Sussex County Delaware
Delmar Blanks Laurel
to Start South Defense
Game of the Week ...

Defense Does it
Again in 31-0 Win

  • Story
  • Statistics
  • Quotes
  • Notes
  • Video Clips
  • Photo: Delmar running back Vince Stewart sweeps to some of his 148 yards rushing.

    Delmar running back Vince Stewart

    Game of the Week Story ...

    Delmar linebacker Zarar Shaukett

    Photo: Delmar linebacker Zarar Shauket races into end zone with fumble with teammate Maurice Stewart celebrating behind him. Below, Delmar quarterback John Ellis runs the option (top), while defensive end Scott Price (middle) and noseguard Trey Jackson put the brakes on Laurel ball carriers.

    Publisher, Sussex County Online

    DELMAR -- The defense never rests at Delmar High School, so even when the offense is struggling, the Wildcats are always a threat.

    Delmar quarterback John EllisSuch was the case again on Friday, Oct. 4, 2002, as Delmar began the defense of two straight Henlopen Conference Southern Division titles with a 31-0 thumbing of backyard rival Laurel.

    Now 5-0 overall this year, the Wildcats have won 28 straight games -- the state's longest current winning streak -- going back to the 2000 season.

    Laurel had been unbeaten entering the game, but even though the Bulldogs may not claim the South this year, at 3-1 overall with a pair of wins over Division I schools, they are still in excellent position to qualify for the Division II state tournament.

    Delmar defensive end Scott PriceThis figured to be one of Delmar's toughest tests of the season given Laurel's victories over Henlopen North foes Cape Henlopen and Sussex Tech. For 12 minutes, it appeared it would be before a packed crowd of more than 2,000.

    With the Delmar offense coughing up a fumble and an interception, the Bulldogs were neck-and-neck with the Wildcats at 0-0 after the first quarter.

    Problem was, while Delmar's offense was sputtering, the defense was shutting Laurel's vaunted offense down, too.

    The Wildcats began asserting themselves late in the first quarter with a nice drive that culminated in a 2-yard touchdown run by Vince Stewart on the first play of the second period. Cody Collins' extra point made it 7-0 Delmar with 11:57 left in the quarter.

    The Wildcat defense continued to throttle the Bulldogs, and the Wildcats eventually went ahead 14-0 on a 1-yard run by quarterback John Ellis with 1:08 left in the half.

    Delmar noseguard Trey JacksonBy then, the Bulldogs had run 20 plays but gained just 72 yards, while Delmar had piled up 156 yards on the ground on 24 attempts.

    Unfortunately for Laurel, the Delmar defense picked up its intensity in the second half, as it allowed the Bulldogs only 38 yards on 19 plays, picked off a pass, and recovered two fumbles, including one returned 12 yards for a touchdown by middle linebacker Zarar Shauket with 2:14 left in the game.

    In the meantime, Delmar's offense continued to assert itself with a 36-yard field goal by Collins with 3:27 left in the third quarter and a 30-yard touchdown pass from Ellis to end Demeris Cannon with 10:02 remaining in the game.

    Led by Vince Stewart's 148 yards rushing on 19 carries, Delmar piled up 329 yards of total offense to Laurel's 107. Ellis rushed for an additional 89 yards including some nice runs on options and a couple of big gains on quarterback sneaks.

    Statistics ...


    Second Quarter:

    11:57 -- DELMAR (7-0 Delmar)
    Vince Stewart 2 run
    Cody Collins kick

    1:08 -- DELMAR (14-0 Delmar)
    John Ellis 1 run
    Cody Collins kick

    Third Quarter:

    3:27 -- DELMAR (17-0 Delmar)
    Cody Collins 36 Field Goal

    Fourth Quarter:

    10:02 -- DELMAR (24-0 Delmar)
    Demeris Cannon 30 pass from Ellis
    Cody Collins kick

    2:14 -- DELMAR (31-0 Delmar)
    Zarar Shauket 12 fumble return
    Cody Collins kick


    Total Offense -- Delmar 50-329, Laurel 39-107.

    Rushing -- Delmar 44-279, Laurel 28-65.

    Passing -- Delmar 2-6-1, 30, 1 TD; Laurel 6-11-1, 42.

    Fumbles/Lost -- Delmar 2/1; Laurel 2/2.

    Penalties/Yards -- Delmar 6-25; Laurel 7-60.


    Delmar -- Vince Stewart 19-148, John Ellis 12-89, Maurice Stewart 6-20, Scott Price 2-8, Chip Cuffee 2-8, Trey Jackson 2-10, Damion Miles 1-(-4).

    Laurel -- Jermel Horsey 8-43, Chris Horsey 11-23, Andy Hartstein 4-(-4), Devry Hill 3-11, Jeremy Jones 1-0, Kyle Thompson 1-(-5), .


    Delmar -- John Ellis 1-6-1, 30, 1 TD.

