Vikings roll to 28-14 Henlopen North win over Bucs

Jaden Davis ran for 161 yards and a touchdown against Milford Friday night. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

MILFORD — Once he got past the first level, he knew he could take it all the way.

Cape Henlopen High running back Jaden Davis used a hole his offensive line opened for him to scamper 54 yards for a touchdown.

The second quarter score put the Vikings ahead by three touchdowns.

From there, the Vikings continued to win the battle in the trenches and cruised to a 28-14 win over Milford High Friday night at Briggs Stadium.

“The line opened up the hole and I just had to run,” Davis said of the TD. “I just had to do what I could. I was feeling myself once I got past that first level.”

The Henlopen Conference Northern Division win avenges last year’s 38-0 shutout loss to the Bucs (2-1) and is Cape’s first win over Milford since Sept. 5, 2014.

The Vikings (1-2, 1-0 Henlopen North) won just one game all last season but have already matched that total in the third week of the season.

“It’s huge for us. We’re so young, we needed this win so bad, we really did,” said coach J.D. Maull. “We didn’t win many games last year and you keep preaching to the kids, ‘hey, keep chopping wood,’ and they saw the benefits today of what we’re talking about.”

Sophomore quarterback Hank D’Ambrogi drops back to pass as running back Jaden Davis runs out to the flat. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

Davis rumbled for 161 yards and a touchdown on his 23 carries. He also caught a pair of passes for 41 yards through the air.

“Jaden Davis set the tone,” Maull said. “I challenged him Sunday night when we were together watching football. I told him, ‘look, you have to carry us. This is a good Milford team, we need you today.’ He worked hard all offseason for this moment, and he took advantage.”

Sophomore starting quarterback Hank D’Ambrogi ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. He completed five of his 11 attempts for 111 yards, including a 29-yard score to running back Davonte Johnson.

“To come out here, on a Friday night in someone else’s house, and pull out a good win, that’s really big. It’s a good win for the team,” said D’Ambrogi.

Marquis Gillis and Aaron Sivels each ran for touchdowns for Milford.

Cape’s defense forced four punts, two turnovers on downs, recovered two fumbles and picked off a pass on 11 Milford drives.

Milford got the ball first, but the drive stalled when Cape recovered a fumble at Milford’s 45-yard line.

Cape quickly capitalized by turning it into a 55-yard scoring drive. D’Ambrogi capped the drive with a 29-yard TD pass to Johnson on third down. The extra point put Cape ahead 7-0 with 7:65 remaining in the first quarter.

On the next Cape possession, D’Ambrogi capped an eight-play drive with a one-yard QB keeper. The successful extra point put the Vikings ahead, 14-0, in the second quarter.

Davis’ 54-yard run put the Vikings ahead three touchdowns at the 4:43 mark of the half, but Gillis cut into the lead with a 12-yard touchdown run with 2:59 left.

Ahead 21-6 at the halftime break, Cape wasted little time piling on the lead with an 11-play scoring drive to begin the second half. D’Ambrogi’s second one-yard keeper capped the drive.

Sivels capped the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run for the Bucs with 11:01 to play to pull to within a pair of touchdowns.

The Vikings were in the game in the third quarter each of the last two weeks but were unable to keep up and finish out the game strong.

Maull made sure his team changed that this week.

“We’ve been telling the kids for the past two weeks, we’ve been in every game in the third quarter,” said Maull. “End of the third quarter always kills us, but today we finally got a win. I’m proud of the guys.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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