone late in the first half.
But by then, the Knights already had 26 points and had their season-opener well in hand.
6:14 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (6-0 SC)
1:26 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (14-0 SC)
8:22 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (20-0 SC)
5:02 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (26-0 SC)
1:47 -- DELMAR (26-6 SC)
:25.2 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (3-6 SC)
1:09 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (39-6 SC)
Total Offense -- Delmar 207; Sussex Central 441.
Rushing -- Delmar 29-98; Sussex Central 48-365.
Passing -- Delmar 8-19-0, 109, 1 TD; Sussex Central 2-8-0, 76, 1 TD.
First Downs -- Delmar 10; Sussex Central 21.
Delmar -- Dustin Johnson 5-12; Ian Hudson 6-22; Shawn Hudson 4-22; Maurice Stewart 2-6; Raymond Hammond 4-0; Vince Stewart 5-21; Mark Johnson 1-12; Troy Handy 1-(-1); Jonathan Ellis 1-4.
Sussex Central -- George Davis 19-136; Blake Hershelman 7-60; Yoree Washington 10-37; Jonathan Ricketts 5-68; Mike Lopez 3-26; Teddy Thompson 2-13; Sekou Oney 1-8; Orlando Farrow 1-17.
Delmar -- Dustin Johnson 6-16-0, 86, 1 TD; Jonathan Ellis 2-3-0, 23.
Sussex Central -- Blake Hershelman 2-8-0, 76, 1 TD.
Delmar -- Michael Hunt 3-45; Shawn Hudson 2-20; Ian Hudson 2-29.
Sussex Central -- Andrew Weatherly 1-73; Jesse Makowski 1-3.
Sussex Central head coach John Wells on his offensive line:
"Abotu the line play, I expected our line to be able to push them around a little bit. They're a fast team, that's their strength. Our mismatch was the size. We're not going to have that big of a gap when we start playing the McKeans, the Glasgows and the Capes. That's my whole focal point. Yeah, we pushed this team around. We knew that going in. That was part of the game plan. But as far as a barometer goes, I thought it was a very good barometer as far as the line play."
Wells on preventing Delmar's Dustin Johnson and Ian Hudson from busting big plays:
"Last year, going in, we played a lot of juniors and only three seniors and we'd never played them before. They were running things we hadn't seen. We saw it on film, but until you get the feel for it in a game ... That experience from last year, learning what they do and these guys coming back with that knowledge, that helped a lot."
Wells on running back George Davis:
"He's been unheard of for awhile and I don't understand it. The kid's been a 1,000-yard rusher the two years he's been here. I think he's one of the best in the state. He's a pretty tough kid."
Wells on this team's style:
"We're going to pound the ball, but we have weapons in (Jesse) Makowski, (Andrew) Weatherly, Leroy Mann, and Blake Hershelman can throw the ball. We had one big pass to Andrew (73-yard touchdown reception)."
Sussex Central running back George Davis on his 70-yard punt return for a touchdown:
"It felt good. I got the ball, I ran, and I scored. They blocked for me."
Davis on the difference between this year's team and last year's:
"As a team, we're very different. We have a lot more seniors and a lot more experience. We've lost some big games. We come out and know about things now. It's not going to be a surprise. We've been there. Now we've just got to take it one game at a time and be smart about everything we do. Tonight we came out and played hard as a team. If you play hard, good things will happen for you. It's a good start."
Delmar coach Dave Hearn on the loss:
"They controlled the ball from start to finish. They played the perfect first half like we did last year, but we couldn't get anything going."
Hearn on what he said at halftime trailing 33-6:
"With the score like it was, we just wanted to come out and have a good second half. We've had three good weeks of practice and we just wanted to get back and play that way. The score doesn't mean anything at that point. So we just tried to come back out and try to play the way we're capable, but they didn't let up much. They still outplayed us in the second half. I felt like we moved the ball at times, but we couldn't put a long drive together. "
Hearn on SC's defensive job on Delmar standouts Dustin Johnson and Ian Hudson:
"They didn't get a big play off. They covered them up real well. They dominated us up front. Their offensive and defensive lines came off the ball real well. They were well-prepared for what we tried to do and never gave them a chance to get going."
Copyright © 1999-2000 Sussex County Online