Riders earn first shutout in four years, blank Sussex Tech 15-0

GEORGETOWN — In Friday night’s road showdown at Sussex Tech, Caesar Rodney’s football team earned its first shutout since Nov. 1, 2013.

The Riders used a pair of rushing touchdowns from Emmanuel Kennedy and Kevin Robinson to cruise to a 15-0 victory over Tech.

The win puts the Riders at 2-2 in the Henlopen North and 4-3 overall.

“We haven’t had a shutout for a little while, and that defense has been working hard. We’ve got some seniors who have had some tough years, so it’s great seeing them get this,” said head coach Dan Candeloro. “We’ve put together a few good weeks and our plan, fortunately, worked out for us tonight.”

This time last year, the Riders were well on their way to a 1-9 campaign.

Now, Candeloro has his squad staring down a potential state playoff berth if they can finish strong against Brandywine, Sussex Central and Dover over the next three weeks.

Aside from back-to-back punts on the team’s first two possessions of the game, Caesar Rodney’s offense was clicking in the first half against Tech’s defense.

A 27-yard field goal off the leg of junior placekicker Joseph Delgado on the first play of the second quarter opened the scoring for the Riders.

Leading 3-0, senior quarterback Jared Wagenhoffer led the Riders on back-to-back scoring drives in the second quarter.

Sophomore running back Emmanuel Kennedy trotted 55 yards for the game’s first touchdown at the 8:45 mark. Tech blocked the extra point, keeping the score at 9-0.

After the defense forced a Sussex Tech three and out, Caesar Rodney’s offense took control from their own nine-yard-line.

Three minutes and 45 seconds later, junior running back Kevin Robinson took a Wagenhoffer hand-off and scored from 23 yards out.

Another missed extra point handed CR the 15-0 halftime lead.

“I’m blessed to have them back there,” Wagenhoffer said of his running backs. “You throw the ball to run the ball and you run the ball to throw the ball, so I love having those guys in the backfield, the o-line, everybody. Having them back there really helps set-up our passing game.”

It was Caesar Rodney’s defense who stepped up and made the necessary plays in the second half to seal the team’s second straight win.

Sussex Tech (1-2, 3-4) fumbled the kick-off to open the second half, and turned the ball over on three of their five second-half drives.

“The defense did awesome and the offense did well in the first half. A little bit shaky in the second half but we’ll work on that,” Wagenhoffer said.

Sussex Tech’s offense did manage to put themselves in position to put points on the board in the third and fourth quarters, moving the ball into Riders territory each of their final three drives.

But CR’s defense made sure to keep the Ravens out of the end zone each time they threatened to score.

Senior cornerback Tyrone Suarez picked off two Ricky Kane passes and fellow senior cornerback Julian Trammell made the game-sealing pick at the 3:16 mark of the fourth quarter.

“It felt good getting those two interceptions,” Suarez said. “I couldn’t have gotten them without my D-line. They put pressure on the quarterback throughout the game and I was just able to come up with the picks.”

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