    Laurel -- Andy Hartstein 6-11-1, 42.


    Delmar -- Demeris Cannon 1-30.

    Laurel -- Chris Horsey 2-19, Anton Ridley 2-8, Jermel Horsey 1-5, Jeff Downes 1-10.

    Quotes ...

    Delmar head coach Dave Hearn on quarterback John Ellis' performance:

    "He made good decisions on his own. He checked off a number of times because we did some new things on formations and he picked some of the plays on his own. Plus, he took the ball on his own several times for some nice gains. He ran the option well. I mean, he's not going to run 80 yards with it, but he made a lot of nice runs, made good choices with the ball, and probably had his best game."

    Hearn on the intensity level with a packed house:

    "They (Bulldogs) came out to play. That was hitting on both sides, every play, from kickoff to the end. This was a playoff caliber game, I thought. Both teams were thinking that. You can take the lead in the division and if you want to make the playoffs, this is the way you get started."

    Hearn on running back Vince Stewart:

    "Vince had a great game. He had the one dropped ball, but then he had a great game, defensive and offensively. He carried the ball solid, he ran hard, but all of our backs run hard. All of that started with John and our offensive line. That's the best job they've done this year, maybe all the way through the scrimages. They picked up a lot of hard stunts because they came hard. We played solid. That's about as well as we can play in a game."

    Hearn on the Wildcat defense:

    "I thought we played well. They did everything we talked about all week long about how we wanted to play their offense. They looked to me, by Wednesday, that they were in their huddle most of the time. When we were calling plays, calling their plays, I felt like our defense knew what was going on. Tonight it looked like they knew what was coming at them. They were really well prepared. Dave McDowell (defensive coordinator) and the other coaches did a great job with them. They played about as well as they could play defensively, mentally as well as physically."

    Hearn on the Wildcats' 28-game winning streak:

    "They're just one at a time now. We're trying to avoid that idea and make every game have its own identity."

    Delmar quarterback John Ellis on the Wildcats' offensive line:

    ""The only thing I can say is that our offensive line played great. When you have an offensive line that executes almost perfectly every time, it makes my job a lot easier."

    Notes ...

    Photo: Laurel defenders Eston Ennis (50), Jeremy Jones (2) and Mark Pugh sandwich Delmar running back Maurice Stewart.

    Laurel defense
  • The job Delmar's defense did on Laurel's offense can't be overstated. The Bulldogs had been averaging 28.6 points a game and hadn't been shut out since a 44-0 loss to Smyrna on Oct. 27, 2000. That was Laurel quarterback Andy Hartstein's first year on the job.

  • Hartstein, who had thrown for 6 touchdowns and 133 yards against Cape Henlopen and 154 against Sussex Tech, didn't get close to the end zone against Delmar and finished with just 42 yards on 11 attempts. Running backs Chris Horsey and Jermel Horsey didn't fare much better against Delmar's defense. Jermel Horsey gained just 43 yards after entering the game with 285 in three games. Chris Horsey rushed for only 23 yards after rushing for 229 in the first three games.

  • Delmar has beaten Laurel three straight times by an average score of 38-4.7. The Bulldogs last beat Delmar 41-32 in 1999.

  • Delmar defensive back Demeris Cannon did an outstanding job blanketing dangerous Laurel wide receiver Anton Ridley. The 6-7 Ridley towers over most defenders to make an easy target for quarterback Andy Hartstein, but Cannon, at 6-5, stood tall against Ridley and finished the game with a fumble recovery and an interception. Ridley finished with just 2 catches for 8 yards.

  • Also making big plays for Delmar's defense were defensive end Scott Price with a tackle for a 6-yard loss, noseguard Trey Jackson and defensive end Michael Hunt with sacks, and linebackers Shaun McClain and Sam Warren with tackles for losses. Hunt also booted a 52-yard punt in the second half.

  • Although he isn't as spectacular as previous standout Wildcat running backs Ian and Sean Hudson, Vince Stewart is emerging as the Wildcats' go-to running back. With his 148 yards against Laurel, he has now rushed for 476 yards in five games. He had runs of 28 and 27 yards against the Bulldogs in the second half.

  • Despite the loss, Laurel still has an excellent shot at its first Division II state tournament berth since 1995 with two victories over Division I teams bolstering its point total. A 9-1 or 8-2 record should get the Bulldogs into the playoffs.

  • Laurel head coach Ed Manlove has seen enough of Delmar to last a lifetime in the last 10 months going back to last year. Manlove was defensive coordinator in Middletown's 36-7 loss to Delmar in last year's Division II state championship game.

  • Delmar visits Milford in a Henlopen South contest on Friday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Milford is 3-1 with three shutouts after a 41-0 pasting of Polytech on Friday, Oct. 4. Laurel, meanwhile, hosts Woodbridge in another Henlopen South game at 7:30 p.m. Woodbridge is 1-3 following a 7-2 loss to Indian River on Oct. 4.

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