in Cape Victory
286 Yards, 4 TDs
Photos: Larry Miller (above) breaks 91-yard TD run, Cape coach Bill Geppert (middle) got his first win, and linebacker Kyle Travis (bottom) returned an interception for a TD.
LEWES -- Who knew?
Who knew that Larry Miller, heretofore known for his blocking for Cape Henlopen halfback Thaddeus Shockley, could run, too?
Who knew that Miller, moving from fullback to halfback for the injured Shockley against visiting Seaford on Friday, Sept. 21, would put on one of the greatest offensive performances in school history?
Who knew? By the middle of the third quarter of Cape's 34-21 victory, everyone in the Cape bleachers, chanting "Larry, Larry, Larry", and first-year head coach Bill Geppert, trying for his first victory at Cape ... they all knew.
Miller ran for an astounding 286 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 23 carries. For good measure, he ripped off a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter that dug the Vikings out of a 14-0 hole.
"I just felt good tonight," said Miller. "The adrenaline was pumping. I felt like I couldn't be stopped. The line was blocking good, Stephen (Shockley) was blocking good. Every time I only had one man to beat and I felt like I could beat him."
Miller said he didn't envision the kind of game he had but that he knew he had big shoes to fill in the absence of Shockley, who was limited to defense due to a hyperextended knee.
"Today, I was just focused all day long," said Miller. "I knew I had to come up big. I'm a senior, this is my last year. I felt like I've got to do something to put my name out there. I guess I did it."
Miller turned the game around for the Vikings in the second period with his 94-yard kickoff return. Cape was down 14-0 and appeared headed for a second straight loss to a Division II team after its 12-6 season-opening loss to Archmere last week.
He turned the game in Cape's favor again in the fourth quarter when he broke off a 66-yard scoring jaunt after Seaford had taken a 21-19 lead midway through the third period.
"I believe the kickoff return when he ran it back for a touchdown (was the turning point)," said Geppert. "Seaford had the momentum, they were at 14-0 and we were kind of on our heels a little bit and that gave us the lift. That really turned us around. Once we got it in the first time, I think our kids smelled blood and felt what it was like to be in the end zone. We were comfortable running our offense and we knew we had a nice play off tackle."
Besides the 94-yard kickoff return, Miller also scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to bring Cape within 14-13 by halftime, on a 91-yard run to put Cape ahead 19-14 in the third period, and on a 66-yard run to put Cape ahead again at 25-21 early in the fourth quarter.
Cape's defense, riddled for three quarters by Seaford's mix of runs and passes, throttled the Blue Jays in the fourth quarter, with defensive end Sean Meluney and tackle Mike DelCampo blocking passes and Seaford quarterback Nick Pegelow's passing lanes.
After Miller's kickoff return for a touchdown, the momentum took a decided shift in Cape's favor. On the ensuing drive, Cape's Troy Maull recovered a Seaford fumble at the Blue Jay 37, and following a nifty 27-yard scramble by quarterback Andy Chunn to the Seaford 3, Miller scored his 3-yard TD to bring Cape within 14-13 with 3:41 left in the first half.
The Vikings carried that momentum into the second half as Miller scored from 91 yards out for a 19-14 lead with 8:10 left in the third quarter.
Seaford showed some resiliency of its own, however, as it regained the lead on a 42-yard scamper by fullback Brian Batson to go up 21-19.
Miller came to the rescue once again, though, with his 66-yard TD. He added a two-point conversion run to put Cape ahead for good, 27-21, with 10:21 left.
Linebacker Kyle Travis closed out Cape's scoring when he returned an interception for a touchdown deep in Seaford territory as the Blue Jays tried to mount one last charge.
Geppert said after last week's loss, he only slept a couple of hours a night this week as he fretted over preparations for the Seaford game.
"I feel ecstatic" said Geppert of his first win. "Beating a coach as fine as Coach Dickerson over at Seaford says a lot. It says a lot about our football team, the character of our football team. They (Blue Jays) have a fine young football team like we do and they're going to contend for the (Henlopen) South. The feeling is ecstatic."
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