Cape football falls to Sallies 28-20 in home opener

September 3, 2021

Nearly everyone in the football community had penciled in the Cape football team as an underdog tune-up for the powerful Salesianum School, but they didn’t tell the Vikings. The Cape football squad held their own in a 28-20 Sallies victory Sept. 2 at Legends Stadium.

“We had our chances,” said Cape head coach J.D. Maull. “Sallies is a good team, and they’re big, but our kids are disappointed with the loss. We were flat in the first half and shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times with a couple of bad plays and a couple of penalties. We played Cape football in the second half. The kids fought til the end.”

Jordan Baines led the Vikings with 88 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. Thomas Messick ran the ball twice for 23 yards and a touchdown. Hank D’Ambrogi ran seven times for 28 yards and a touchdown. Chancler Johnson rushed two times for 13 yards.

D’Ambrogi went 4-for-11 in the air, hitting Messick for a 30-yard pass play. Baines snagged a pass for 23 yards. Keishawn Mansfield pulled in a 17-yard pass play, while Owen Smith grabbed a pass for six yards.

Sallies got on the board first when the Vikings’ defense was called for pass interference, setting up a two-yard plunge by Cooper Brown. They continued in the second quarter when quarterback Conor Campbell scampered up the middle for a three-yard score.

Cape’s D’Ambrogi then handed off to Messick, who ran 17 yards for the Vikings’ first score of the 2021 season.

Ryan Rzucidlo caught a 14-yard Campbell pass for a Sals score, followed by a 26-yard run by Campbell to make it 28-6 at the halftime break.

That was all the visitors from Wilmington would get – the Vikings’ never-give-up attitude showed in the second half, as they tightened up the defense and outscored Sallies 14-0.

Baines scored on a 20-yard run to make the game a tighter 28-12 Sals advantage. D’Ambrogi scrambled around and plowed in from 15 yards out; then Baines dove in for the two-point conversion to close the gap at 28-20.

The clock was the Vikings’ enemy, as Salesianum ran out the remaining time to hand Cape a 28-20 loss.

“The defense played great tonight,” said Maull. “ We were getting after it on defense. Nate Horn had like nine or 10 tackles from his linebacker position. All of the guys played great, and if we can play with Sallies, we can play with anyone.”

Cape will travel to Woodbridge Friday, Sept. 10, to face the Blue Raiders.


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