Smyrna Wins Division I Football State Title

NEWARK – In a moment that should go down as one of the greatest in Smyrna High’s athletic history, the underdog Eagles stunned Salesianum, 32-26, in overtime on Saturday afternoon to win its first Division I state championship in football at Delaware Stadium.

In front of a sea of red-clad Smyrna fans, Eagles linebacker Eli Hutchinson shot through a gap and brought down Sallies star running back at the five yard line on a fourth-and-goal play from the one.

Smyrna’s players sprinted down the field in celebration after the stop as the Eagles’ half of the crowd, which was estimated at about 12,000, roared in celebration.

The hard-earned victory, in which Smyrna trailed 18-6 at halftime, avenged a memorable 76-56 loss to the Sals in September. That was the only loss of the season for the Eagles, who finish the season 12-1.

Sophomore running back Will Knight gave Smyrna its first and only lead of the contest when he scored on a fourth-and-goal from the one of the Eagles’ overtime possession.

Afterward, the Smyrna crowd broke into a chant of ‘Judy, Judy’ in honor of second-year head coach Mike Judy, the Dover High and Wesley College grad.

“I’m not going to say I could see this coming,” said Judy. “But I definitely know, with this team and the talent that we have and the hard work that they do, if the chips fell our way, this is the outcome.”

“I can’t even begin to explain how proud I am of these guys,” said senior receiver Brandon Bishop. “It probably won’t sink in until 10 years from now how amazing this was. I’m so glad that I got to do it with this group of guys that I grew up with and my community behind us.”

 

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