Riders stumble on road, fall to St. Georges 31-8

Rider running back Kevin Robinson fights his way for a few extra yards before being tackled by Michael McCants (left) and Samuel Carter of St. Georges. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

ST. GEORGES — Caesar Rodney High spent all of Saturday looking for a breakthrough that never came.

The Riders dropped a nonconference football contest at St. Georges High, 31-8. They fell to 1-1 on the season with the defeat.

“We never got into a rhythm,” said CR coach Dan Candeloro. “Credit them, they had a nice gameplan for us on the defensive side. They just played better than us.”

Caesar Rodney turned over three fumbles and scored just once on a three-yard rush by senior Kevin Robinson.

Robinson’s touchdown came with 2:53 left in the third quarter and, after a two-point conversion, cut St. Georges’ lead to 24-8.

But the Hawks answered with a touchdown on their next drive thanks to Brian Benson’s five-yard run. That made it a three-possession game and neither team was able to find the end zone again.

Benson paced St. Georges with a pair of rushing touchdowns and one touchdown reception.

He scored the lone touchdown of the first half on a 36-yard screen pass. It came on a third-and-long with 9:26 to go in the first quarter.

The Riders thought they had tied things up in the second quarter on a trick play. Wide receiver Jordan Allen threw a wide receiver reverse pass for a touchdown but the play was called back after the referees called illegal formation on CR.

The Riders’ Joe Delgado goes high to pull down a long pass in the first half.

Caesar Rodney’s biggest play came when Emmanuel Kennedy broke free for a 65-yard rush down to the three-yard line. Robinson punched it in on the next play but that was as close as things would get.

“I thought Manny had a great run and we had some nice blocks,” Candeloro said. “But overall, they were more than we could handle up front on both sides of the ball.”

St. Georges was shut out last week in an 8-0 season opening loss to Howard.

The Hawks woke up behind the strength of Benson who also had a 23-yard touchdown run. Tyrese Owens provided the other touchdown when he pounced on a bobbled option for a 40-yard fumble recovery for a score.

Candeloro said he thought the Hawks would be better than how they played in the first week, given that their opener was played in a rainstorm.

“We knew the weather was bad last week and they were more than what they showed,” Candeloro said. “We were right.”

With the victory, St. Georges avenged a 30-29 defeat to the Riders in 2017.

Caesar Rodney went on to make the Division I state tournament a year ago and Candeloro wants the Riders to rebound so they can stay on that pace from last season.

“We want to grow every week,” Candeloro said. “Last year we started out 2-1 after three games and we’re still on track to do that. We got to win the games that we got to win.”

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