The crazy Cape versus Red Lion game Aug. 31 ended with the Vikings’ defense protecting the house on a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line, securing a 21-14 win in the opening game of the season.
The Red Lions were stopped at the 1-yard line by a committee of five led by Dell Richards with help from Brenn Scott, Trey Batson, Sal Sartori and Jakai Payne. Cape players on the sidelines went airborne celebrating the first opening-day victory since 2017.
“We haven’t won an opener since we’ve been here,” said battered and bruised, two-way senior players Maurki James and Brenn Scott, who each scored a touchdown in the game while also playing linebacker.
Cape led the game 14-0 at the half on a pair of touchdown passes from Jameson Tingle to Lex Wescott in period one and James in period two. Wilson Ingerski was good for both extra points.
Robbie Payton recovered a muffed punt in the third period, giving Cape a short field that resulted in tight end Scott scoring from the 1-yard line out of the jumbo package formation. The score gave Cape a 21-0 lead.
The fourth quarter belonged to Red Lion, as sophomore quarterback Evan Budinger threw two quick touchdown strikes, while Cape couldn’t move the football.
Cape lost shutdown cornerback Lex Wescott to a game ejection, which is now on appeal, and Red Lion exploited some things, said coach Mike Frederick.
“I figured if they scored with seconds remaining, they would go for two,” Frederick said. “My understanding was that if the game ended in a tie, we were going to overtime.”
Frederick gathered his players in the end zone after the great Cape escape.
“That was one of the greatest games I’ve ever been involved in,” he told the team. “That is what high school football is all about.”
And then the second-year coach and former NFL player said, “Just three things I want to tell you. One: That’s win No. 1, baby! Two: We’ll see you all Monday – long weekend with the bye week. And three: A shout-out to coach [Jason] Hunt in his first game as defensive coordinator. Great plan!”
The players then walked to the track, took off their helmets and joined the band to sing the school’s alma mater.
Cape will host the Delcastle Cougars at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 15. Delcastle will open its season Friday, Sept. 8, at Sussex Tech.