Complacency and an overall relaxed approach cost the Dover High School football team its first loss of the season this past weekend. With homecoming approaching this weekend, the Senators will look to regain the swagger that helped them jump out to a 2-0 start this year.

Following the 32-27 loss the Dover High School football team suffered against Indian River High School this past week, first-year quarterback and junior Kamal Abrams sent a text message to Head Coach Carlton Brown.

The text, in short, said that sometimes it takes a loss to help a team refocus, which is exactly what Brown said the team would be doing this week.

“The thing is just getting them to understand that you have to play a full game,” he said. “You know, reiterating the little things, the things you can’t get away from. We’re going to start over.”

The Senators (2-1, 0-1) got off to a lazy start against the Indians (2-1, 1-1), and despite a late comeback attempt were unable to get themselves ahead on the scoreboard.

Following relatively easy wins in the two games that started the season, the Senators were faced with some heavy adversity for the first time this year. And even though Brown was not happy with the overall effort, he said it was promising to see his squad pull itself back into the game.

“We still put ourselves in a position to win and that showed a lot of character,” he said. “Those are the things you have to draw from.”

Brown is hoping his team will be able to shake this early loss, and added that he and his coaching staff will do everything they can to make sure the Sens don’t lose confidence in their abilities.

“We’ve got to go out and be positive with the kids and get them to understand things happen,” he said. “It’s better to lose early in the season and grow from it.”

Dover should get up for the contest a little more than usual this week as it hosts Smyrna High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, for its homecoming game.

Smyrna (0-3, 0-1) will be the Senators’ first Henlopen North opponent this year and Brown said he expects there to be more hype than usual in the locker room.

“The kids always rise up for homecoming,” he said. “The whole week they have homecoming festivities ending with the pep rally on Friday.”

Brown added, however, that the players should not be expecting to run into the game on homecoming momentum alone, as the coaches are set to shake some things up this week.

“We need to light some fire under these kids to get them to play like they did in the preseason,” he said. “They’ve gotten relaxed and you can’t get relaxed. They have to realize they can’t be complacent.”

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WHO: Dover High School (2-1, 0-1) vs. Smyrna High School (0-3, 0-1)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2
WHERE: Dover High Stadium, 1 Patrick Lynn Drive, Dover