CR crushed by Appo 35-7 in opener

CR’s Cory Handy gets a step on Appoquinimink defender Elijah Pittman and snares a long pass for an 80-yard TD play in the first quarter. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

CAMDEN — The field was 100 yards long for both teams, of course.

It just seemed like it was a lot shorter for Appoquinimink High on Friday night.

The Jaguars took advantage of great field position to roll to a 35-7 victory over Caesar Rodney in the football season opener for both squads.

Appo didn’t have to go farther than 41 yards on any of its five scoring drives. That included three drives of 21 yards or less.

The Jaguars led only 13-7 at halftime before erupting for 22 unanswered third-quarter points to take control. Appo had a couple good kick returns as well as taking advantage of four CR turnovers in the contest.

“When that end zone’s in the shadow of your back most of the game, it’s tough,” said Riders coach Dan Candeloro. “Kids are kids and they get down. They (Appo) did a nice job.”

“We had short fields because the defense did their job,” said Jaguars coach Brian Timpson. “That was the game plan. We have a very good defense and we’re going to ride them. Tonight the offense got short field and went the 30 or 40 yards they had to go.”

Kendall Smith of Caesar Rodney is tackled from behind after racking up yardage in the 3rd quarter.

For Appo, the victory avenged back-to-back tough losses to CR in its last two season openers.

“We’ve been focused on this for a long time and it’s really nice to come away with a win,” said Timpson.

Already trailing 13-7 at halftime, the second half got off to a tough start for CR when Appo’s Elijah Robinson returned the opening kickoff 67 yards to the Riders’ 12. Three plays later, quarterback Mac Krauss scored on his second one-yard touchdown run to stretch the Jaguars’ advantage to 20-7.

A Jeffrey Broughton interception and return to the CR 30, quickly set up Appo again. Jordan Henry finished the drive by breaking free from some traffic and scoring on a 15-yard to push the Jaguars’ lead to 28-7.

Appo took advantage of some good field position to grab a 13-7 second-quarter lead. A 24-yard punt return by Jayden Etes set up the Jaguars at the CR 21 and led to Krauss’ TD on a one-yard QB sneak.

Tremere Woodlin of CR looks to pass under pressure in the first half.

After a relatively quiet offensive start to the game, the two teams both erupted for big scoring plays on consecutive plays from scrimmage.

First, Appo got on the board when Ekekiel Brister took in a middle screen from QB Ryan vonBrandt and rambled 36 yards for the game’s first touchdown.

But on CR’s first play of the ensuing drive, Riders’ quarterback Tremere Woodlin found Corey Handy in stride behind the Jaguar defense for an 80-yard scoring pass. Justin Marconi’s PAT kick tied the contest at 7-7.

The picture-perfect pass came on Woodlin’s first pass as CR’s varsity starter.

The two squads combined for seven first-half punts plus nine penalties in the opening two quarters. Of CR’s 130 first-half yards, 80 came on the scoring play. The Riders also fumbled the ball once.

Scottie Flowers of the Riders is brought down after a short gain.

CR returns to action next Friday with a non-conference contest at Caravel at 7 p.m. Candeloro knows the Riders have to play better.

“We’ve got to adjust to things that the other team’s doing — we’ve got to do it better,” he said. “I think we’re young but I think we’re better than what we showed tonight.

“We’ve got some speed, we’ve got some power inside. They just wanted it more than us.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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