Brown returns 2 kickoffs for TDs as Ravens top Dover

DOVER — Isaiah Brown said he really tried to keep it simple.

On both kickoff returns, the Sussex Tech High just looked for a hole and took off.

“I just followed my blocks,” said Brown, “that’s all that matters.”

The formula worked pretty well as Brown twice returned kickoffs for touchdowns, scoring three TDs altogether, as the Ravens put away a 44-26 victory over Dover in Henlopen Conference Northern Division football on Friday night.

Junior fullback Jordan Waters also scored three touchdowns, running for 145 yards on 21 carries as Sussex Tech improved to 3-2 in the North, 5-3 overall.

Brown’s two kickoff returns covered 80 and 91 yards. The second one came with 1:04 left in the second quarter after Dover had closed within 21-19.

The Ravens, who beat the Senators (1-3, 2-6) for the third straight year, went into halftime with a 28-19 advantage.

“He’s a special kid, he really is — not only as an athlete but as a young man,” Sussex Tech coach Mark Quillin said about Brown. “He’s great to have around.”

After the freewheeling first half, it looked like there might be a lot more points in the second half.

On the third play of the third quarter, Dover quarterback Jordan Magee hit halfback John Rodel Castro on a slant and the senior speedster turned into a 70-yard scoring play. Derek Hallock’s PAT kick got the Senators right back to within 28-26.

But the Ravens answered with a 31-yard touchdown run from Waters just a minute later and kept the Senators at arm’s length the rest of the night. Sussex Tech ended up scoring the final 16 points of the contest.

With Magee completing 13-of-18 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns, Quillin wasn’t sure how many points the Ravens would need.

“They always have great athletes,” Quillin said about Dover. “Their schemes are really hard to prepare for. It’s kind of like preparing for Smyrna. They’re all over the place.

“Offensively I think we controlled the ball at certain times. Jordan Waters did a great job tonight fullback-wise, controlling the clock and being able to keep the ball out of their hands.”

Dover also had three big second-half turnovers that kept it from trying to keep pace with the Ravens. The Senators’ muffed a line-drive kickoff while Sussex Tech safety Tyzhir Morris had an interception and teammate Carl Schirmer fell on a fumble.

Two of Magee’s scoring passes went to Castro with the third going to receiver Jhalil Mosley. Running back Jerry Warren added Dover’s other TD while finishing with 74 yards on 22 carries.

Dover already had several players sidelined by injuries before senior receiver Dwight Wilson went down with a leg injury on the first drive of the game.

“We’re the walking wounded a little bit,” said first-year coach Rudy Simonetti. “We had to take some younger, inexperienced players and put them on there (on special teams). We’ve started to tap into our freshman class a little bit — something I don’t want to have to do.

“Our offense is improving,” he added. “Jordan (Magee) had a heck of a night throwing the football, Castro had two plays, Jhalil played big for us and I’ve got to credit Jerry Warren. There was some tough running by him tonight. I’m really proud of him.”

Sussex Tech is also fairly young. That’s why Quillin thinks it’s important for the Ravens to finish strong — not that it will be easy.

On Thursday night, Sussex Tech goes to Wilmington to face Salesianum before ending the season at Cape Henlopen.

“We’ve been up and down but we come to practice every day and we work hard,” said Quillin. “And you know what? We’re getting better as the season progresses. Our goal after the last one (a loss to Smyrna last week), we said, ‘We’re going to 3-0 at the end of the season.’

“It leads into next year. We’ve got a large junior and sophomore group. The way you finish really dictates how the upcoming year goes.”

“We trust in ourselves,” said Brown. “That’s all that really matters to us. We just want to finish strong, keep battling back and keep going forward.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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