The Caesar Rodney High School football team improved to 2-0 on the season as they blew out Concord High School, 46-29, Sept. 17. The Riders are now prepping for the team that knocked them out of last year's playoffs, Salesianum School.
When a high school football team produces four touchdown receptions, two interceptions and a punt block in a single game, that’s usually a recipe for success.
When one player produces those numbers and has a cast of teammates that chip in as well, it almost certainly puts a notch in the win column for that team.
That was the case for the Caesar Rodney High School squad in week two, as senior wide receiver/defensive back Dante Shells had a career day to help lead his team to a win over Concord High School, 46-29, Sept. 17.
Shells got the game started with a 74-yard TD reception on the first play from scrimmage off the hands of senior quarterback Seth McFall to give the Riders (2-0, 0-0) an early lead.
The quick score set the tone for most of the first half for both CR and the Raiders (1-1, 1-0), as the teams traded scores until senior middle linebacker Miles Hunter picked off a Concord pass at his team’s goal line late in the second quarter to swing momentum.
The Riders scored on the first play of the ensuing drive when senior running back Allannio Monsanto broke for a 70-yard score that put CR ahead for good.
“Miles’ interception certainly settled down the back-and-forth, wide-open play,” Head Coach Mike Schonewolf said. “That was a nice thing for us to be able to turn that thing around a little bit and settle into a little more of a groove in the second quarter.”
But while the interception swung momentum, it was Shells and McFall who kept it going for the Riders.
The two connected for three more scores through the air of 24, 10 and 18 yards.
Shells said the instant chemistry at the varsity level between he and his QB comes from some time the two spent playing together in JV during their sophomore seasons.
“We have that chemistry from two years ago, and last year he played a little bit and so did I,” he said. “This year we’re just trying to be that dynamic duo that we can be.”
The Riders will need Shells and McFall, as well as every other player on the roster, to be on their game this weekend when they host defending state champion Salesianum School (2-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24.
Sallies beat CR twice last season, including a semifinals victory that sent the Riders home in the Division I playoffs.
Some players remain from that 2009 team, and Shells said those memories are still lingering in a few minds.
“Of course we’re looking for a little bit of revenge, but there’s nothing that we can’t handle,” he said.
Hunter agreed with his teammate, but added that while CR wants to swing things back in its favor against the Sals, the focus needs to be on this year and not last.
“You have to stay in the game,” he said. “Revenge doesn’t always work so we have to be prepared going into that game. As long as we stay close I think we can make it anywhere.”
WHO Caesar Rodney High School (2-0, 0-0) vs. Salesianum School (2-0)
WHEN 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24
WHERE Rider Stadium, 239 Old North Road, Camden
Email Brian Citino at email@example.com