With 35-0 Victory
Publisher, Sussex County Online
Photos: Sussex Central defensive end A.J. Neal cradles a fumble recovery, while defensive end Spencer Booth slows down Dover runner Tyrell Moses.
GEORGETOWN -- The Sussex Central High School football doesn't need much help to win games, so when a team gives the Golden Knights as many gifts as Dover did on Friday, Oct. 25, 2002, the result is predictable.
In a much-ballyhooed showdown for control of the Henlopen Conference Northern Division, the Knights took advantage of error after error by the Senators in a surprisingly easy 35-0 victory.
In matching the 8-0 start of the 1999 Golden Knights, Sussex Central rose to 4-0 in the Henlopen North. The Knights have a week off before visiting Caesar Rodney on Friday, Nov. 8, in a game that should decide the North title and the automatic Division I state tournament berth that goes with it.
The loss virtually eliminated any hopes Dover had of returning to the state tournament after last year's state finals appearance against Newark. The Senators are 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the North and will need considerable help to reclaim the North title.
The Knights and Dover have swapped the North crown the past two years, but the Senators could barely get out of their own way on Friday night. For that matter, they couldn't get out of the way of the Knight defense, either.
The Knights gleefully took advantage of almost every miscue, as their five scoring drives averaged only 33.6 yards. Four were less than 34 yards.
Central went ahead 20-0 midway through the second period as the offensive line paved a path for hard-charging fullback Jamil Young.
On the way to a game-high 117 yards rushing, Young scored on a pair of 4-yard touchdown runs and a 1-yard plunge for that 20-0 advantage. He carried on all 8 plays of a 50-yard drive for the Knights' third touchdown.
End Andrew Weatherly scored the Knights' final two touchdowns, the first on a 26-yard pass from scrambling quarterback David Pusey and the second on an 11-yard end around. The pass from Pusey gave Central a 27-0 lead and the end-around started the running clock with 3:45 left in the third period.
In between Weatherly's TDs, the Senators fumbled away the opening kickoff of the second half and then gave up the safety on the bad punt snap.
Central finished with 222 yards of total offense and 13 first downs.
4:26 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (7-0 Sussex Central)
1:12 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (14-0 Sussex Central)
6:38 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (20-0 Sussex Central)
6:38 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (27-0 Sussex Central)
7:25 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (29-0 Sussex Central)
3:45 -- SUSSEX CENTRAL (35-0 Sussex Central)
Total Offense -- Dover 28-72, Sussex Central 46-222.
First Downs -- Dover 3, Sussex Central 13.
Rushing -- Dover 21-41, Sussex Central 40-193.
Passing -- Dover 3-7-0, 31; Sussex Central 2-6-0, 29.
Fumbles/Lost -- Dover 5/5, Sussex Central 1/1.
Penalties/Yards -- Dover 11-59.5, Sussex Central 7-40.
Dover -- Keith White 7-22, Mike Henry 5-14, Creighton Walker 1-(-1), Collins Evans 5-(-11), Chris Spellman 1-8, Tyrell Moses 2-9.
Sussex Central -- Jamil Young 22-117, Terron Hall 7-30, Andrew Weatherly 2-12, David Pusey 2-10, Will James 3-13, Tony Milam 1-2, Jeree Turlington 2-5, John Riddle 1-4.
Dover -- Collins Evans 2-7-0, 31.
Sussex Central -- David Pusey 2-6-0, 29.
Dover -- Justin Paylor 2-26, Chris Spellman 1-5.
Sussex Central -- Andrew Weatherly 2-29.
Sussex Central head coach John Wells on fullback Jamil Young:
"I haven't known him super long, but I can't speak enough about the kid's character and leadership ability. He's a football player and a darned good footbal player, but he's a class act. He's something special."
Wells on the Golden Knights' defense:
"We hang our hat on our defense this year. Our offense did it tonight, but I make no secret about it, we hang it on our defense."
Wells on taking advantage of Dover's mistakes:
"One, we came ready to play. But two, Dover made some mistakes and miscues hurt them. Certainly, Dover is a very good team and I don't think the score indicates the level at which they're able to get after it and play. The miscues combined with us taking advantage of their mistakes and being ready to play put them down."
Wells on avenging the Knights' losses to Dover last year:
"We have some things we wanted to prove, too. We wanted to win the conference. We wanted to meet our goals. We go out each week trying to prove a few things. We lost guys to graduation two years ago and they wrote us off and those guys stepped up and they said the same thing this year. We just have guys stepping up. Jamil is doing this and Drew's doing that, but we have guys on this team that you're not going to read about in the paper tomorrow that make this team go. They're the ones that are the unsung hereos. Will James is one of those guys that goes 100 percent all the time, practices, games. They make us better. If we don't have the Will James, and Kevin VanVorsts, and Lewis Days, those kinds of guys, we don't get where we are."
Sussex Central fullback/defensive back Jamil Young on the victory:
"We didn't know that we were going to play this good. We just knew we were going to come out here and play hard and give it all we had from the first to fourth quarters. That's all we had. We just came out here and did what we had to do ... go on home and try to keep everybody on the team and stay away from penalties. We did a good job tonight."
Young on his blockers:
"If it wasn't for that line, that line is doing it all. Layton Wright, Spencer Booth, all of them, across the whole line, they're doing their thing. I'm just running behind them. Terron Hall, my backs, Spinner James, I'm running behind them, too, and I'm loving it, loving it."
Young on whether he likes offense or defense more:
"I love to carry the football but I do love to hit somebody. I've got a 50-50 on that. I can't choose one side of the ball. I love them both equally."
Young on adjusting from quarterback at Woodbridge to fullback at Central:
"Ever since I was a little kid I always dreamed of playing running back, but my team (Woodbridge) needed me to play quarterback. I was kind of good at it so they figured they'd keep me in there. I did whatever the team needed me to do."
Young, a transfer from Woodbridge, on wearing a Woodbridge football shirt under his Sussex Central jersey:
"I can't forget where I came from, so I always put the old Blue Raiders football underneath my Central jersey to keep it in my heart."
Photo: Sussex Central kicker Justin Battaglino nails Dover return man Chris Spellman.
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