Senators avenge last year’s loss to Panthers

 

 

 

DOVER — Given Polytech High’s struggles this fall, it hardly felt like a typical revenge game.

Still, Dover’s players hadn’t forgotten their crushing three-point loss to the Panthers a year ago.

It was the first time the Senators ever lost to Polytech in football.

So it was with a certain measure of satisfaction that Dover dumped the winless Panthers, 43-0, in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division game on Monday evening.

 

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Dover quarterback Triston Harris is tackled by a Polyptych defender Zach Trabaudo after a gain in the first quarter Monday night. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh.

The contest, which was the Senators’ homecoming game, was almost set to start on Friday night when a thunderstorm forced its postponement.

Four different players scored touchdowns on Monday for Dover (1-1 North, 3-2 overall), which led 37-0 at halftime before the second half was played with a running clock.

“We learned from it,” Senator quarterback Triston Harris said about last year’s loss to Polytech. “We went into that game overlooking them. We definitely had to get our revenge from last year.”

“The thing we talked about was, last year we came in and didn’t get the job done,” said Dover coach Dante Jones. “So it was important that take care of our business this year.”

Against the Panthers (0-2 North, 0-5 overall), who were shut out for the third time this season, the Senators quickly built a 23-0 lead before the contest was even nine minutes old.

Junior running back John Rodel Castro scored a pair of TDs, running for 84 yards on eight carries and catching three passes for 56 more yards. Harris added a touchdown run and a scoring pass, running for a game-high 95 yards on 10 carries while completing 4-of-6 passes for 59 yards.

Jerry Warren and backup QB Michael Williams also ran for touchdowns while Jordan Hutchins booted two field goals, including a 41-yarder, in the second half.

Defensively, Dover limited the Panthers to only nine net yards and three first downs while forcing three turnovers. The Senators’ defense also picked up a safety when sophomore Jarvis Worthy tackled a Polytech receiver in the end zone.

Of course the best thing from Dover’s perspective, besides the victory, was that it got to play all it reserves.

“That was one of the things we couldn’t do last year, for different reasons,” said Jones. “We want to get these kids experience and have gotten them to work hard since August 15. To give them a chance on the field is very important.

“Our goal is not to pad stats or blow the scoreboard up. Our goal is to get a bunch of these young men the chance to play. The second and third-string practice just like the first team. They deserve the opportunity to be on the field.”

As things stand now, the Senators have to turn around and play another North contest at Cape Henlopen on Friday night. Faced with similar situations because of the stormy weather the last two weekends, some schools have pushed games back a day rather than asking teams to play on only three days’ rest.

Jones said the Senators will just have to be ready to go.

“We said, starting this week, it’s a new season,” he said. “We’re looking to go 1-0 every week from this point on. Everything is still in play.”

“Starting tomorrow, we’re going to work hard and start getting ready for Cape Henlopen,” said Harris. “We can’t sit and dwell on it (the win over Polytech) just because we put up numbers on the board. We’ve just got to get better and learn from the mistakes we made.”

Sports editor Andy Walter can be reached at 741-8227 or walter@newszap.com.

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