Past Cape, 22-7
SC Gets Tough Test
Photos: Tight end Jesse Makowski (44) rumbles past Cape defenders on a 55-yard gain and Layton Wright (74) blocks a punt (below).
GEORGETOWN -- The statistics may not show it, but the unbeaten Sussex Central High School football team faced its first stern challenge of the season, just in time for a mid-season showdown with unbeaten Dover next week.
Despite racking up a 365-223 advantage in total yardage, the Golden Knights had to fight every step of the way for a 22-7 Henlopen Conference Northern Division victory over visiting rival Cape Henlopen on Friday, Oct. 12.
While the Vikings rose to 2-0 in the North and 5-0 overall, the Homecoming victory marked the Knights' lowest point output of the season. They averaged 39.25 points a game in their first four games.
But signs that the Knights were entering the meat of their conference schedule came on Cape Henlopen's (0-1 North, 3-2 overall) first play from scrimmage.
On first down at their own 24, the Vikings drew first blood with a 74-yard touchdown bomb from quarterback Andy Chunn to split end Dewayne Holloman for a 7-0 lead with 8:16 left in the first quarter.
The situation grew more dire as the Knights fumbled on their next possession and punted on the possession after that to give Cape good field position.
But after that first strike, the Knight defense stepped up to prevent any further Cape scores and the Knight offense, behind quarterback David Pusey's 204 yards passing including 143 yards and a touchdown to split end Andrew Weatherly, took control on the scoreboard as well as on the stat sheet.
First, the Knights embarked on a 54-yard drive that started with a 28-yard run by fullback Orlando Farrow and culminated in a 6-yard touchdown run by Farrow to pull within 7-6 with 4:09 remaining.
The Knights then went ahead for good just before halftime on a 40-yard field goal by kicker Justin Battaglino on a drive set up by Layton Wright's block of a punt that was recovered by Will James at the Cape 22.
Ahead just 9-7 at halftime, the Knights still had to feel pretty good considering they had run off 34 plays to Cape's 11 and had 165 total yards to Cape's 91, 74 of which had come on one play.
The Knights took command on their first drive of the second half as they drove 90 yards for a 1-yard touchdown run by halfback J.J. Ricketts to take a 15-7 lead with 2:52 left in the third quarter.
During the drive, Pusey hit Makowski on a crossing pattern that Makowski turned into a 55-yard gain to the Cape 1.
The Knights then put the game on ice with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Pusey to Weatherly with 8:30 left in the game. Battaglino's extra point made it 22-7.
8:16 -- CAPE HENLOPEN (7-0 Cape)
4:09 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (7-6 Cape)
:24.3 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (9-7 Central)
2:52 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (15-7 Central)
8:30 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (22-7 Central)
Total Offense -- Sussex Central 51-365, Cape Henlopen 35-223.
Rushing -- Sussex Central 42-161, Cape Henlopen 27-112.
Passing -- Sussex Central 9-14-0, 204, 1 TD; Cape Henlopen 4-8-1, 111, 1 TD.
First Downs -- Sussex Central 14, Cape Henlopen 7.
Fumbles/Lost -- Sussex Central 1/1, Cape Henlopen 1/0.
Penalties/Yards -- Sussex Central 12-75, Cape Henlopen 6-32.
Cape Henlopen -- Larry Miller 7-53, Thaddeus Shockley 9-39, Andy Chunn 11-20.
Sussex Central -- Orlando Farrow 19-99, J.J. Ricketts 12-38, Will James 5-8, David Pusey 1-(-2), Andrew Weatherly 5-18.
Cape Henlopen -- Andy Chunn 4-8-1, 111, 1 TD.
Sussex Central -- David Pusey 9-14-0, 204, 1 TD.
Cape Henlopen -- Dewayne Holloman 3-102, Troy Maull 1-9.
Sussex Central -- Andrew Weatherly 6-143, Jesse Makowski 1-55, Mark Hernandez 1-5, J.J. Ricketts 1-1.
Photos: Sussex Central running back Will James (32) finds running room.
Sussex Central head coach John Wells on the battle from Cape:
"Again, Cape is better than most people think they are. They should have been 4-0 before tonight's game. We knew they were better than that. Cape played some good defense and they ran hard."
Wells on his team's early mental breakdowns:
"With Homecoming, it's hard to get the boys focused because of the distractions, floats, alumni coming back to the game. It's just real tough to focus. We knew they were going to run a trick play on the first play. We said, 'They're going to run quad, they ran it the first play several times in a row, and they did it'. And we said, 'Watch for the halfback pass downfield', and they ran the same play that we said they were going to run and it worked. But again, our boys were resilient through a lot of adversity there. I was happy with the way the boys stuck together."
Wells on quarterback David Pusey, in his first year as a starter:
"I've been comfortable with him for awhile. He went to the Delaware camp and did great up there. From the beginning of preseason, he was our guy. We wanted him to be challenged and work for it in preseason but he earned it."
Sussex Central quarterback David Pusey on his 204 yards passing:
"That has to be by farm my best game. The first game I threw for 150, but we had some big plays tonight that really helped me out."
Pusey on his first season as SC's starting quarterback:
"I'm real comfortable now. I have some great seniors that are really leading me and telling me to stay calm throughout the entire game and really showing me the ropes. The seniors are really helping me out. The line is doing a great job, too. All those factors combined just make me feel very comfortable."
Pusey on SC's slow start against Cape:
"We had to dig deep within ourselves at halftime. We had to decide that we really wanted to play. We had to get all of these distractions of Homecoming out of theway and we came out in the second half and dominated them. It may have been a lack of concentration due to Homecoming. It could have been a number of things. We just didn't play like we should play. I think we came out in the second half and proved that we really are a Division I team. We're here for real."
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