Senators snap skid, pound Polytech 61-6

Dover’s Javon Peace gets facemasked by Polytech defenders in the first quarter. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — Dover High’s football season certainly hasn’t gone according to plan.

But the Senators say they’re not giving up on it, either.

After back-to-back losses left them in a must-win situation, Dover came out and thumped Polytech, 61-6, on a festive homecoming Friday night.

The Senators (2-2 Henlopen North, 3-4 overall), who have scored 174 points in their three victories, got four touchdowns from Vonnie Peace as they kept their hopes alive for earning a DIAA Division I at-large state tournament berth.

“We’ve had a lot of different people — our own fans — going against us,” said senior Akil Garrett, who caught a pair of TD passes. “We’ve got to stay together as a team. We don’t need any outsiders in. If we stay together as a team, I think we can get the job done — we can win out.”

“We just have to keep pounding, keep pounding — fast and physical,” said Peace. “It’s been a couple weeks but we’re bouncing back. It is what it is.”

Peace finished with 208 yards — 154 of which came in the first half — on 16 carries. Quarterback Elijah Allen added three TD passes while completing 8-of-12 passes for 167 yards.

Polytech quarterback Caleb Tascione gets sacked by Dover’s Eric Samuels in the second quarter.

Along with his two scoring catches, Garrett added an interception, which he returned 61 yards to set up a Peace touchdown.

“I saw a lot of good things tonight obviously,” said Dover coach Rudy Simonetti. “Football is a game of ups and downs. We’ve just got to move on, work to get better and try to go 1-0 every week. We did that tonight.

“We’ve just got to focus on what we can control. We’ll learn from this and get on to Sussex Tech.”

The game got off to a fast start when Polytech’s Cameron Mack took the opening kickoff, found a hole up the middle, and sprinted his way for an 89-yard touchdown return.

But the Panthers’ 6-0 advantage didn’t last long, however.

On Dover’s second play from scrimmage, Garrett caught a short from Allen and didn’t stop until he reached the end zone 60 yards later.
Peace followed with back-to-back TD runs — a 65-yarder and a seven-yarder — as the Senators’ lead grew to 19-6 by the end of the first quarter.

The Senators’ Javon Peace rushes against the Panthers in the second quarter.

Garrett and Allen hooked up again to start the second quarter when Allen found the senior receiver for a 29-yard scoring pass that made it 26-6. Allen then found Tyrese Sanabria for a 35-yard scoring pass that stretched Dover’s lead to 33-6.

Peace’s third touchdown of the night came on a seven-yard sweep that put the Senators’ lead at 40-6 just before halftime.

Dover capped off the half when Tamir Caldwell scooped up a fumble and returned it 27 yards for a TD that put the Senators’ lead at 47-6 with 27.2 left before intermission.

Dover out-gained the Panthers, 306 yards to 23 in the first half.

Peace picked up his fourth TD on a 43-yard third-quarter run before junior Qualeak Bumbrey scored on a 19-yard run as the Senators’ lead hit 61-6 midway through the third period.

Polytech (0-4 North, 1-6 overall) has lost 11 straight Henlopen North games since beating Sussex Tech in 2017.

The Senators have won five in a row over the Panthers since falling to Polytech for the first time in 2014.

“It feels good but it’s not over yet,” Peace said about Friday’s win. “We just need more wins — we need to win out and we can get back in the playoffs.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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