With two games remaining in the 2012 regular season, the Caesar Rodney High School football team has put itself in prime position to come out on top in the Henlopen Conference North at season's end.
By winning this past weekend at Milford High School, 34-7, the Riders (6-2, 4-0) are now undefeated in-conference, the only team in the Henlopen North without a blemish on its conference record.
Therefore, CR controls its own destiny through the final two games, played at home vs. Cape Henlopen High School (6-2, 3-1) and then on the road in the finale at crosstown rival Dover High School (4-4, 3-2), two teams very much still alive in the hunt for a conference title.
Head Coach Mike Schonewolf said his team is well aware of the fact that it can determine whether it makes the tournament this year or not, and that winning the conference and earning that automatic berth is the primary focus.
That said, Schonewolf added, the team's primary goal is to win its game against Cape Henlopen at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, and the rest will take care of itself.
"The most important game of the season is the one you are about to play," he said. "Our game with Cape Henlopen can be a game that decides the Northern Division and an automatic berth into the state tournament. We are extremely excited about playing in a critical Henlopen Conference match-up against a quality Cape Henlopen football team."
The Riders put themselves in this position this past weekend when they dominated another conference opponent in Milford High (3-4, 0-4). After trading scores in the first quarter, CR rode the wave of 27 unanswered points to victory, something Schonewolf said was a product of solid execution.
"We played a solid football game against Milford and executed well in all three phases of the game," he said. "We were able to force three turnovers defensively and only gave the ball up once. We were very efficient on both sides of the ball."
After that win, the focus immediately went to Cape, as Schonewolf said he knows the Vikings are capable of knocking off any team on any given week.
So even though the Riders' biggest rivalry game of the season looms just a week later at Dover High School, the CR head coach said his team is honed in on Cape first and foremost.
"High school players dream about playing in big games with everything on the line," Schonewolf said. "Our team will be focused and prepared to play Cape this week, period."