Knight scores 5 touchdowns as Eagles rout Riders 64-28

Photos Special to the Delaware State News/Doug Curran

SMYRNA — The Smyrna High football team went from its lowest scoring output of the season last week to its highest on Friday night.

Will Knight scored five touchdowns as the Eagles downed Caesar Rodney High 64-28 on homecoming in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division contest. Smyrna remained unbeaten and improved to 8-0, stretching its overall winning streak to 18 dating back to last season.

Smyrna matched its season-high for points, the Eagles scored 64 in the second week of the season against Appoquinimink. It is the third time this year Smyrna scored 60 points or more in a game.

The scoring outburst came a week after Smyrna was held to just 22 points against Sussex Central — all of which came during a fourth quarter comeback. That was Smyrna’s lowest total this season by 32 points for the typically high-powered offense.

Smyrna returned to form on Friday, led by three rushing touchdowns from Knight, the state’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year, who also caught a pair of touchdowns.

“We wanted to execute and do what we normally do,” Knight said. “Don’t try to do nothing extra, just do what Smyrna can do. We executed our plays, worked together as a team and stayed with the basics.”

Senior quarterback Nolan Henderson threw for three touchdowns, two to Knight and one to Emon Roberts. Leddie Brown, who missed the game against Sussex Central last week with an injury, added a touchdown for the Eagles.

After two games on the road, Smyrna coach Mike Judy said he thought playing at home relaxed his team.

“It felt really good to get home and be on home turf,” he said. “CR did a nice job. They put some pressure on us and we’re still a pretty young team and these guys are still learning how to win. I know we’re 8-0 but we’re still learning so much and still developing as a team.”

Smyrna raced out to a 24-0 lead thanks to three touchdowns by Knight in the first quarter who also scored the two-point conversion on all of them. But the Riders were able to hang around into the third quarter.

Caesar Rodney (0-8) first went on the board when Smyrna attempted a wide receiver reverse pass in the red zone. CR’s Julian Trammell made a leaping catch to intercept the pass, looked upfield and saw nothing but green turf in front of him. Trammell sprinted 104 yards for the touchdown.

CR quarterback Jared Wagenhoffer threw a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. The first was a 45-yard connection with Najee Whitted. Wagenhoffer followed that with a 37-yard heave to Peyton Lavender on fourth down to help outscore Smyrna 21-16 in the second.

“We’re not even close to where we need to be to reach our goals,” Judy said. “But the kids are working their tails off to get there and I’m proud of them for that.”

“We always have another level to reach every week,” Knight said. “We never settle. Everyday we’re working to be perfect.”

Wagenhoffer added his third touchdown throw of the night in the third quarter with a 56-yard pass to Whitted.

While the Riders were able to pass with some success on Smyrna, the Eagles defensive line recorded seven sacks in the contest.

“They’re a matchup problem because we’re two-deep at defensive line with guys that can play,” Judy said. “They kind of fly under the radar. But our defense is still kind of hitting their stride. I think they’re better than what the scoreboard is showing.”

The Eagles also forced a pair of turnovers. Jake Soroko had his third interception in as many games while Jeremy D’Aguiar recovered a fumble.

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