2-1 Riders aim for big year as Henlopen North schedule begins

Riders RB Jordan Allen. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

CAMDEN — It is three games into the season and the Caesar Rodney High football team is in the same position as last year.
But the Riders took a different route this time.

Caesar Rodney enters Henlopen Conference Northern Division play tonight with a 2-1 record, just like it did last season when the Riders ended up making the Division I state tournament.

The Riders face Polytech High tonight on the road at 7 p.m. Caesar Rodney is coming off a 38-13 victory last week at William Penn — a team it lost to last season.

Another result is different so far on CR’s 2018 schedule — the Riders edged St. Georges a year ago but fell to the Hawks on the road in the second week of the season.

The Riders lost 31-8 that Saturday at St. Georges but the players say that result helped prepare them for the William Penn game. Come Monday, things were different at practice.

“It was definitely a wake-up call,” said senior running back Jordan Allen. “It showed us where we were, vs. where we need to be.”
“I think we went in there kind of sleeping and that woke us up,” agreed senior linebacker Jackson Rall.

CR coach Dan Candeloro

Allen helped spark the turnaround at William Penn when he raced 67 yards for a touchdown for the first score of the game. He added another touchdown in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard rush as CR outscored William Penn 19-6 in the final quarter.

A new attitude helped as well.

“We figured out we can’t just walk into the field and think we’ll win,” said senior William Burke. “We got to work for it. That’s what we do at practice. We figured out we weren’t all the way focused.”

“Our mentality and the way we practice and approached games I think is what really helped us against William Penn,” Allen said. “I think execution really helped us.”

“It was a great week of practice starting on that Monday,” said CR coach Dan Candeloro. “It went right into William Penn and we got out on top early. Things went our way and we had our best offensive output.”

Tonight is another result the Riders would like to flip from last year.

Polytech knocked off Caesar Rodney 7-6 a season ago. It was the first time in Polytech’s 26-year school history the Panthers defeated Caesar Rodney in football.

“Last year we were not all the way focused before the game,” Burke said. “This year we can’t go out with a loss. As a senior, I don’t want to leave this school losing to Polytech twice.”

Caesar Rodney enters the game with a five-game winning streak in Henlopen North play. The Riders lost their first two conference games a year ago before taking the final five to finish the year at 7-3 overall and earned a playoff berth.

“We have to look at every week as going 1-0,” Rall said. “We need to focus on getting everything right and fixing our mistakes to get better.”

Extra points

• The Smyrna-Cape Henlopen game will be broadcast by Delaware 105.9 FM. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.

• Dover plays at Sussex Central tonight at 7 p.m. The Senators are trying to start 4-0 for the first time since 2010.

• State News sports writer Tim Mastro will be breaking down this week’s Henlopen Conference games on WGMD 92.7 FM with host Mike Bradley at 8:20 a.m,

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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