Sussex County Delaware
Defense, Breaks Lift
'Cats Over St. E's
2002 Recap ...

Friday, Sept. 13, 2002
Delmar 7, St. Elizabeth 6

Photos: Delmar offensive tackle Jay Heater scored TD on fumble recovery.

Defense wins championships. Sometimes it wins regular season games. And often, a couple of well-timed breaks don't hurt, either.

Delmar lineman Jay HeaterSo it was Friday night in a possible preview of this year's Division II state championship game, as the Delmar High School football team survived a last-minute two-point conversion attempt by host St. Elizabeth for a 7-6 victory at Baynard Stadium.

When the Wildcat defense stuffed that two-point conversion run, it not only gave the 'Cats a big early-season nonconference win, it also preserved Delmar's winning streak, which now sits at 25 straight games.

The Wildcats took advantage of a pair of breaks for the win.

First, on Delmar's touchdown, offensive tackle Jay Heater alertly pounced on a fumble by running back Maurice Stewart in the end zone for a 7-0 lead in the third quarter.

Then, after St. E's pulled within 7-6 with 43 seconds left, the Vikings decided to go for the winning two-point conversion rather than an extra point kick to send the game into overtime.

First, though, the Vikings were hit with a five-yard penalty for having too many men on the field. Nevertheless, they attempted the two-point conversion run, only to be stopped by the Delmar defense, a defense that was so instrumental in the Wildcats' state championships the last two years.

Delmar's touchdown drive started with a fumble recovery by defensive back Demeris Cannon at the Wildcat 25. After a run of 28 yards by Chip Cuffee and a 14-yard run by quarterback John Ellis helped put the ball on the St. E's 20, Stewart rushed for 12 yards only to fumble at the Viking 8.

The ball, though, bounced all the way into the end zone, where Heater beat out a St. E's defender to give the 'Cats their only touchdown. Placekicker Cody Collins booted the extra point for what proved to be the game-winner with 8:44 left in the third period.

The Wildcats survived another scare in the fourth quarter when Delmar defensive end Scott Price recovered a Viking fumble after the Vikings had recovered a Delmar fumble at the Delmar 10.

Delmar visits James M. Bennett (Md.) in another nonconference contest on Friday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

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