Game of the Week
Cape Henlopen 0
SC in North Driver's Seat
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Photos: Sussex Central running back Yoree Washington finds a big hole (above) while Cape Henlopen's defense swarms to the ball and Central's Andrew Weatherly picks up yardage on an end around (below).
GEORGETOWN -- If the titanic struggle between the state's third- and fourth-ranked football teams Friday night, Oct. 13, 2000, is any indication, the Henlopen Conference Northern Division race will be as tight as expected.
Sussex Central, the state's third-ranked team, scored only five points but they were more than enough for a 5-0 victory at No. 4 Cape.
A field goal and a safety madethe difference on the scoreboard as Sussex Central rose to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the North and Cape slipped to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the North.
This was a game that neither Sussex Central coach John Wells nor Cape Henlopen coach Brian Donahue wanted their teams to be too excited or too depressed about. Both coaches recognize that Dover and Caesar Rodney will have much to say about the Henlopen North title before the season is over.
The Golden Knights actually dominated the second half with 118 total yards to Cape's 10 yards, but the final score came down to a safety on a bad punt snap late in the third quarter and a 25-yard field goal by Sussex Central's Justin Battaglino midway through the fourth quarter.
Central ran off a 15-play drive to start the third quarter but the score remained 0-0 when junior Cape defensive back D.J. Jefferson intercepted a pass by Knight quarterback Blake Hershelman at the Cape 18.
The Vikings, however, went three and out and on the ensuing punt, the snap sailed over the head of punter Kip Marshall who could only kick the ball out of the back of the end zone to prevent a Central recovery for a touchdown. The safety gave the Knights a 2-0 lead with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
After receiving the kickoff, the Knights embarked on another long drive of 13 plays that stalled at the Cape 7. From there, Battaglino, who missed a field goal from the exact same spot as time expired in the first half, booted a 25-yarder to give the Knights a 5-0 lead with 7:46 remaining in the game.
Cape's chances to take the lead, however, evaporated when the Vikings misplayed the kickoff and would up buried at their own 4-yard-line. Three plays later, the Vikings had to punt again, and the Knights ran the clock down to the 2:54 mark behind running back J.J. Ricketts' 18 yards on 4 carries.
After Cape's defense stopped the Knights on downs with 2:54 left, the Vikings again failed to muster a first down as their hopes ended with Knight lineman Terrance Williams' sack of quarterback Joe Cahill on fourth down with 2:00 to go. The Knights ran out the clock from there.
Yoree Washington led the Knights with 84 yards rushing on 18 carries. Senior running back George Davis, limping on an injured ankle, put in a gutsy performance with 46 yards on 10 carries.
Running back Tykee Perry led Cape with 77 yards rushing on 13 carries but he had only 5 of the Vikings' 10 yards in the second half.
2:45 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (2-0 SC)
7:46 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (5-0 SC)
Total Offense -- Sussex Central 62-261; Cape Henlopen 29-93.
Rushing -- Sussex Central 49-205, Cape Henlopen 22-83.
Passing -- Sussex Central 4-13-2, 56; Cape Henlopen 1-7-0, 10.
First Downs -- Sussex Central 16, Cape Henlopen 4.
Fumbles/Lost -- Sussex Central 0/0, Cape Henlopen 0/0.
Penalties/Yards -- Sussex Central 3-20, Cape Henlopen 5-40.
Cape Henlopen -- Kyle Mansfield 4-9, Tykee Perry 13-77, Shane Massey 2-0, Joe Cahill 3-(-3).
Sussex Central -- Yoree Washington 18-84, George Davis 10-46, J.J. Ricketts 7-27, Blake Hershelman 10-29, Andrew Weatherly 1-13, Teddy Thompson 2-5, Orlando Farrow 1-1.
Cape Henlopen -- Joe Cahill, 1-7-0, 10.
Sussex Central -- Blake Hershelman 4-13-2, 56.
Cape Henlopen -- Shane Massey 1-10.
Sussex Central -- Jesse Makowski 1-41, Andrew Weatherly 2-6, Leroy Mann 1-9.
Sussex Central head coach John Wells on the his team's domination in the second half:
"We pretty much handled them in the second half defensively, whether they were on the field or not. One, give credit to Cape's defense for stopping us. D.J. (Jefferson) made that nice pick. A penalty hurt us. Cape's defense played real nice in the red zone and we shot ourselves in the foot once or twice. Offensively we moved the ball real well but in the red zone we spit and sputtered. We've got to work on that a little bit. But that's one of the better defenses so it's promising to see us move the ball pretty well."
