Lifts Cape to 1st Win
Cape Henlopen 21, Seaford 19
Photo: Cape Henlopen running back Stephen Shockley and tight end Sean Sweeney
Stephen Shockley did everything a halfback needs to do to lift his team to a victory when the Cape Henlopen High School football team hosted Seaford in its Homecoming game.
But even after rushing for 197 yards and three touchdowns, the 6-foot, 200-pound junior needed to block a last-minute field goal attempt to make sure all of his running didn't go for naught.
Shockley blocked a 38-yard field goal attempt by capable Seaford placekicker Ryan Shockley to preserve the Vikings' first win of the season.
With the win in their Henlopen Conference Northern Division opener, the Vikings are now 1-3 overall.
Cape head coach Bill Geppert had an uncomfortable feeling as Seaford's Shockley lined up for the potential game-winning field goal. Shockley had already booted three field goals this season, including a pair of 24-yarders in a 26-20 triple-overtime over Woodbridge the week before.
And, he had the wind at his back.
"We were setting up for a painful loss," said Geppert. "We just wanted to get as much pressure on Shockley as we could because he can boom it. It's amazing how you can pull victory out of the worst possible scenarios. It shouldn't have come down to that."
But it did, and fortunately for the Vikings, they had spotted some weaknesses in Seaford's kicking game that they could exploit. They had done just that earlier in the game when they blocked an extra point attempt.
"It was a designed block, but it takes a great player like Stephen to make that play," said Geppert. "If he didn't get it, though, I think we had two or three other guys who were going to block it.
"We're experts at having problems on special teams, so we noticed that they have some problems like we do. We were kind of surprised that they didn't came at our special teams harder than they did."
Before the night's anxious final moments, Stephen Shockley had given Cape all he had with 27 carries including TD runs of 1, 4 and 2 yards in a duel with standout Seaford running back Aaron White, who had nearly as many yards as Shockley.
"Neither of us could stop the other one," said Geppert. "It was just a phenomenal night for Stephen. He was a workhorse in the backfield.
For a team struggling to score points, with only 31 in its first three games, the three touchdowns were a welcome sight for Geppert.
"It was our best game offensively, without a doubt," said Gepeprt, who saw quarterback Zach Plummer hit 7 of 9 passes for 68 yards.
"We saw some things against them and felt we could move the ball. We had a couple of nice drives. We didn't show everything in our package, but we had a couple of things we felt really good about, especially running behind (tackle) Mike DelCampo and (tight end) Sean Sweeney. We used some different formations and the blocking of our fullback, Derrick Hudson, he was just knocking people back."
Geppert was especially concerned about winning the first conference game with a home game against Sussex Central looming ahead in two weeks after a bye week for the Vikings.
He said the extra week will give the team time to prepare and a couple of players time to heal from mild concussions suffered against Seaford.
"The kids have just bee playing better each week," said Geppert. "We've been playing good defense and good football the last couple of weeks. We'll savor this win for two weeks until we face Sussex Central. That will be quite a daunting task."
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