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2003 Division II State Football Tournament ...

Indians in Familiar
Underdog Role in States
  • Indian River-Concord Preview
  • Indian River Starting Lineups
  • Indian River Starter Photos
  • Concord Capsule
  • Tournament Notes
  • 2003 Indian River Recap
  • Division II State Tournaments
  • Division I State Tournaments
  •  
    All Out Sports, Bethany Beach, Delaware

    Indian River-Concord Preview ...

    By ERIC MAGILL
    Publisher, Sussex County Online

    The Indian River High School football team hasn't played in a state tournament game since 1991, but the Indians will be in a familiar position in the Division II semifinals.

    When the Indians visit Concord at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2003, they will, as they have for most of this season, be the underdogs.

    At 7-3, the fourth-seeded Indians are the first team with three losses to qualify for the Division II tournament in at least five seasons. They are, so to speak, this year's Cinderella.

    Concord, meanwhile, enters the tournament as the top seed with a 9-1 record. The Raiders' only loss was to St. Mark's, the top seed in the Division I tournament.

    "Davey Grise (assistant coach) and I were talking about that," said Indian head coach Jim Bunting of his team's Cinderella status. "But we've played some tough teams and our kids aren't afraid of anything. Our boys are looking at it as just another game they can win."

    While the Indians do have three losses, they enter the tournament with five straight wins, including a heart-stopping 7-6 victory over Smyrna on Friday, Nov. 14, that earned their first Henlopen Conference Southern Division title since 1988 and an automatic tournament berth.

    That win gave Smyrna its only loss of the season. The Eagles face Archmere on Saturday night in the other Division II semifinal.

    As for those three losses, Bunting points to the caliber of the opponents:

    • 16-6 to Sussex Central, which went 8-2 and just missed a Division I state tournament berth;
    • 15-14 to Nandua (Va.), which went 10-0 and is in the Virginia AA state tournament;
    • 7-0 to Lake Forest, which went 7-3 and still had a chance to win the Henlopen South before a season-ending loss to Milford.

    The Indians also defeated Washington (Md.), which has reached the semifinals of the Maryland Class A state tournament.

    "When you're 7-3, any time you look at that people ask how good you are," said Bunting. "I say, 'Look at who we've played'."

    The Indians are led offensively by senior quarterback Grant Hastings, senior split end Jon Bulkeley, senior tight end D.J. Singleterry, junior wingback Josh Long and junior tailback Therman Hagans.

    Hastings has completed 44 of 102 passes this season for 880 yards. He has thrown for six touchdowns and five interceptions. Hastings is also dangerous on the ground with quarterback sneaks. He has snuck his way to 278 yards and 5 TDs.

    The ground attack is paced by Hagans, who has run for 695 yards and 8 touchdowns. Long has gained 395 yards on 69 carries with 5 touchdowns. Fullback Tremayne Moorman has rushed 31 times for 165 yards.

    They operate behind a line headed by senior tackle Frank Shockley. He is joined by center Zach Mitchell, guards Scott Bollinger and Milton Taylor, and tackle Dustin McCray. Carlous Collins and Tremayne Moorman share the blocking duties at fullback.

    Defensively, the Indians swarm to the ball behind inside linebackers D.J. Singleterry and Andrew Lecates. Singleterry leads the team with 84 tackles, 62 assists and 3 fumble recoveries, while Lecates has compiled 67 tackles and 60 assists.

    Tackles Carlous Collins and Danny Shively have contributed 48 and 45 tackles, respectively. Cornerback Jerry Meiklejohn has 33 tackles, 30 assists and 4 interceptions, and defensive end Jon Bulkeley has 4 quarterback sacks. Reserve linebacker Matt Williamson has 2 sacks and a fumble recovery to go with 38 tackles and 37 assists.

    The Indian defense has totalled 10 fumble recoveries, 5 interceptions and 9 sacks.

    As for Concord, Bunting says the Raiders are bigger and more physical than his team. The Indians have looked at Concord films against St. Mark's, Howard, Hodgson and Caravel.

    Other than the 34-12 loss to St. Mark's, the unbeaten top seed in the Division I tournament, the Raiders haven't had a close game all year. They've outscored their nine victims by an average of 39.0 to 5.0 points a game, with the smallest margin of victory being a 30-6 win over Howard.

    The Raiders have recorded three shutouts while scoring more than 50 points once, more than 40 points four other times, and 30 or more points in three other games.

    "We've got to be able to stay physical for four quarters because they are bigger than we are," said Bunting of Concord. "At the skill positions, they're faster. They're solid offensively and they're solid defensively. They are what they are. That's why they're (the) number one (seed).

    "But we're not going to play any more physical team size-wise than Nandua (a 15-14 Indian loss), and the kids weren't afraid of them."

    Indian River Lineups ...

