Routs Rival IR
Sussex Central 48, Indian River 6
Photos: Andrew Weatherly runs past IR's Billy Hall (top), J.J. Ricketts bulls into the end zone (middle), and Orlando Farrow recovers a bad punt snap in the end zone (bottom).
Sussex Central started its 2001 season slowly but by the time the second quarter rolled around, there was no stopping last year's Division I state finalists.
The Golden Knights broke open a 7-6 game against their district rivals with 28 unanswered points in the second quarter.
Taking advantage of mistakes by Indian River's punting and kick return teams, the Knights took a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard run by halfback Jonathan Ricketts. That score was set up when the Knights' Will James tackled IR punter Tom DuPont at the Indian 29 on a botched punt attempt.
After the Indians turned an interception into a touchdown, the Knights went ahead 14-6 on a 1-yard run by halfback Jonathan Ricketts. That score was set up by a 39-yard pass from quarterback David Pusey to split end Andrew Weatherly.
The Knights then blew the game open when Orlando Farrow recovered a bad punt snap in the end zone for a 21-6 advantage and Ricketts took a screen pass from quarterback David Pusey 35 yards for a touchdown following a fumble recovery on a kickoff by Lewis Day.
"That snap was a dagger for them (Indians) when we scored on them," said SC head coach John Wells. "We had just scored to go up by eight points and that snap put us up by two touchdowns. Their offense, they want ball control, and it's hard to overcome a 15-point deficit with a ball-control offense. It also opened the floodgates and got our skill players going."
Included among those skill players were newcomers Orlando Farrow at fullback and Pusey at quarterback.
Farrow replaced three-year 1,000-yard rusher George Davis and rushed for 108 yards on 6 carries including a 64-yard touchdown run that put Central ahead 35-6 at halftime.
Pusey, replacing three-year starter Blake Hershelman, finished the game 6-for-10 with 152 yards and the TD pass to Ricketts after a shaky start that included an interception that the Indians converted into their only touchdown.
"Orlando is a load at fullback," said Wells. "He has very good wheels. He's unknown back there. David was unknown, too. Even for us (coaches), it was a spot we had questions on filling. We sent three or four kids to camp who were prospects for us at quarterback but Pusey has gotten the job done. He makes good, smart decisions. He's fortunate to have some good skill players out there with him and he just has to get the ball to them to make us go."
Wells was also impressed with running back Will James, who powered in from three yards out in the third period to make it 41-6. Backup running back Tony Milam ran in from 18 yards out in the fourth quarter to make it 48-6. James finished with 21 yards rushing while Milam had 50 yards on just two carries. Ricketts ran 7 times for 51 yards.
Weatherly adn tight end Jesse Makowski led the receivers with two catches apiece for 57 and 55 yards, respectively. Mark Hernandez caught another pass for 10 yards.
Justin Battaglino was 6-for-7 on extra point attempts.
The Knights next host McKean on Friday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m.
"We saw McKean against Concord and have played them three years in a row, so we know them well," said Wells. "They have a couple of very good athletes. They're going to be a stepping stone for us as far as the level of play. They're a D-1, Flight A team. We're going to have to bring it up a notch."
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