Lewis leads Knights to 21-17 D-I tourney win over Concord

Kasim Lewis of Sussex Central drags Concord’s Symir Brown for extra yards in the 2nd half. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

GEORGETOWN — Kasim Lewis does not play offense for the Sussex Central High football team unless he’s truly needed.

Friday was one of those instances.

Lewis scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second half to lift No. 4 seed Sussex Central over fifth seed Concord High 21-17 in the first round of the Division I state tournament.

“I just gave it my all,” Lewis said. “I knew what was on the line. I knew what this game meant.”

TyJhir Shepppard-Parker of Sussex Central takes a handoff for a big gain in the first half against Concord.

Sussex Central, the defending state champion, advanced to take on top seed Hodgson Vo-Tech. A game-time has yet to be determined for the semifinal matchup.

Lewis plays every down for the Sussex Central defense at his defensive line position.

He’ll occasionally get into the game on offense at fullback when the Golden Knights think they need his power in short-yardage situations.

But they called his number often on Friday. His 10 carries were a season-high.

Lewis recorded 151 yards on those 10 carries.

“He was told all week to be ready,” said Sussex Central coach John Wells. “If you run him 15 or 20 times during the season and he gets dinged up, you don’t have him when you need him. If we need to win a game, we use him.”

TyJhir Sheppard-Parker, left, celebrates with teammate Kasim Lewes after he scored a touchdown in the 3rd quarter.

Sussex Central needed Lewis the most after Concord took the lead with 11:11 left in the game, 17-14 on a 27-yard field goal by kicker Andrew Raab.

The Golden Knights returned the ensuing kickoff to its own 30-yard line and went straight to Lewis.

He carried for 11 yards on first down before the biggest play of the game on his very next carry. Lewis broke through the line on the right side and went 59 yards to the end zone.

“I’m usually on defense but I do whatever it takes for my team,” Lewis said. “They just use me as a weapon. I just want to do the best I can and play my hardest.”

All of Sussex Central’s touchdowns came on the ground.

TyJhir Sheppard-Parker started the scoring with a 33-yard rush on Sussex Central’s first drive of the game. Lewis found the end zone for the first time from fie yards out to cape a 10-play 75-yard drive in the third quarter.

“The line felt like we could run the ball,” Wells said. “They were like, ‘Coach, we can get these plays.’ I’ll give them credit. The plays they called, they were there.”

Knights defender Shihiem Williams has Concord sophomore Colton Callueng tightly covered but was unable to stop this long touchdown catch in the first half.

Lewis’ first touchdown tied the game at 14-14 with 3:11 left in the third quarter.

Concord took its first lead of the game earlier in the quarter. The Raiders capitalized on a muffed punt and scored on a six-yard reception by Zion Larkins by Austin Ruth to go on top 14-7 with 8:40 to go in the third.

But the Golden Knights were able to rally twice in the second half — aided by a fumble recovery from K’Tai Tilley plus a turnover on downs on Concord’s final drive in the final two minutes.

“The way we are as a team, we’re more of a family than a team,” Lewis said. “So we can take stuff like that.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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