Lewes – With an automatic berth to the state tournament on the line in a rivalry game a fast start for either team would be huge. Freshman Will Harmon gave Sussex Central that initial punch in the arm returning the opening kickoff 64 yards to the Cape Henlopen 25 yard line. Four plays later Andrew Long scored on a seven yard run. Iby Fojaco added the extra point as Sussex Central jumped out to a 7-0 lead.
Cape Henlopen would drive down the Sussex Central 17 yard line on their first possession. Central head coach John Wells took an early time out. On the next play P.J. Henry made a tackle in the backfield followed by a Cape holding penalty and the drive eventually stalled.
“Back in the 90’s I would have taken that timeout much sooner, but now with the ipads on the sideline we were able to see we were misaligned. That was a big stop for us at the point of the game,” Wells said.
The two teams traded punts early in the second quarter, but the Knights struck again on a Henry 40 yard run for a touchdown giving Sussex Central a 14-0 lead with 4:34 left in the first half.
Sussex Central got the ball back late in the first half following a Cape Henlopen punt. Long scored his second touchdown of the game on a two yard run that was set up by a 25 yard pass from T.J. Morris to Henry taking the ball down to the two yard line. The Knights took a 21-0 lead into halftime.
Midway through the third quarter Dean Miguez intercepted a pass at the 35 yard line and returned it across midfield. The Vikings capitalized on the turnover when Joseph Coveleski connected with C.J. Bruinton on a 31 yard pass play for a touchdown cutting the Central lead to 21-7 with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
The two teams traded touchdowns with Malik Bell scoring on a two yard run for the Knights and Maurki James scoring on a one yard run for the Vikings as Sussex Central led 28-14.
Wells said his team has some things to clean up after they were unable to put the Vikings away in the third quarter with a three score lead.
“With kids that can run like James and Messick we can’t make mistakes where we are not lined up correctly, those kinds of players can take one all the way if they find a seam,” Wells said.
Henry scored his second touchdown of the game with a 49 yard run and Harmon added a one yard touchdown run extending the Knights lead to 42-14.
Henry carried the ball 11 times for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns and had a reception for 25 yards, he also played on the defensive side of the ball.
“The biggest thing P.J. has done, he has matured, he was a sophomore playing a couple of years ago when we won a state championship, now he has learned more about his position and is a player we depend on to make calls on defense,” Wells said.
James went over the 1,000 yard mark for the season for Cape Henlopen as he rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown.
Sussex Central improved to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in District 2 securing an automatic berth to the Class AAA state tournament, the Knights will travel to St. Georges Tech next Saturday for a noon kickoff.
Cape Henlopen drops to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in District 2. The Vikings will have to hope to earn an at-large berth if they are to make the Class AAA state tournament. They will host Appoquinimink (4-2) next Friday night with kickoff at 7:15.
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