Smyrna shuts out Sussex Tech 28-0

SMYRNA — When Smyrna High won three Division I state championships in a row recently, the Eagles were known as an offensive juggernaut.

This year, Smyrna is winning games thanks to its defense.

The Eagles shut out Sussex Tech to pick up a 28-0 victory in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division contest on Friday night. It is the third straight win for Smyrna, which improved to 3-0 in Henlopen North play (3-2 overall).

“We’ll do whatever it takes,” said Smyrna coach Mike Judy. “I’m really, really excited for that defensive unit who worked so hard in the offseason. It’s a lot of fun to watch them develop.”

Nick Richardson gave the offense all the scoring it would need and then some. The sophomore threw for three touchdowns to three different receivers.

Wayne Knight added a 26-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

The game was a far cry from the last time the two teams faced each other. Sussex Tech defeated Smyrna 61-6 in Georgetown in 2018.

Smyrna senior defensive captain Debo Williams missed that game with a serious knee injury but he’s played in every game this year and is the Eagles leading tackler.

“I wasn’t able to help last year,” Williams said. “I came into this year thinking, if I can’t lead the defense then I’m not as good of a player as I thought I was. So I’m just continuing to try to lead this defense.”

Smyrna has averaged only 12.6 points allowed this season through the first five games.

Senior defensive back Thomas Smith had an interception for the Eagles while Williams, Masen Wilson, Erik Larson, Walter Dorcelus and Espie Hart each recorded at least one sack.

“As good as we are up front, I think we’re just as good on the back end,” Judy said. “What we ask them to do on Friday nights is one of the most difficult things in football to do. It’s to cover a guy man-to-man. To beat us you have to beat a man one-on-one and these guys practice their craft so hard and are so athletic that we’re usually in a good spot.”

“There’s an old adage that defense is for your aggressive, not so smart kids, you throw that out the window with us,” Judy added. “This defense is smart. We got a lot of smart, problem-solving kids that when they’re faced with an issue they are quick to make a decision.”

The night started when Ryan Macfarlane bounced an onside kick off a Sussex Tech player and Vanni Johnson recovered for the Eagles.
Smyrna put points on the board just a few plays later. Richardson found Devin DeMoe on the left sideline for a 24-yard touchdown.

Makhi Jackson caught the next touchdown, a 22-yard pass from Richardson, in the third quarter. Richardson then hit Devin Smith for a 15-yard touchdown later in the quarter.

“I’m just trying to help my team out as much as I can no matter what my role is,” Richardson said. “Obviously a lot of guys caught the ball tonight. We’re going to continue to do that every game.”

Richardson played the whole game at quarterback for the Eagles after Aidan Sanchez was injured last week in a victory over Salesianum.
“We have full confidence in Nick just like we have full confidence in Aidan,” Judy said. “Nick did a great job in the situation he was given and he executed in really his first big-time performance.”

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