Sussex Central football advances

Benny MitchellSports

a group of people watching a football game

Georgetown – Win and advance is the approach Sussex Central is taking during the playoffs.

The Golden Knights entered the 2021 D.I.A.A Class AAA state tournament as the number six seed, but a chance to defend their state title.

Sussex Central took their first step Friday night beating Caesar Rodney 35-0 in the Class AAA opening round.

“We did a lot of great things. Getting a shutout is always good, I thought we moved the ball well on the ground, we ran hard and we blocked well,” Sussex Central head coach John Wells said.

The Golden Knight got off to a shaky start on the first play of the game quarterback Zamir Gardner dropped back, bumped into his own player lost his footing and fumbled the football giving the Riders the ball at midfield.

After the Golden Knights defense forced a three and out the offense got a second chance from their own 16 yard line.

What ensued was a 14 play 84 yard scoring drive using up 6:19 capped off by a two yard touchdown run by Kris Shields. Ibrahim Leyva-Fojaco added the kick giving Sussex Central a 7-0 lead with 2:56 to play in the first quarter.

Caesar Rodney’s next two offensive drives ended with a fumble and a punt respectively.

Both resulted touchdown runs of 3 yards and 7 yards by Shields leading to a 21-0 halftime lead for Sussex Central.

Shields carried the ball 13 times for 92 yards and three touchdowns.

“I just thank Coach Wells for giving me the ball and I just try to help us win,” Shields said.

The Sussex Central defense forced another punt on the Riders opening drive of the third quarter which led to another long drive for the Golden Knights.

Patrick Henry’s four yard touchdown run capped off a 14 play 80 yard scoring drive that used 7:40 of the third quarter clock.

Malik Bell added a 14 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter giving Sussex Central a 35-0 and put the game under a running clock.

Sussex Central amassed 310 total yards on offense with 286 yards on the ground.

“We have to improve our pass blocking before next week, Zamir never got comfortable tonight and we have to work on that,” Wells said.

The Sussex Central defense held Caesar Rodney to 94 yards of total offense despite Julian Harris’ 84 yards on 12 carries.

The Golden Knights also had two interceptions in the game.

Sussex Central advances to the Class AAA quarterfinals where they will face number three seed Salesianum on Saturday night at Absennio Stadium.

Salesianum defeated Sussex Central 42-13 on September 10 in Wilmington.

“We didn’t play our best game that game and I am going to take that on me because I am a key part of the defense, but I feel like we can actually hold them this time,” Shields said.

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