Wells on the importance of the win:
"The same thing I told the boys, this means nothing. Three years ago we beat Cape at home and then we took some injuries, and Cape backed into the Northern Division. I don't want to say backed in. We lost two games and they ended up winning the division. We can not let up and these boys understand that. These guys were freshmen that year and they saw that happened. They know that Dover is an awesome team and offensively, they've got some weapons. We have to get it up again next week. As far as I'm concerned, this game is over. When this team comes to practice on Monday, we have to beat Dover."
Wells on running back George Davis' comeback from an ankle injury:
"He's not hurt, but he can't cut. He can run straight, so once they corral him he's got to put his head down and give us one or two yards. George is known for getting upfield, making a move, and then using his 4.5 speed. When you can't make a move, it's just straight ahead running."
Wells on going to the Power I in the second half:
"We went to the I and loaded up on them and ran at them. The line stepped up for us and made holes for us and we just said to our I backs, 'Pick a hole and get up field, and pound the ball.' "
Cape Henlopen head coach Brian Donahue:
"You don't know what to expect in a game like this. You figure it's going to come down to a big play or two. Both defenses played really hard and played well. We're proud of our kids, we thought they played well. Our hats off to Sussex Central. They did what they had to do. It was a good high school football game."
Donahue on Central's domination in the second half:
"Their offense controlled it so well. We got a little nicked up in there with a couple of key players. Part of (the reason) their offense controlled it so well is because we weren't controlling it and not getting the first downs when we needed to. They did a heck of a job on both sides of the ball in the second half."
Donahue on two crucial special teams mistakes -- a bad punt snap that resulted in a safety and the mishandling of a kickoff that stuck Cape with the ball at its 4 in the fourth quarter:
"It doesn't come down to one or two plays. We certainly had plenty of opportunities during the game, to get first downs, to move the ball, to stop them from getting first downs. You point out specialty team play sometimes, but it doesn't come down to that. It's not a missed extra point or a bad punt or those things."
Donahue on the wide open Henlopen North race between Sussex Central, Cape, Dover and Caesar Rodney:
"That's what everybody's been saying. You guys have been saying it all along. And certainly this is an indication, unless we're the two worst teams in the North, and I don't think that's the case. There's a lot of games to be played. One game doesn't a season make. We've got five more to play, four in the conference and five regular season games. We need to bounce back off of this. I think our kids will. We have a lot of character on our team and I think they'll bounce back and be ready to go next week."
Sussex Central running back Yoree Washington on filling in for George Davis, who has been nursing an ankle injury:
"We've all got to work like a team. We're like a family. When a man falls down, you've got to make up for him."
Washington on Central's domination in the second half:
"Since I've been at Sussex Central, the second half has always been our time of the game. No matter what goes on in the first half, the second half is always ours. I think it's conditioning from our coach. We never let down. We feel like we've got full energy, full game, all 48 minutes."
Washington on the road ahead for the Knights:
"(We'll be playing) all D-1 teams, so we've got to play hard. We can't think about the past. We've got to think about the next team and play hard."
Sussex Central running back George Davis on the key to winning big games:
"When you're in these big games, every part of the game is big. Not just offense and defense. Every part's big. You can't take a play off, (even an) extra point. You have to be on your toes. You can't take a play off in these big games. You've got to look forward to them. To be any kind of contender, you've got to look forward to these big games."
Sussex Central lineman Terrance Williams on the win:
"Everyone stepped up. Our line stepped up, our linebackers stepped up. Really, it was a whole defensive effort. Our offense was getting it done pretty much and George Davis was coming back off of an injury. You know how people say we're a second half team? We stood up to that tonight."
Sussex Central quarterback Blake Hershelman on the low score:
"We came in and played a game of field position. We only had to punt once, ironically because we got stopped a lot. We went for fourth down a lot and came up alittle short, but we pulled it out."
Hershelman, also the team's holder, on what he said to placekicker Justin Battaglino on a 25-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter like the one he missed in the second quarter:
"I said, 'Just relax man. If you miss it, oh well. If you make it, you're a hero. Just put it through.' (he did)"
Hershelman on the defensive effort:
"They stepped it up this week. We heard a lot this week about what they were going to do to us and all this stuff. We wanted to show them what we had and why we're No. 3 in the state."
Hershelman on fellow captain George Davis:
"He came in with a hurt ankle. Personally I didn't think he'd play. I didn't think he'd be able to do anything, but he came in and stuck it out. He's a tough kid. He was hurting. I'm sure he told coach Wells he wasn't hurting, but he was hurting."
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