Center-QB duo lead the way for Dover

DOVER — Sometimes it’s not the thrill of victory that stays with a team.

It’s the agony of defeat that lasts the longest.

A year ago, Dover High’s football finished just 3-7, losing three games by a total of only 11 points.

The Senators walked away from last season with a lot of regret.

“We were a whole lot better than what we showed,” said senior two-way lineman Tyler Rosello. “The record did not show how good we could have been. … There were a lot of teams we should have beaten last year but we didn’t.”

Turning things around isn’t always an easy task, of course. Dover started this season with a tough 50-28 loss to a good Dunbar team in Baltimore last Friday night.

The Senators (0-1) will try again to get their first victory today when they host Baltimore Poly (1-1) at 7:30 p.m.

Triston Harris

Triston Harris

Rosello and senior quarterback Triston Harris are two of the Dover seniors who have been through the ups and downs of the last two seasons. When they were sophomores, the Senators reached the Division I state semifinals.

Last fall, Harris made first-team all-Henlopen Conference Northern Division at QB while Rosello was a second-team all-North center. But it was falling short as a team that motivated Harris more than anything.

“Last year was just a big disappointment,” he said. “It was just fuel to the fire for this year. We want to have a bounce-back season.”

Having a reliable center-quarterback combination is a pretty good place to start building an offense.

The Senators did some good things offensively in last week’s loss. They held leads of 7-0 and 14-8 before Dunbar pulled away.

With Rosello making the line calls and Harris directing the offense overall, they’re the two players who have to be on top of things.

“He’s a great leader for the line,” Harris said about Rosello. “He coaches up the younger guys very well. He gets the job done in the game. You can’t complain about what he’s done. He works hard.

“We’re on the same page 99 percent of the time so it’s a good bond we have, a good connection.”

“Having a center who can control the line is like having a great middle linebacker or a good quarterback,” said Dover coach Dante Jones. “It’s an awesome tool to have.”

Tyler Rosello (middle)

Tyler Rosello (middle)

Rosello, on the other hand, said it’s fun to block for a quarterback like Harris, who’s a threat to either throw or run the ball. He set up the Senators’ first touchdown last week with a 44-yard run.

“It helps a lot,” Rosello said about Harris’ mobility. “We can use that to our advantage. I’m not saying you want to give up on your blocks, but he (the defender) can get you with a move and you can still finish him because Triston can be out of the pocket by that time.”

“He’s poised,” Jones said about Harris. “He’s making the plays that need to be made. He grasps everything so well. We’re very excited about Triston.

“He’s so smart that he does what he’s supposed to do.”

Jones, in his third season with Dover, has grown to rely on the two seniors. Harris, Rosello, Breon Dennis and Melvin Jackson are Dover’s captains this season.

What Jones likes as much as anything is that Harris and Rosello are also good students. Both would like to keep playing football in college, with Harris getting some interest from Ivy League schools.

“They’ve done everything you’ve asked them to do,” said Jones. “They’re the type of kids you love. They’re the kind of kids you use to build the program.

“They’re the transcripts you have out front. You just hold it out when they (college recruiters) come to the door. It’s a good, good feeling.”

Extra points

Dover senior receiver Jordan Allen, who’s also known as a pretty good basketball player, has verbally accepted a scholarship to play hoops for Division I Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J. … Radio station Delaware FM-105.9 is slated to broadcast the Polytech-Woodbridge game tonight. … In the 13 games involving Henlopen Conference teams last weekend, the winning squad scored at average of 44,6 points. … That scoring outburst was led by Milford’s 67-0 victory over Red Lion Christian, which is fielding a varsity team for the first time in a few years. Last year, the Buccaneers scored a total of 66 points in their first seven games combined. … Several of Baltimore Poly’s coaches were on Jones’ staff when he was the head coach at Edmondson, which is also in Baltimore.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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