Both bands stayed in the bus barn Friday night, Nov. 2, as 1-7 Cape played at 7-1 Dover in a steady rain where each drop was visible under the bright lights.
The Senators surged to a 37-0 halftime lead, then cruised home on a running clock, after no halftime show, to win 51-7.
Dover, now 8-1, and Cape, 1-8, each attracted less than 100 fans, which is a social statement on 2018 sports support for both losing and winning programs.
“We have just run out of bodies this season,”said coach J.D. Maull. “The emphasis on concussion protocols has changed the game everywhere. Starting players losing multiple games along with the usual wear-and-tear injuries, and add in whatever behavior issues there are to deal with.”
Football is a game that reveals character more than any other because of the cross-sectional nature of the roster – some call diversity – and because it is a collision sport.
Cape has used freshmen and sophomores in prime-time varsity spots and cancelled the freshman football schedule.
“I have a kid like Lucas [Ruppert] starting at right tackle and he’s 14 years old playing against grown men,” Maull said. “And there are only six juniors in the entire program. We will fix this thing and bring it to balance. After the season, we need to evaluate all aspects of the program starting with the coaching staff.”
Cape went four deep on the depth chart and started freshman Merek Harrigan-Ferro who actually did a great job running the offense. Cape also used a bunched wildcat-type formation with direct snap to sophomore Jaden Davis, who just pounds the rock and says nothing, and even completed a pass to Patrick Tkach, who caught three passes.
Senior Austin Mendes, a center and linebacker, has just answered the bell for every contest, playing most snaps of the football game, and Billy Ott, a three-sport athlete, has been playing with a bad shoulder the entire season.
“We keep emphasizing the right things and are preparing for Sussex Tech this Friday night,” said Maull. The players who have battled through this tough season deserve everyone’s respect.”
Notes: Sussex Tech 5-4 is still in the running for a playoff spot. Dover at 8-1 will end hosting Caesar Rodney and looks to be heading to the playoffs. Sussex Central 8-1 wins the North and goes to the playoffs. Smyrna, the three-time defending state champion, has fallen to 2-6, and that is a total mystery.