Game of the Week
Photo: Laurel's Titus Mims sweeps around end for some of his game-high 268 yards rushing on 42 carries in his team's 41-32 victory over Delmar on Friday, Oct. 8, 1999.
LAUREL -- The Laurel High School football team proved a few things in its 41-32 Homecoming victory over Delmar on Friday, Oct. 8, 1999.
First, the Bulldogs proved they are very much in the Henlopen Conference Southern Division race with the win over the four-time defending division champions.
Second, they proved they can score a lot of points when they don't commit drive-killing turnovers and penalties.
And third, the Bulldogs proved they have plenty of character and heart as they overcame what appeared to be a devastating 0-3 start for their first win over Delmar in six years.
Laurel used a punishing ground game to subdue the Wildcats. The Bulldogs ran 72 times in the game for 404 yards, including 268 yards and three touchdowns by tailback Titus Mims and 69 yards and a game-clinching 31-yard touchdown sweep by senior Mike Snead with 1:44 remaining.
Only big plays by Dustin Johnson and Ian Hudson kept Delmar in the game as the Wildcats finished with 291 yards, 237 of them coming on four plays by the dynamic duo.
After Laurel had taken a 34-19 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats scored two quick touchdowns on a 67-yard scramble for a touchdown by Johnson with 9:22 left and a 2-yard run by Steve Twilley with 6:12 remaining. Twilley's TD, after a bad punt snap gave the Wildcats possession at Laurel's 27, brought Delmar within 34-32.
Laurel, however, went on a 9-play drive spanning 60 yards including the final 31 yards by Snead. The extra point kick by John Small gave the Bulldogs a 9-point lead with 1:44 to go in the game and essentially settled the matter.
The Bulldogs had jumped out to leads of 14-0, 28-13 and 34-19 only to see the Wildcats close the gap quickly behind Johnson and Hudson.
After Laurel went up 14-0 on a 15- and 9-yard runs by Mims in the first quarter, the Wildcats got right back into it on a 47-yard touchdown run by Hudson, who finished with 154 yards.
The Bulldogs put more space between themselves and Delmar in the second quarter when Snead ran 18 yards for a score and a 22-7 advantage. But the Wildcats bounced back to within 22-13 as Hudson caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Johnson with 4:50 left in the first half.
Laurel jumped ahead 28-13 in the third period when Mims capped a 13-play drive with a 4-yard run, but Johnson got the Wildcats right back in it with a 56-yard scramble and a 28-19 score with 3:56 left in the period.
The Bulldogs, however, went up 34-19 with a 12-play drive capped by Tim Gibbs' 1-yard dive with 9:49 left in the fourth quarter.
9:26 -- LAUREL (Laurel 6-0)
4:06 -- LAUREL (Laurel 14-0)
1:24 -- DELMAR (Laurel 14-7)
6:44 -- LAUREL (Laurel 22-7)
4:50 -- DELMAR (Laurel 22-13)
3:23 -- LAUREL (Laurel 28-13)
3:06 -- DELMAR (Laurel 28-19)
9:49 -- LAUREL (Laurel 34-19)
9:22 -- DELMAR (Laurel 34-25)
6:12 -- DELMAR (Laurel 34-32)
1:44 -- LAUREL (Laurel 41-32)
Laurel coach Paul Kmetz on his team's first victory after three losses:
"Our guys know they can play. We've played some tough opponents and haven't put together a four-quarter game. Tonight we did."
Kmetz on the elimination of the mistakes that cost his team in earlier games:
"The kids were putting too much pressure on themselves. We tried to relax them this week. Each individual put a lot of pressure on themselves and we tried to tone it down. We had a very relaxing week."
Kmetz on the dominance of his team's running game against Delmar:
"We thought we had a good offensive line all along. Our fullback's blocking was excellent and our tailback ran hard. We played with a lot of heart."
Kmetz on Delmar quarterback Dustin Johnson, who kept things close with 56- and 67-yard TD runs:
"He's quick and elusive. He's a tremendous athlete."
Kmetz on beating the four-time defending Henlopen South champion:
"Delmar fought back the whole way. We talked about the difficulty of beating the defending champion. It's like a prize fight. They just keep getting back up."
Kmetz on the two extra-point blocks by Tim Gibbs:
"Tim watched films in my office this week and said, 'Coach, I think I can get this extra point.' He got it twice."
Laurel running back Titus Mims, who rushed for 268 yards:
"This is the best group I've ever been with. Now we know how to win. We're ready to step it up."
Delmar coach Dave Hearn on the loss:
"They played really well and we didn't play well defensively. They manhandled us up front."
Hearn on Delmar quarterback Dustin Johnson:
"We were looking for big plays and Dustin made some great individual plays for us."
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