Game of the Week
Take Big Step
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Photo: Laurel's Titus Mims rushes for some of his 189 yards in a losing cause against Smyrna on Friday, Sept. 24, 1999.
GEORGETOWN -- Sussex Central High School football coach John Wells would only call it "one step". But it was a big one.
The Golden Knights ended visiting Cape Henlopen's two-year winning streak in the Henlopen Conference with a 9-0 smash-mouth Northern Division victory over the two-time defending division champions Friday night, Oct. 1, 1999.
The unbeaten Knights' suffocating defense and knack for putting together killer drives at the most opportune moments enabled them to overcome two first-half fumbles and rise to 4-0 overall.
Toby Hall's 34-yard field goal with 2.6 seconds left in the first half and a 6-yard touchdown run to cap an 86-yard third quarter drive by fullback Teddy Thompson gave the Knight defense all of the points it would need.
Cape Henlopen (2-2) threatened to make a game of it after Thompson's touchdown, but a 12-play drived ended at Sussex Central's 5-yard line when receiver Mark Moore's fumble was recovered by Knight defensive back Blake Hershelman with 7:32 remaining in the game.
That proved to be Cape's last gasp, as the Knights held the ball for the next 6 minutes, running the clock down to the 1:01 mark before surrendering on downs at the Cape 19.
Laurel running back John Cahall sweeps around end for a good gain in the first quarter. Cahall ran for 27 yards on the Bulldogs' first drive but played sparingly after that with a brace on his left ankle.
5:45 -- SMYRNA, 7-0
1:56 -- SMYRNA, 14-0
5:58 -- SMYRNA, 21-0
2:03 -- SMYRNA, 28-0
6:12 -- SMYRNA, 28-8
0:00 -- SMYRNA, 28-14
"The days are over when you had mismatches in the Henlopen Conference. Everybody is equal and if everybody is equal, then it comes down to who prepares the best. The realization that these guys have to come to is everybody is equal. Every game will be a dogfight. People have to get used to it."
Kmetz on his team's fumbles, including three by senior running back Titus Mims, who finished with 189 yards:
"The turnovers were just a matter of people trying to make an extra effort and doing more than they really can. You can't fault them for that."
Kmetz on his halftime message with Laurel down 14-0:
"We felt we would get six possessions in the second half and that if we could hold them and score on half of our possessions, we could win the game."
Kmetz on sophomore Smyrna running back Mike Pennewell, who finished with 158 yards rushing including TDs of 14 and 56 yards:
"He ran for 140 yards against Middletown in their opener and 200 yards last week. I don't think any teams even ran for 140 yards against Middletown last year. He's the real deal."
Copyright © 1999 Sussex County Online