Central picks up third win with 21-12 victory over Caravel

GEORGETOWN — Sussex Central used a pair of first-half rushing touchdowns to capture its third win of the season Friday night, defeating Caravel at home 21-12.

The Golden Knights overcame costly personal foul calls late in the game to hold off a last-minute Buccaneers rally.

“We played great defense,” head coach John Wells said following the win. “That team hung 40 points on St. Mark’s last week. We had a great defensive effort, but penalties are going to cost us. That’s three games in a row that we played great until we got a personal foul. I have to nip this in the bud.”

Central came up with some big defensive plays, forcing four punts, three turnover on downs and an interception on Caravel’s 10 offensive drives.

The scoring started halfway through the second quarter, as Central running back Zion Reed put the ball in the end zone from 24 yards out. The extra point put Central ahead 7-0.

On the Golden Knights’ next possession, it took just three plays for Central to drive down the field and extend the lead.

Senior fullback Ja’Ron Curtis capped the three-play scoring drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. The extra point put Central ahead 14-0.

Central’s defense kept Caravel out of the end zone for nearly three full quarters, but on the final play of the third quarter Bucs’ running back Mandela Montgomery punched the ball in from seven yards out.

Junior starting quarterback Isaac Barnes drove his Golden Knights offense down the field once again on the team’s first possession of the fourth quarter.

Curtis capped the drive with his second touchdown run of the night — and third of the season — from 11 yards out. The successful extra point try made it a 21-6 game.

But Caravel wasn’t ready to pack it in just yet.

With three minutes to spare, Caravel sophomore quarterback Jakob Hoffman tossed a 61-yard touchdown to bring the Buccaneers within 21-12.

With Central unable to kill the rest of the game clock, Caravel had one last shot at a comeback with two under two minutes to play.

Central’s defensive unit would go on to force another turnover on downs to seal the victory and improve to 3-0.

Even with the pair of touchdowns — plus an additional touchdown run that ended up being called back due to a Central penalty — Ja’Ron Curtis wasn’t completely satisfied with his overall performance.

“I did all right, but I didn’t do what I was supposed to do,” he said following the nine-point win. “There are some things I need to clean up. I’ll take the W, but next week I’m going to play even harder.”

Isaac Barnes had similar thoughts despite his Golden Knights picking up their third consecutive win to start the 2017 campaign.

“I think that we, for the most part, in the beginning of the game had our assignments right on blocking, we hit the holes the way we wanted to hit the holes, ran hard, held the ball tight, it’s just the trend for us. Every game so far we lose it in the second half,” he said.

“We have to clean that up. We’re going to work harder than ever in practice on Monday. We’re going to hit DB drills hard, we’re going to hit 7-on-7 drills hard. We already know what we need to work on.”

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