Senators top Spartans on last-minute stop

 

FELTON — The play unfolded exactly the way it was supposed to.

Lake Forest High quarterback Noah Feague-Johnson faked the handoff up the middle, broke around the right end and then pitched the football to his wide-open running back.

But, for the Spartans, that’s where the play came undone.

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Dover quarterback Triston Harris threw six touchdown passes in Friday night’s game. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh).

The ball bounced off the back’s hands and fell to the ground where all Lake Forest could do was fall on it as Dover’s defenders piled on top.

That failed two-point conversion, with just 29.9 seconds left, was all that separated the Senators and Spartans as Dover hung on for a 41-40 victory over Lake Forest on Friday night.

“That last play was a great call,” said Spartans coach Freddie Johnson. “If he catches it, he walks in the end zone. But that’s football. We see it every Sunday. These guys makes millions of dollars and they fumble, they get beat on passes.”

“Hey, I tell you, the ball bounced our way that time,” said Senators coach Dante Jones, whose team won in overtime last week.

It was the first time the Senators (2-1) had faced Lake Forest (1-2) in seven years and the two teams went back-and-forth all night in a contest that lasted almost three hours.

In the end, the Spartans drove 45 yards in nine plays to give themselves a chance at the win. Benjamin Moore, whose 40-yard kickoff return had set up the drive, scored on a seven-yard run to pull Lake Forest within one.

The Spartans, who had mishandled a pair of PAT kick attempts earlier in the game, opted to go for the two — and the victory.

Lake Forest tied an onsides kick after the two-play was stopped but Dover recovered it and ran out the clock.

Dover got a big game from quarterback Triston Harris and its passing game. The senior threw six touchdown passes, completing 17-of-27 passes for 383 yards.

It was Harris’ 53-yard scoring pass to running back John Rodel Castro with 4:33 on the clock that snapped a 34-34 tie. The extra-point kick by James Stock after that TD ended up being the game-winner.

Junior Dwight Wilson had a big game, catching five passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Breon Dennis had two TDs, with four receptions for 65 yards while Castro added 108 yards on just three catches,

“They were blitzing, so they took away the run,” said Jones. “So we went to the air. They did a fantastic job, we’ve just got to clean up some things.”

The Senators led 34-20 after their first drive of the third quarter when Harris found Wilson for a 65-yard touchdown pass.

But Lake Forest and its option attack kept battling back.

The Spartans closed within 34-28 when Trevon Milton scored on a six-yard run with 4:15 left in the third quarter. Lake Forest then tied the score at 34-34 when Milton broke off a 47-yard scoring run on the final play of the third quarter.

The Spartans went for two after that TD but a fumble doomed that play as well.

Milton finished with a  126 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 15 carries.

Milton (15 carries-148 yards) and Amir White (16 carries-104 yards) both went over 100 yards on the ground while scoring two touchdowns each. Moore added 64 yards on 18 carries.

Lake Forest, which beat by St. Mark’s by one point last week, has played three close games so far but only has one victory to show for it.

“Our goal was to play a tough preseason, come out healthy, improve every week and be prepared for Southern Division play,” said Johnson. “It’s things that we can fix, so that’s a good thing.

“Dover’s a pretty good team with fast, big kids. Our kids, they can play with pretty much anybody.”

The Senators, on the other hand, have to turn around and host Henlopen Conference Northern Division rival Smyrna next Friday.

“We find a way to win the close ones, which is a good thing,” said Jones. “Last year we lost a lot of close ones so the tide has turned. The ball is bouncing our way. But there’s still things we have to clean up.”

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

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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