Sussex Tech keeps state tournament hopes alive, rips Smyrna 61-6

GEORGETOWN — The Sussex Tech football team knows it can only control what’s in front of it.

For the Ravens to make the six-team Division I state tournament, they need to win all of their remaining contests and need some help in other games not involving them.

It might be a longshot, but the Ravens figure why not win out and see what happens?

“Our mindset is win out and have fun,” said junior running back K.J. Custis. “That’s it, then let everything fall.”

Sussex Tech took another step to winning out with a 61-6 victory over three-time defending Division I state champion on Friday night in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division game. The Ravens moved to 4-4 overall with two games left on the schedule.

Smyrna, meanwhile, dropped to 2-5 and is eliminated from postseason contention.

Custis led the way for Sussex Tech with a career-high five touchdowns. Four came on runs while another was a 66-yard interception return.

“It was fun and felt like a dream come true,” he said. “We practiced hard all week, we had a chip on our shoulder and just played hard.”

Sussex Tech scored on every possession except one.

Custis’ shortest rushing touchdown was from 41 yards. He also scored on runs from 44 yards, 58 yard and 77 yards.

Michael Norsworthy and quarterback Chase Snyder each had a two-yard rushing touchdown apiece for the Ravens. Andrell Fulton added an eight-yard rush as time expired.

For all of Sussex Tech’s scoring, Smyrna was the team who took the early lead.

Aiden Sanchez found Stephen Whaley on a short pass which turned into a 22-yard score. The Eagles then missed the extra point and it was all Sussex Tech after that.

Jalen Snead returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Sussex Tech went in front for good after Caleb Locklear’s extra point.

“We came right back,” said Sussex Tech coach Mark Quillin. “We work on that every day. We talk about responding after a team scores and we hadn’t done that earlier this year. For us to do that and use that emotion for the remaining of the quarter was huge.”

Smyrna was down first team All-State linebacker Debo Williams, who suffered an injury last week in the Eagles’ loss to Dover. Since Williams got hurt on the last play of the second quarter against Dover, the Eagles have only forced one punt in the last six quarters.

“I think that affected them defensively when you lose an All-State linebacker,” Quillin said. “We decided to attack that side a little more. Our offensive line handled things really well.”

Sussex Tech avenged a 46-11 loss to the Eagles last season. Quillin said he was in charge of calling the defensive plays that game but had given that responsibility to assistant Clint Dunn for this year.

“He did a much better job than I did last year to be honest with you,” Quillin said. “A ton of kudos goes to him.”

Sussex Tech has now won back-to-back games after a three-game losing streak.

The Ravens lost their No. 1 quarterback Ricky Kane for the season after an injury early in the year. Snyder took over after playing split end, now that he has gotten his feet wet, Quillin said the Ravens are a completely different team.

“It takes a quarterback a couple of weeks to get going,” Quillin said. “He’s done a wonderful job. Our quarterback coach Ethan Long works with him every day to make him better.”

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