Photos: Tech celebrates (top), David Witt crunches Woodbridge's Jamil Young (middle), and Kevin Maull picks up some nice yardage (bottom).
Recovery Seal Win
BRIDGEVILLE -- The Sussex Tech football team couldn't have picked a more appropriate opponent to confirm that it has turned the corner on the 1-19 record it posted the past two seasons.
Not so long ago, host Woodbridge was turning consecutive 0-10 seasons into the 1999 Henlopen Conference Southern Division championship and a trip to the Division II state tournament.
Now, following their hard-fought 28-27 double-overtime win over Woodbridge on Friday, Sept. 28, 2001, the Ravens are 4-0 and dunking head coach Bill Collick with the water bucket instead of dragging themselves off the field.
Tech didn't seal the nonconference victory until David Witt blocked a Woodbridge extra point in the second overtime, until Jamil Trott fortuitously fell on quarterback Marcus Morris' fumble into the end zone for the tying score, and until placekcker Shawn Melvin split the uprights with the winning extra point.
When Melvin's fourth extra point kick of the night sailed through the goal posts, it set off a wild mid-field celebration that didn't end until Raven running backs Kevin Maull and Shawn Evans had dunked Collick with the ceremonial water bucket.
"Our kids have worked hard," said a a jubilant Collick afterwards. "It really started to show, although our kids didn't win a lot of games, it really started to show last year after the Dover game, which we lost by three points at the end there. Cape Henlopen was the same thing the next week. We finally won a game at Polytech (in last game). I think that's probably the long and short of it."
Maull kick-started a Raven team that sputtered offensively in the first half with only 33 total yards. After Woodbridge took a 7-0 lead on a 15-yard scoring jaunt by quarterback Jamil Young, Maull took the ensuing kickoff, faked a reverse, and raced 97 yards down the sideline to tie the game 7-7.
The Ravens got their offense moving in the second half as it went 87 yards in 10 plays to tie the game 14-14 with 6:44 left in the third quarter for the final score in regulation.
During the drive, Morris hit wide receiver Chris Hopkins with a 21-yard pass and Maull with a 25-yarder for big first downs.
"We just said (at halftime) that we're in a football game and that's a good measuring stick, this program (Woodbridge)," said Collick. "We said, 'We're not that far out of it. We've got to go back out and play'. We said, 'Do you want to be in this kind of game, do you want to be about that?' Or do you just want to say, 'Okay, we came over here and played them tough.' Our kids decided to go out there and see if we could win it."
Morris hooked up with Hopkins again in the first overtime. With Tech on offense first, Morris turned what could have been a disastrous 10-yard loss on the Ravens' first play into a 20-yard scoring toss to Hopkins to give Tech a 21-14 lead.
The Blue Raiders came right back, though, as Young scored from 6 yards out to tie it 21-21.
Woodbridge went on offense first to start the second overtime and Young scored from 10 yards out on the first play. But Witt blocked the extra point to give the Ravens a shot at their second overtime win of the season.
Morris, rolling right, tucked the ball in and headed for the end zone but lost the ball before he reached the goal line. Fortunately for the Ravens, Trott, who blocked an extra point to give the Ravens a similar 14-13 overtime win over Hodgson earlier in the season, was in the right spot to recover for the touchdown.
For the game, the Ravens were outgained 242-145 in total yards. Maull led the Ravens in rushing with 35 yards on 14 carries while Morris went 3-for-8 for 46 yards with an interception.
Defensively, the Ravens posted sacks by Trott and linebacker Eddie Vicks and tackles for losses by Maull, Witt, linebacker Morgan Schirmer and defensive lineman Matt Whaley.Now the Ravens enter the rugged Henlopen Conference Northern Division schedule, starting with a home game against Caesar Rodney on Friday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m.
"I told our kids the other day, we're kind of on that march now," said Collick. "We've got Caesar Rodney next, and Dover, and Cape Henlopen, and all that deal. Every week the stakes get higher, but it's great to be 4-0. We've got a long way to go. But it's great to go back to work after you've won a game."
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