Mistake-prone Senators drop opener 41-14 at Hodgson

Dover running back Javon Peace carries for a big gain down the sideline against Hodgson right before the half on Saturday. Special to the Delaware State News/Brendon Blake

GLASGOW — Rudy Simonetti said there’s definitely some kinks the Dover High football team needs to work out.

The Senators have nine more weeks to see what they can do.

Dover dropped its season opener 41-14 at Hodgson Vo-Tech early Saturday afternoon. The Senators picked up double-digit penalty flags and turned the ball over twice.

“Against a great team like Hodgson you can’t make all those mistakes,” coach Simonetti said. “That will cost you. There’s no excuse for all the flags we accumulated today. We have to clean up a lot of stuff.”

Vonnie Peace led the way for Dover with a pair of touchdowns.

Peace scored the first points of the year on a six-yard rush in the second quarter. That tied the game at 7-7 with 8:23 remaining in the first half.

But Hodgson responded with an 80-yard pass play to Elizjah Lewis from C.J. Henry for a score. Josh Ames then doubled the lead with a 15-yard rushing touchdown as the Silver Eagles took a 21-7 halftime advantage.

Peace added a 37-yard touchdown off a screen pass early in the fourth quarter, which made it a 35-14 game with 10:39 left.

Senators wide receiver Gabriel Evans catches a deep pass in the second quarter. Special to the Delaware State News/Brendon Blake

Dover recovered an onside kick to give the Senators a brief moment of hope. The Senators reached the red zone but Ny’Ghee Lolley intercepted a pass in the end zone to seal things for Hodgson.

Hodgson is coming off a 10-0 regular season in 2018 where it fell in the Division I state semifinals. The Silver Eagles are expected to again compete for the state championship this year.

Dover was also a state semifinalist last season.

Simonetti said there are some positives Dover can take away from Saturday against a high-caliber opponent, especially considering the Senators debuted two new quarterbacks in sophomore Jordan Moran and senior Elijah Allen.

The Senators, Simonetti said, just need to correct their mistakes.

“I know we can play with anyone,” Simonetti said. “I really liked my quarterback play. Jordan did a fine job and Elijah got in there and made stuff happen. I did see a resemblance of that same explosive offense we displayed last year, but mistakes, penalties, false starts, snaps over the head, personal fouls that we can control but we don’t. All of that has to get cleaned up. I’ll take that. That’s on me.”

CB Akil Garrett makes a tackle for a loss in the third quarter. Special to the Delaware State News/Brendon Blake

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Dover.

The Senators have another Saturday contest next week at Salesianum — the state runner-up a year ago. The game is 7 p.m. at Brandywine High due to the ongoing renovations at Salesianum’s former field, Baynard Stadium.

Simonetti thinks the challenging nonconference slate will have the Senators prepared for when Henlopen Conference Northern Division play begins.

“If we can hang with those teams,” Simonetti said, “we can hang with anyone on our schedule.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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