Seaford in South
Delmar 43, Seaford 3
Photo: The Delmar defense smothers a Seaford runner (top), fullback Maurice Stewart (31) leads tailback Sean Hudson (9) on a sweep (middle), and quarterback John Webster sneaks over from the 1 (bottom).
The Delmar High School football team moved its search-and-destroy juggernaut to the Delaware side of the state line in an easy Henlopen Conference Southern Division opener on Saturday.
Trailing 3-0 until late in the first quarter, the Wildcats reeled off 43 unanswered points to rise to 5-0 overall with a Homecoming win.
The Wildcats, who ran through four consecutive Maryland opponents during the nonconference portion of their schedule, served notice that they are on track to repeat as Division II state champions this fall with the impressive victory over a Seaford team that is believed to be much improved over last year.
"I don't know if we're ahead of last year's team (at this point in the season)," said Delmar head coach Dave Hearn, whose team has won 16 straight games going back to last year.
"Defensively we certainly are. We've picked up almost from the beginning of scrimmages things we weren't doing until the end of last year. The defense really sets the tone for the rest. The kids have a lot of confidence in what they're doing. Mentally, they know what they're trying to accomplish and why. They call so many defensive plays out on the field themselves. It's really impressive the amount of football they've learned."
The offense hasn't been too shabby, either, and although the Wildcats may not have the dangerous game-breakers in Dustin Johnson and Ian Hudson that they had last year, they do appear to be more versatile offensively.
From halfback option passes to "Fridge" backfields, the Wildcats throw a lot of different looks at opposing defenses.
Against Seaford, Delmar quickly turned a 3-0 deficit late in the first quarter into a 36-3 lead at halftime.
First, tailback Sean Hudson scored on a 3-yard run with 1:20 remaining in the first period. He followed that up with a 21-yard TD jaunt for a 13-3 lead with 9:43 left in the second quarter. The lead grew to 15-3 when extra point holder Brandon Hudson turned a bad snap into a pass to Michael Hunt for the two-point conversion.
Just four minutes later, fullback Maurice Stewart busted a fourth-and-one at the Wildcat 38 for a 62-yard touchdown run that put Delmar up 22-3.
And then the floodgates really opened.
On Delmar's next two kickoffs, Vince Stewart recovered Seaford fumbles that the Wildcats turned into a 31-yard halfback option pass for a touchdown from Brandon Hudson to split end Demeris Cannon and a 1-yard quarterback sneak by John Webster.
Just like that, Delmar led 36-3 going into the locker room.
On the fumbled kickoffs, Hearn said the game plan had been to kick short to Seaford's return men because of concerns over the Wildcats' kickoff coverage team, but kicker Jody Collins' teammates told him to kick even shorter to a spot where Seaford's blockers would have to field the ball.
In addition to the halfback option pass, the Wildcats unleashed 235-pound sophomore Trey Jackson in the backfield as a tailback behind starting fullback Maurice Stewart on the drive that led to Webster's touchdown. Jackson pounded away at Seaford's tired defenders for 23 yards on three consecutive carries to put the ball at the 1.
Vince Stewart closed out the scoring in the third quarter on a 40-yard run.
"Offensively, we don't have Dustin Johnson behind center, but John Webster, in his own way, doesn't make any key mistakes," said Hearn. "And even though Sean Hudson gets the headlines, we've got two or three guys back there and some more on the sidelines who could hurt you if they get into the secondary. We are blessed with speed."
Sean Hudson finished the game with 109 and Maurice Stewart with 105 of Delmar's 339 yards rushing . Jeff Wright and Vince Stewart contributed 47 and 40 yards rushing, respectively. With that kind of production, the Wildcats didn't need a passing game that can be just as lethal with Cannon and Hunt at the ends.
"They're tremendous ends," said Hearn of Cannon and Hunt. "They block well and have good hands and speed and size and they give us a dimension we didn't really have to use last year with Dustin and Ian. I think we do have more weapons this year. I don't know if they're as dangerous as Dustin and Ian, but they're not far behind."
Delmar visits Indian River in another Henlopen South contest on Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. The Indians dropped to 0-4 with a 32-6 loss to Lake Forest on Oct. 5.
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