Delmar rallies to eliminate Division II top seed DMA 34-13

WILMINGTON — Running the ball inside was not working, so Delmar High switched to running outside.

And it made a huge difference.

The Wildcats scored 34 unanswered points to overcome an early deficit and knock off top seed Delaware Military Academy 34-13 in the first round of the DIAA Division II football state tournament on Friday night.

Delmar, the tournament’s eighth seed, will play second-seeded A.I. du Pont next week in the semifinals. The site and time of that game has yet to be announced.

Te’Shawn Dennard paced Delmar on Friday with three touchdowns. All of his scores came on options where quarterback Dante Trader faked a handoff before pitching it to Dennard around the outside.

Dennard also overcame a pair of fumbles in the first half.

“We saw they would crack down inside so we decided to run the ball outside a lot,” Dennard said. “That first half, I fumbled a couple times so I had to pick it up. I knew what I had to do.”

Dennard had 157 rushing yards on 17 carries. His longest touchdown was a 52-yard rush which gave Delmar its first lead of the night with 3:09 left in the third quarter.

Running the ball outside eventually opened up the middle for Delmar’s power-runner Brooks Parker. Despite a slow start, Parker ended the game with 115 yards on the ground on 18 carries.

He had two key rushes on third down in the fourth quarter to help kill the clock where he dragged multiple defenders with him for extra yards and a first down.

“They shut down the middle completely in that first half,” said Delmar coach Dave Hearn. “We were trying to get outside in order to open the inside a little. We had some big plays and our guys ran hard. They ran with a lot more intensity in the second half. Brooks and Te’Shawn ran like they were possessed.”

Parker and Trader had the other touchdowns for Delmar.

Things started out looking bleak for Delmar after Corahn Alleyne started the game with back-to-back touchdowns for Delaware Military. But DaKarai Beasley returned a kickoff 66 yards to allow Delmar to enter the red zone for the first time.

A few plays later, Parker scored from two yards out to cut DMA’s lead to 13-6 before halftime. Trader scored to tie the game on the first drive of the second half and the Wildcats were off and running.

“We had a bad start but we were ready to play in the second half,” Trader said. “We knew we could beat them outside. I started throwing options and we were getting to the edge.”

Delmar also buckled down on defense in the second half. No play was bigger than when the Delmar defensive line bottled up Alleyne behind the line of scrimmage on a fourth-and-two opportunity with the score tied 13-13.

“He didn’t get up and down as quickly in the second half because gosh he can hurt you once he gets there,” Hearn said. “I thought we played much better defensively in the second half.”

Two plays after that fourth down, Dennard scored on his 52-yarder. He added touchdowns of a yard and 23 yards in the fourth quarter.

Delmar also forced four interceptions. Trader picked off a pair while Carson Phillips and Trey Parsons each had one.

Phillips’ interception sealed it with less than three minutes left. It sent the sideline of dedicated Delmar fans who made the two-hour drive up to Wilmington into a delirious celebration.

“We’re a small town and people don’t expect big things for us,” Trader said. “We’re trying to preach small towns can do big things.”

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