Delmar 35, Forrestville (Md.) 14
Photo: Delmar fullback/noseguard Trey Jackson (top), center Travis Hearn (middle), and running back Chip Cuffee
The Delmar High School football team kept on rolling as it whipped its final Maryland opponent in preparation for the start of the Henlopen Conference Southern Division season next week.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the second period and added 14 more points in the third quarter as they improved to 4-0 overall with their state-leading 27th consecutive win.
"I've had some people tell me we're only playing these Maryland teams to get the wins," said Delmar head coach Dave Hearn. "But I defy them to go play these teams. They're not easy to prepare for. They're not easy to scout (because they're so far away)."
The two-time defending Division II state champions used big plays to subdue Forrestville. After a 20-yard touchdown run by Chip Cuffee to start the second quarter, Delmar scored on a 73-yard punt return by Tyler Downes with 8:18 left in the period and a 46-yard interception return by Vince Stewart with 4:52 to go.
Forrestville pulled a little closer with a touchdown in the final minute of the half, but the Wildcats put the game out of reach in the third quarter on a 9-yard run by quarterback Jon Ellis and a 3-yard run by fullback Trey Jackson.
Vince Stewart also scored on a two-point conversion pass from Ellis and Cody Collins booted three extra points.
Stewart led the Wildcats with 77 yards rushing on 9 carries. He leads Delmar in rushing with 328 yards on the ground and 5 touchdowns.
Ellis went 3-for-8 for 61 yards passing. He hit Cuffee with a 33-yard toss and split end Demeris Cannon with a 25-yarder.
Delmar head coach Dave Hearn has been pleased with his team's progress in the last two games after struggles against Chopticon (Md.) and St. Elizabeth in its first two games.
But he still is somewhat uncomfortable that his offense hasn't established the identity it had the past few years with the likes of Dustin Johnson and the Hudson brothers, Ian and Sean.
"It's such a different thing this year compared to the last two years, when you could almost say this particular player is the big man," said Hearn. "We knew who the offense was coming from.
"Both Stewarts (Vincent and Maurice) will get their share of carries, but we haven't found that one person that you can say you can count on for 800 or 1,000 yards. It's effective, obviously, but right now, whereever we find a hole in the defense will be the ball carrier that night. Fortunately, with our defense, we know we can search around to find what works instead of panicing if we don't score the first couple of times we get the ball."
Defensively, Delmar also got interceptions from Downes and linebacker Zarar Shauket.
Delmar now prepares for a big Henlopen South matchup against rival Laurel, which is 3-0 after beating Division I Sussex Tech 19-14 on Sept. 27.
"The intensity level will be sky-high now," said Hearn. "With Delmar-Laurel, everything goes up a notch. I don't care about championship games ... this game always has a special feel."
Delmar has won the last two games in this rivalry, 43-6 in 2001 and 40-18 in 2000. Laurel last beat Delmar 41-32 in 1999.
"We've had Laurel the next-to-last game the last couple of years, and it was kind of nice there because the excitement builds," said Hearn. "This kind of puts whoever loses, they lose control of their own destiny and have to depend on someone else to knock someone off."
Hearn said he has briefly looked at tape of Laurel's 26-0 victory over Riverside Baptist and its win over Sussex Tech.
"They look very familiar, like Middletown," said Hearn, referring to the offense of new Laurel coach Ed Manlove, a former Middletown assistant. "(Andy) Hartstein looks really good at quarterback. They use play action passes, drop-back passes, sprint-out passes, and they run the ball well inside and outside. That's why Middletown is always on top."
Hearn said the Bulldogs' 3-0 start, their best in four years, certainly bodes well for them entering Henlopen South play.
"They look very confident," he said. "I'm sure those three wins have gotten their confidence level sky-high."
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