CR’s Woodlin has 3 TDs in win over Cape

Caesar Rodney’s quarterback Tremere Woodlin throws a pass against Cape in the second quarter at Cape on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

LEWES — Dan Candeloro gambled late in the first half.

It did not work out for the Caesar Rodney High football coach. He decided to go for it on fourth down in his own territory with less than two minutes left before halftime.

What followed was a fourth down stop by Cape Henlopen High and a quick touchdown before half. Candeloro asked his team to pick him up.

“It backfired on me so I told the kids, ‘Hey I made a mistake, now you got to help me out,’” Candeloro said.

The Riders came through for their coach.

Caesar Rodney’s defense kept the Vikings off the board in the second half to earn a 21-13 victory on the road in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division contest on Friday afternoon. The Riders improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the Henlopen North while Cape Henlopen dropped to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the North.

Caesar Rodney’s Cory Handy rushes as Cape’s Isaiah Fillyau gives chase in the second quarter at Cape on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery_

Senior quarterback Tremere Woodlin paced the Rider offense with three touchdowns — two through the air to Deontre Cale and another on a quarterback sneak late in the fourth quarter.

The Rider defense held Cape Henlopen to two punts, a turnover on downs and forced a turnover on a fumble in the second half.

“We knew our defense needed to step up,” said junior Nate Waite, who forced the fumble. “We have some injuries and some spots we’re missing but we had to overcome that. Everybody really stepped up and we had a great defensive game. We know our defense is always going to be there for us.”

With the win, the Riders bounced back from their first loss of the year last week to Dover and still control their own destiny in the Henlopen North.

Caesar Rodney travels to unbeaten Smyrna next Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The winner will capture the Henlopen North title.

“From the day we were told we were going to play this team has bought in.” Candeloro said. “We got beat up by a good Dover team last week. Through the week we talked about, ‘What are you going to do? You’re going to lay down now?’ They came out and played. I’m so proud of this group.”

Caesar Rodney’s Brock Conner rushes against Cape in the second quarter at Cape on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Caesar Rodney never trailed on Friday but the game was tight throughout.

Cale got the Riders on the board first with 2:58 left in the first quarter when Woodlin hit Cale in stride over the top of the Viking defense. By the time Cale was done running, he had gone 58 yards for the opening touchdown.

The duo followed that up with a 28-yard touchdown throw and catch with 10:43 remaining in the second.

“I know when he gives me that nod it’s game time,” Cale said. “I knew he was going to throw it to me, I didn’t know I was going to have two, but I trust me QB and my coaches so I thank them for that.”

Woodlin sealed it with a touchdown from a yard out with 2:11 left.

The Vikings got as far as the Caesar Rodney 43-yard line on their ensuing drive. The Rider defense then held with a one-yard loss on a run, a sack by DeAndres Wills-Prattis and back-to-back incompletions for the turnover on downs.

Cape Henlopen was led by a 20-yard touchdown run by Jordan Baines and a 27-yard touchdown pass by Hank D’Ambrogi to Chancler Johnson in the first half. Candeloro said the Rider defense did a much better job in the second half of containing Cape Henlopen star running back Jaden Davis.

“He’s a heck of a runner,” Candeloro said. “We were worried about him coming in and that first half he really ran all over us. We made some adjustments and gave them a little pep talk. We talked about not giving up any more. I’m very proud of that effort.”