Sussex Central 63, Indian River 14
Photo: SC defenders Candido Felix (45) and A.J. Neal wrap up IR running back Akeem Wescott (top), while Jamil Young outruns the Indians on his 95-yard punt return.
Jamil Young introduced himself to the Sussex Central High School football team a week ago in a tough road win at Wicomico (Md.).
On Friday night, in an easy victory over district rival Indian River, Young introduced himself to the home fans, while the rest of the Knights' offense re-introduced themselves -- in a big way.
With Young scoring on a 95-yard punt return and Andrew Weatherly scoring on a 41-yard end around and an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback David Pusey, the Knights raced out to a 35-0 lead early in the second period to send the Indians to their 14th straight loss going back to the 2000 season.
Weatherly later added a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to go with a pair of touchdown runs -- 9 and 6 yards -- by running back Terron Hall, and a 1-yard plunge by Allan White, as Central jumped out to a 56-7 halftime lead. Weatherly finished with 209 total yards.
The 63 points could be a school record, according to Central head coach John Wells. "One of our assistants, David Marvel, has been here a long time and he said he can't remember a team scoring that many," Wells said.
The lopsided outcome of the series, plus the questionable value to Sussex Central of playing a Division II team, has led some to question whether this long-standing rivalry should continue with Sussex Central in the big-school Henlopen Conference Northern Division and IR in the small-school South.
In the last four years, Central has outscored Indian River 180-32. Wells, however, has a different perspective on the game. An Indian River alumnus, he would like to see the game continue but as a Thanksgiving Day contest that would be played if neither team qualified for the state tournament.
And despite the predictable outcome Friday night, fans at both schools still have enormous interest in the contest, as both sides of Central's stands were filled and many more fans ringed the field.
"A lot of people like it because of the rivalry," said Wells. "But it's unfortunate that we have one district with two high schools because this game gives one team a loss and puts them at a disadvantage in the state tournament (rankings). It means the loser almost has to win their division to make the tournament.
"Because I graduated from Indian River and Sussex Central is my team now, I'd like to see both teams in the tournament."
Wells said he would like to see traditional rivals throughout the state schedule their games for Thanksgiving Day as an 11th game. If some teams who are traditional rivals make the state tournament, the rivals that don't could then pair up, he said.
"If teams don't make the playoffs, then you have Indian River-Sussex Central and Seaford-Laurel playing on Thanksgiving for bragging rights," said Wells. "That's (Thanksgiving) where I'd like to see us play Indian River."
Against Indian River, Central also scored on a 30-yard run by Tony Milam and a 66-yard run by Jeree Turlington.
Both reserves, Turlington and Milam ended up leading the Knights in rushing. Turlington rushed for 86 yards on just 3 carries, while Milam gained 71 on 7 carries. Terro Hall added 42 yards on the ground.
Defensively, middle linebacker Lewis Day led the Knights with 6 tackles, 3 assists and 1 fumble caused. Linebacker Spencer Booth contributed 3 tackles, 3 assists and a fumble recovery, defensive end A.J. Neal contributed 3 tackles and 2 assists, and defensive back Will James had an interception.
The Knights visit McKean in another nonconference game on Friday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m.
Photo: Sussex Central's Andrew Weatherly (11) cuts back on a reverse on the way to a 41-yard TD run.
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