Young Riders no match for QB Fry, Cavs in 48-0 opening loss

Special to the Delaware State News/Doug Curran

MIDDLETOWN — It was a season opener that the young Caesar Rodney High football team would like to learn from and move on.

For Middletown High, though, it was a night the Cavaliers’ sophomore quarterback has been dreaming about for most of his life.

Middletown’s Drew Fry threw for six touchdowns in the first start of his high school career to lead the Cavaliers to a 48-0 defeat of Caesar Rodney on Friday night.

The Riders, meanwhile, struggled to get anything going, not earning a first down until the second quarter. Whenever the Riders did start to move the ball, it was wiped out by a penalty or they turned it over.

Caesar Rodney had four turnovers in the contest and committed nine first half penalties, leading to a 34-0 halftime deficit.

“They were just better than us tonight,” said CR second-year coach Dan Candeloro. “We made too many mistakes on the offensive side of the ball and the defense would be facing short fields. There were times when we would get something going and start moving the ball then we would shoot ourselves in the foot with a penalty.”

Fry tossed three touchdowns in the first quarter as Middletown built a big early lead.

Fry is the son of former University of Delaware quarterback Dale Fry, himself a Middletown product who started for the Blue Hens in 1993. Drew Fry has been coming to Middletown games for as long as he can remember and has waiting for this night when he was handed the keys to the Middletown offense.

“Probably since I was about 6-years-old,” Fry said. “They would invite me into the locker room and I got to see how they act. Coming out here now, I already know the expectations.”

Fry completed 14 passes on 18 attempts for 216 yards.

“He’s the real deal,” said Middletown coach Mark DelPercio.

The Riders were given some energy late in the first quarter when Nhaighere Willis returned a kickoff 55 yards to the Middletown 43-yard line after Fry’s third touchdown. It was the first time in the game CR had moved into Middletown territory.

But the Riders committed back-to-back penalties before they could even snap the ball, an illegal shift and a false start. They did convert their first first down of the night, on Najee Whitted’s run on fourth-and-short before giving the ball back to the Cavaliers.

Middletown needed one play to make it a 28-0 game when Fry connected with Jalen Whitehead for a 65-yard bomb. Fry’s fifth touchdown pass came with 4:16 left in the second quarter when the Cavaliers capitalized on a CR fumble. His sixth was when there was a running clock late in the third quarter to Nicholas Johnston.

Fry hooked up with four different wide receivers for his touchdowns. Whitehead caught a pair, Anthony DelPercio also had two while Johnston and Edelin caught one apiece. Kendrick Whitehead scored the other touchdown for Middletown on an 8-yard rush on the first possession of the third quarter.

Caesar Rodney, who is shifting away from its traditional Wing-T offense was led by junior quarterback Jared Wagenhoffer who threw for 98 yards. Wagenhoffer finished 11-of-17 with an interception.

The Riders face another tough opponent next week when they travel to defending Division I state runner-up Salesianum at 7:30 p.m next Friday.

“It doesn’t get easier,” Candeloro said. “We’ve got a tough schedule but the kids are working hard. A lot of them, that was their first Friday night lights. We’ll get better. We’ll go back to the drawing board and we’ll go back to work.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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