Senators roll past Cape 51-7: Peace rushes for 205 yards and 3 TDs as 8-1 Dover eyes rival CR next week

Dover’s Javon Peace breaks through the Viking defense for a second-quarter touchdown Friday night. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — Friday was another good night to be a Dover High football player.

By halftime, they were up by 37.

Before long, the Senators had dispatched Cape Henlopen, 51-7, in a rainy Henlopen North matchup.

The one-sided victory leaves Dover (4-1 North) with an 8-1 overall record going into next Friday’s regular season-ending showdown with Caesar Rodney.

But the Senators say they haven’t forgotten what it was like last fall when they finished just 2-8 with many of the same players. A year ago, they lost to Cape, 50-36.

Senator quarterback Jordan Magee gets a pass off while being chased in the backfield by a Viking defender.

“It’s a lot more fun,” said senior lineman Bradly Anyanwu. “We’ve been on the other side of the scoreboard.

“We know what it takes to win each and every week. It just feels good that when you look at the scoreboard, instead of you being down 50 points, you’re up 50 points because of the work you put in day-in and day-out in the classroom and outside the classroom.”

Junior running back Vonnie Peace put on his usual offensive display, scoring three touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions while running for 205 yards on just 11 carries. The highlight of Peace’s night may have been the 66-yard burst he scored on with his only carry of the second half.

“We just put a lot more work in,” Peace said to explain Dover’s turnaround this year. “That was the big difference — dedication, sacrifice and all that. We just created a better bond — more of a brotherhood.

Dover’s David Exum takes down Curtis Purnell of Cape Henlopen in the backfield for a loss in the first half.

“It just feels good to be winning. I don’t like losing.”

The Senators’ 51-point night on Friday marked the seventh time this year they’ve finished with 35 points or more. They’ve scored at least 46 in their last four contests.

Besides Peace, quarterback Jordan Magee completed 3-of-5 passes for 86 yards, throwing TD passes to Derrick Madison and Gabriel Evans.

Senior linebacker Kylen Thomas helped break the game open when he returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown while sophomore Wanya Wise scored Dover’s last TD on a 15-yard run.

But, with bigger games still in front of his team, the last thing Senator coach Rudy Simonetti wants to do is dwell on Dover’s accomplishments so far.

“It hasn’t hit me,” he said. “I’m focused on week to week. I have so much that goes on here throughout the day … but, in the back of mind, I’m aware.

The Senators’ Javon Peace manages to pull away from the grip of Cape defensive end William Ott for a big gain.

“We’ve got to focus on things week to week. After tonight, we’re 0-0. You can throw all the records out the window this week for both teams. Our kids will be up, their kids will be up. It’s a rivalry week.”

Friday’s victory ended a four-game losing streak for the Senators against the Vikings (1-4 North, 1-8 overall). The last time Dover beat Cape, in 2013, was also the last time it made the DIAA Division I state tournament.

The Senators have all but locked up an at-large berth in this year’s state tourney. But they will still be playing for seeding and perhaps a first-round bye when they host CR next Friday.

Dover lost to the Riders, 27-14, a year ago.

“We just need to go back to work tomorrow and keep grinding, keep grinding,” said Peace. “Finish. We definitely have to stay focused — stay mentally ready and prepare. We can’t get too confident, too cocky.”

“I know this is a special team,” said Anyawu. “Everyone works hard at practice. Our grades are up. There’s a different mindset than any other year. I know we can do a lot of special things.

“When CR comes, they bring it. It doesn’t matter if they’re 0-10, 10-0 or 5-5. … It’s a rivalry week.”

Extra points

Dover just missed its second-straight shutout and third of the season when Cape scored on the final play of the night. … Australia Mackey scored for the Vikings on a two-yard run. … The TD was the first one for Cape since Oct. 12.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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