Woodbridge wins long-awaited football opener: D-II powerhouse Raiders blank Lake Forest 35-0

Woodbridge sophomore Kenny Newton follows a teammate into the end zone for a touchdown late in the 2nd quarter Monday against Lake Forest. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

FELTON — In case anyone forgot about them during their hiatus, the Woodbridge High Blue Raiders issued a reminder on Monday night.

The Blue Raiders are still here, and they are still dangerous.

Kenny Newton scored a pair of rushing touchdowns as Woodbridge opened its football season with a 35-0 victory at Lake Forest in a Henlopen Conference Southern Division contest. The Blue Raiders missed the first two weeks of games after confirmed COVID-19 cases on their campus shut down all athletic programs for 14 days.

Woodbridge quarterback Jordan Evans hurdles over Anthony Rivera of Lake Forest to avoid lost yardage on a pass play in the 2nd half.

“It made us very hungry,” Newton said of the long layoff.

The news about the positive COVID-19 cases came down mere hours before Woodbridge’s scheduled season opener on Oct. 23 against Delmar. That game, as well as Woodbridge’s scheduled second matchup of the season against Milford, have been declared “no contests.”

The Blue Raiders’ third game against Lake Forest was moved from Friday to Monday. This allowed enough time to have passed since the positive cases and gives Woodbridge, the Division II state runner-up last year and state title winner in 2018, a chance to play five games this season, making the team eligible for the playoffs.

“When you have a goal out in front of you and you’re right there ready to go, and it’s taken away from you, that hurts for sure,” said Woodbridge coach Jed Bell. “Hats off to these guys for buying in and finding a way to stay ready.

The Blue Raiders’ Or’Mon Sanders breaks through to snare Lake Forest quarterback Damian Galindez behind the line of scrimmage.

“For two weeks we were trying to find a way to get this game played to give them hope,” Bell added. “We’re thankful and grateful for Lake Forest and them agreeing to play this game, obviously.”

Woodbridge only had two days of practice prior to the Lake Forest contest.

The Blue Raiders were able to have a full game week of preparation before the Delmar cancellation, which Bell said helped make things easier when the team reconvened on Saturday. However, for the two weeks “off” the Blue Raider players were on their own.

“We had posted workouts every day, required ZOOM calls and things of that nature,” Bell said. “So for them to buy in during our time that was technically ‘off’ it’s just great to replicate the work that we put in onto the field.”

Woodbridge scored all 35 points in the first half. The entire second half was played with a running clock.

Tyrez Cannon finished the first drive by blasting through from three yards out for a touchdown. Rasheed Stones doubled the lead just 12 seconds later when he scooped up a fumble recovery on defense and ran 26 yards for a score.

Jaden Bacon added an 11-yard run while Newton recorded touchdown runs of 13 yards and 14 yards.

“We’re just blessed to play again,” said Woodbridge quarterback Jordan Evans. “We had to come back and play hard.”