Sussex County Delaware
At Long Last, IR
Ends Losing Skid
Indian River Indians
2002 Game by Game ...

Friday, Sept. 20, 2002
Indian River 20, Washington (Md.) 14

Photos: Indian River quarterback Ryan Warner scored two touchdowns.

At long last, the Indian River High School football team tasted victory.

With the nonconference win over the hosts from Princess Anne, the Indians snapped a 14-game losing streak dating back to the 2000 season, including an 0-10 mark a year ago. IR is now 1-2 overall this year.

The Indians' last win had been 35-17 over Seaford on Nov. 3, 2000.

Indian River quarterback Ryan Warner"When I got home my wife said, 'You don't seem too excited,' " said IR head coach Jim Bunting. "But I said, 'Honey, it's for the kids'. I told her they were on Cloud Nine and I didn't want to interfere with it.

"On the way home, I want them to keep their day jobs because they can't sing, but they sang all the way home. I told the guys to enjoy this moment, this 45-minutes (bus ride), this weekend, because it feels good. But they don't need me to tell them that. They just need the community and the parents to say, 'Son, we're proud of you'."

Bunting said that while he doesn't expect the Indians to reel off eight straight wins to end the season, he hopes his players take something from the victory that will serve them well the rest of the season.

"I'll stack my kids up with all the rest in this league," said Bunting. "The difference is just that the other teams have experienced wins, some of them multi-wins, and it's a head game. Hopefully we've turned one corner, jumped one hurdle."

The Indians were plagued by 120 yards in penalties, some of which Bunting called questionable, but they got their first victory by controlling the ball.

Matt Higdon scored on a 5-yard touchdown run on the way to 80 yards rushing, and quarterback Ryan Warner capped off a pair of drives with 1-yard touchdown sneaks.

Therman Hagans rushed for a team-high 111 yards on 11 carries, and Akeem Wescott added 39 yards on just 4 carries. Warner completed 3 of 8 passes for 50 yards including a 36-yarder to tight end Jon Bulkeley and a 12-yard toss to Higdon.

Bunting said the score could have been more widespread if not for the penalties and the Indians' lack of speed.

"The defense playd very well and the offensive line, my gosh, if we truly had some speed, we had some holes that you and I could have held hands and walked through," said Bunting.

The Indians have a week off before hosting Woodbridge on Friday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m., to start their Henlopen Conference Southern Division season.

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