Cape blanks Riders with 35-0 victory

 

CAMDEN — Bill Collick and Dan Candeloro go way back.

Collick was coaching at Delaware State in the early 1980s when Candeloro was a standout defensive lineman for the Hornets.

So Candeloro, now the Caesar Rodney High football coach, was hardly surprised that Collick wasn’t panicked by his Cape Henlopen squad’s relatively slow start on Friday night.

Bill Collick

Bill Collick

After leading by only a touchdown late in the first half, the Vikings eventually pulled away to a 35-0 victory over the Riders in a Henlopen Northern Division matchup.

Cape (4-0 North, 6-1 overall) got a TD just before halftime and reeled off 21 unanswered points in the second half to post their fifth straight win.

“Bill’s a good coach,” said Candeloro. “His staff does a great job. They’re disciplined and they run the Wing-T well — ‘We’re going to run it, stop us.’

“To their credit, they stayed the course and kept on plugging.”

Senior cornerback/halfback Robert Neall was one of the Cape players who helped put away CR (0-3, 0-7) by scoring a pair of second-half touchdowns.

With the Vikings leading 21-0 late in the third quarter, an errant punt snap by the Riders ended up in the end zone. One of several Cape players rushing on the play, Neall was the one who ended up with the recovery for the TD.

“Somebody jumped on top of it and it popped out,” said Neall. “I just dove on it. It was a great feeling.”

Neall, who also had a pair of first-half interceptions, then capped off his big night with a 40-yard scoring run with 9:15 left in the contest. He ran for 73 yards on just four carries.

“We came out slow in the first half but, in the second half, I think we cleaned up our mistakes,” said Neall. “We’ve just got to go to practice and get better every day. … We’ve been climbing the ladder.”

Fullback Kolbi Wright also had a big night for Cape, running for a game-high 152 yards on 15 carries. Rasheed Woods added 102 yards on 11 carries.

Quarterback Dillon Adams ran for a short TD and also lobbed a nice 10-yard scoring pass to Zachary Dale, who made a great sliding, over-the-shoulder catch. The touchdown gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead with 1:25 left before intermission.

“We have some guys that are becoming leaders,” said Collick. “All of them have stepped up. … They’ve taken a turn to make things happen for us. That’s what I really like about our team.”

While the Riders remained winless, they did some good things, especially early in the contest.

Taking the opening kickoff, CR drove 78 yards to the Cape nine yard line. Najee Whitted, who finished with 98 yards on 14 carries, broke off a 50-yard run on the march.

But a high shotgun snap that was recovered by the Vikings’ Jerry Harden ended the drive. Harden then capped off Cape’s ensuing 73-yard, 11-play drive with a seven-yard touchdown run.

CR had another chance to score, reaching the Vikings’ five in the fourth quarter. But Cape’s defense stopped the Riders there.

CR was playing without starting quarterback Jared Wagenhoffer, who is sidelined with an illness.

“We have a good group of kids,” said Candeloro. “We’re playing with some young kids. We’re getting a lot of experience, looking down the road. Obviously, ‘bigger, faster and stronger’ are the key words we’re kicking around for the future.”

Cape Henlopen, on the other hand, would love a shot at the DIAA Division I state tournament. They have three games, all at home remaining, including a showdown with defending Division I state champion Smyrna in two weeks.

“I think about it every day,” Neall said about trying to make the state tourney. “I know it’s tough, but I feel, if we put the work in, we can achieve it.”

“If, at the end, (athletic director) Bob Cilento came to me and said to me, ‘Look man, you’re in,’ that’s great,” said Collick. “I guess I’ve been around long enough that I know you can’t put the cart before the horse. The next thing is Caravel.

“We’ll keep working at this thing but it’s been fun, it really has.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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