Cape Henlopen spoils Dover’s homecoming 29-14

Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — The play couldn’t have been set up any nicer for Jerry Harden.

When Dover High overthrew a short screen pass late in the second quarter on Friday night, all the Cape Henlopen safety had to do was pull in the interception and sprint.

“I just read it,” said Harden. “I saw his eyes, saw the ball in the air. … I got it and took it home. We needed a big play.”

Indeed, Harden’s 70-yard interception return for a touchdown with just 6.7 seconds left in the first half gave the Vikings the momentum for good as Cape went on to a 29-14 victory over the Senators in a Henlopen North football matchup.

With a good crowd on hand for Dover’s homecoming, the two teams traded the lead twice in the first half. Cape (3-0 North, 5-1 overall) had just gone up 15-14 on Kolbi Wright’s two-yard scoring run with 47.8 seconds left in the second quarter.

But Dover (1-2, 2-4) came right back with quarterback Jordan Magee hooked up with Jhalil Mosley on a 32-yard pass to the Vikings’ 33. Then, on the next play, Magee almost found receiver Dwight Wilson on a long pass in the back of the end zone.

That’s when Harden came up with his big interception to stretch Cape’s lead to 22-14 at intermission.

After the Vikings’ important 16-14 win over Sussex Central last Friday, coach Bill Collick wondered whether the emotional victory would take a toll on his players.

“We played so well last week,” said Collick. “I worried about spending all that energy. I guess I thought we practiced well this week. But we didn’t execute as well as we needed to (against Dover).

“We played well enough to win and I’ll take that. But the grind is coming and we need to do better.”

There was some sloppy play by both teams in the second half with Dover’s defense making a couple stands to hold Cape’s lead to only eight points.

Finally, though, a short punt gave the Vikings the ball at the Senators’ 24. Wright carried the ball four times for all 24 yards, scoring on a one-yard run with just 6:18 left to give Cape its 29-14 cushion.

“I’m glad that we were up by two scores at the end,” said Wright, who ran for 130 yards and the two TDs on 21 carries. “I think our offensive line had a great push. That’s the only reason we were scoring those touchdowns.”

The Senators looked like they might be able to keep pace with the Vikings early in the contest.

After Cape took a 7-0 lead on Rasheed Woods’ two-yard TD run, Dover came right back. Magee tied the game on a one-yard scoring run after completing a 33-yard pass to Warren and a 34-yarder to Derico Cooper.

The Senators then took the lead at 14-7 when Jerry Warren scored on a two-yard run with 7:18 left before halftime. That TD was set up by an 82-yard screen pass on which senior John Rodel Castro, looking like the top-notch high school sprinter he is, simply grabbed the ball and bolted down the sidelines.

Magee ended up completing 6-of-16  passes for 221 yards but with two interceptions. The sophomore also ran the ball 11 times for 34 yards.

It was that big-play capablity that kept Collick worried until the final whistle.

“Nothing’s changed,” said the former Delaware State coach. “I told someone, the coaches definitely have (changed). But when you talk about ‘big-playing’ you with those athletes they have, it’s the same old story. I always say it, it messes with your sleep at night.”

Extra points

The Vikings have won three in a row over Dover. … Woods added 74 yards on seven carries for Cape while Harden added 39 yards on four carries. … Warren had a first-half interception for the Senators just short of the goal line. … Keith Mumford-Reed added the Vikings’ first interception. … Dover hosts Salesianum on Friday at 7 p.m.

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