    INDIAN RIVER STARTING OFFENSE
    POS.
    NO.
    NAME
    CLASS
    HT.
    WT.
    QB
    7
    Grant Hastings
    Sr.
    6-4
    197
    TB
    21
    Therman Hagans
    Jr.
    5-8
    165
    FB
    37
    Carlous Collins
    Sr.
    5-11
    210
    WB
    28
    Josh Long
    Jr.
    5-10
    150
    SE
    84
    Jon Bulkeley
    Sr.
    6-3
    207
    TE
    82
    D.J. Singleterry
    Jr.
    6-1
    210
    C
    50
    Zach Mitchell
    So.
    5-7
    150
    G
    61
    Milton Taylor
    Jr.
    5-8
    195
    G
    65
    Scott Bollinger
    So.
    5-6
    180
    T
    66
    Frank Shockley
    Sr.
    5-10
    270
    T
    79
    Dustin McCray
    Jr.
    5-8
    250
    K
    3
    Jonathan Forte
    Sr.
    5-7
    160

    INDIAN RIVER STARTING DEFENSE
    POS.
    NO.
    NAME
    CLASS
    HT.
    WT.
    DT
    55
    Danny Shively
    Jr.
    5-9
    186
    DT
    37
    Carlous Collins
    Sr.
    5-11
    210
    DE
    77
    Rusty Baker
    Jr.
    5-7
    262
    DE
    84
    Jon Bulkeley
    Sr.
    6-3
    207
    ILB
    82
    D.J. Singleterry
    Jr.
    6-1
    210
    ILB
    52
    Andrew Lecates
    So.
    5-5
    155
    OLB
    83
    Shawn Sadowy
    Jr.
    5-10
    155
    OLB
    87
    Tim Akers
    Jr.
    5-5
    150
    CB
    85
    Jerry Meiklejohn
    Jr.
    5-8
    155
    CB
    1
    Phil Hall
    Sr.
    5-9
    160
    FS
    28
    Josh Long
    Jr.
    5-10
    150
    P
    84
    Jon Bulkeley
    Sr.
    6-3
    207

    Concord Capsules ...

    Nickname: Raiders

    2003 Record: 9-1 (Blue Hen Flight B champion)

    State Tournament Record: 1-2 (1997-98)

    Head Coach: George Kosanovich

    2003 Results
    Concord 36, Brandywine 0
    St. Mark's 34, Concord 12
    Concord 40, St. Elizabeth 0
    Concord 27, Archmere 0
    Concord 42, Dickinson 6
    Concord 36, Mt. Pleasant 0
    Concord 45, Hodgson 6
    Concord 30, Howard 6
    Concord 41, Wilmington Charter 7
    Concord 56, A.I. DuPont 14

    2003 Summary: The Raiders have won in similar fashion to the state championship teams at Delmar the past three seasons -- great defense that makes big plays and a big-play offense. The defense causes multiple turnovers, including seven in a win over Mt. Pleasant and three interceptions in wins over Hodgson and St. Elizabeth. The defense also had five sacks in the win over Hodgson. The Raiders have returned three fumbles for touchdowns ... Senior fullback/linebacker/kicker/punter Jim Lewis leads the team. He has rushed for three touchdowns in each of the Raiders' last two games, including a 25-point outing in a 56-14 win over A.I. DuPont two weeks ago that included a 7-for-7 effort on extra point kicks. He has booted a 32-yard field goal. He ran for 78 yards and two TDs in a win over Howard and two TDs each in wins over Mt. Pleasant and Brandywine ... Shakoor Nickens is the Raiders' leading rusher and its big-play threat. He rushed for 137 yards in a win over Howard, 105 in a win over Wilmington Charter, 100 in a win over Hodgson and 93 yards on just 5 carries in a win over Mt. Pleasant. He scored two touchdowns in a win over St. Elizabeth. He has returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown and scored on touchdown runs of 54 and 47 yards ... Sophomore quarterback Todd Menchaca completed 24 of 63 passes for 505 yards and 9 touchdowns in the season's first nine games. He threw four interceptions during that span ... Sophomore running back Marcus Napier can also be dangerous as he proved with touchdown runs of 46 and 31 yards in the regular season finale against A.I. DuPont.

    Tournament Notes ...
  • Because of construction on I-95 in Wilmington and the holiday crush of traffic on Route 202, Concord High School officials are advising Indian River fans to take the I-495 bypass around Wilmington along the Delaware River to the Route 13 exit (the last exit on the bypass). Make a right off of the ramp onto Route 13 and follow Route 13 approximately 1 mile to the intersection with Naamans Road (Route 92). Make a left on Naamans Road and go about six miles to the intersection of Ebright Road and Naamans. Make a right at that traffic light onto the school grounds and follow the directions of police to parking areas. Concord officials said because the school is under renovations, it encourages Indian fans to car-pool to the game to preserve as many parking spaces as possible.

  • Archmere plays Smyrna in the other Division II semifinal on Saturday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. The date, time and site has not been selected yet for the state championship game.

  • The Indians last played in the state tournament in 1991, while Concord last reached the state tourney in 1998. Indian River has won one state championship, in 1988 under former head coach Dale Steele, now the school's athletic director.

  • Concord head coach George Kosanovich enters the game with 169 career wins -- sixth all-time on the Delaware football coaching list. He and Indian River head coach Jim Bunting, the 2003 Henlopen Conference coach of the year, will be in the running for the state's coach of the year award.



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