Improve to 6-0
Sussex Central 44, Seaford 0
Photos: Sussex Central defensive tackle Spencer Booth and linebacker Kevin Van Vorst
As impressive as the Sussex Central High School football team's offense has been at times, its defense has been impressive all the time.
The defense once again dominated in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division victory over visiting Seaford as it allowed the Blue Jays only 8 total yards of offense and 1 first down.
Combined with 156 yards and 3 touchdowns rushing from fullback Jamil Young and a 75-yard interception return for a TD by defensive back Andrew Weatherly, the Knights easily rose to 2-0 in the Henlopen North and 6-0 overall.
The Golden Knights are just one win from matching the 7-0 start they had during their 2000 Division I state finals campaign.
With the shutout of Seaford, the Knight defense has now blanked two opponents this year.
What's more, the defense has surrendered only 35 points all season, and has allowed only 14 points in the last four games.
"We figured after the season last year, when we did our end of the year meeting and evaluations of our returning players, that we had the makings of a pretty strong defense," said Sussex Central head coach John Wells. "Having Jamil (Young) and A.J. (Neal), two strong ballplayers, added to that. We came into the season thinking defense would be our mainstay and would solidify our team."
The Knights did a particularly good job on Seaford running back Aaron White, who entered the game as one of the state's leading rushers. White finished with less than 10 yards.
"We had a nice little scheme to stop him," said Central head coach John Wells. "We didn't spy on him with one person. It was a collective effort from the guys in the middle, the defensive tackles, noseguard and backers. They didn't have any lapses in focus. They had to read their keys and wrap him up each and every time because he's a quality running back. Those guys took the challenge and did extremely well."
Manning the middle were sophomore noseguard Charles Stanfield, sophomore defensive tackle John Bowman, junior defensive tackle Spencer Booth, middle linebacker Lewis Day, and inside linebacker Kevin Van Vorst.
Day finished with 7 tackles and 3 assists and Van Vorst with 5 tackles and 1 assist. Young, at strong safety, had 4 tackles, 2 assists and a pass breakup. Layton Wright and Neal had 4 tackles apiece.
"Our guys stepped up and took the challenge, those that were responsible for stopping the run, especially with the weather," said Wells of the rainy conditions. "You have to give some credit to our interior guys for making things happen for us. They kept Seaford's linemen off our backers. It sounds simple, but it was well-executed."
The Knights executed well offensively, too, as they ground out 308 yards rushing and added 48 passing in less than ideal conditions.
Young led the ground attack with touchdown runs of 50, 48 and 9 yards. Will James added a 12-yard scoring run on the way to 37 yards rushing and Pierre Louis contributed a 24-yard touchdown romp. Terron Hall added 41 yards on 6 carries.
Quarterback David Pusey rebounded from a couple of sub-par games to complete 4 of 9 passes for 48 yards.
"Pusey had an exceptional game," said Wells. "He hit four different receivers and had three passes dropped."
Placekicker Danny Milam kicked a 30-yard field goal and three extra points for Central's other points.
Central visits Cape Henlopen in a Henlopen North game on Friday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Cape was off this week after recording its first win, 21-19 over Seaford, on Oct. 4.
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