Coming into the 2013 high school football season it was clear what kind of team the Caesar Rodney Riders hoped to be. They unabashedly began their season facing both defending champion Middletown and runner-up Salesianum in back-to-back weeks. Also, every team they faced outside of their conference schedule finished with a winning record the previous season, and will again this season.
And while the Riders’ schedule was supposed to prove they were just as solid a contender for the state crown as the other elite teams, it almost did them in.
Entering Friday night’s contest, even with an undefeated conference record, the Riders were essentially fighting for their playoff lives against an impressive 8-1 Dover squad that hadn’t lost since the opening week of the season.
Good teams prove their worth on the biggest stage, and so did the Riders on Friday night defeating the rival Senators going away 42-18.
While the final score wouldn’t indicate a close game, it was during the first half of play.
After trading fumbles on each-others opening drives, the Riders capitalized on good field position to take an early 7-0 lead. The two teams traded scores before the half and the Riders led 13-6 at the break.
The Dover offense came out firing in the second half when Nick Spadafino, returning from injury, found Tavarus Sample on a wide receiver screen for a 56-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked helping CR keep a slim 13-12 lead.
Unfortunately, that was the last gasp for Dover as the Riders outscored them the rest of the half 29-6.
D.J Johnson scored twice, once on the ground and once from QB Alex Kemp. Dominique Dorsey also scored twice, both on the ground, and Naquan Watkins added a rushing touchdown to round out the scorers for CR.
Nearly every offensive score for the Riders in the second half was set up by their defense that came away with two huge turnovers. Kendall Wicks intercepted a Spadafino pass leading to the Watkins touchdown, while a CR forced fumble led to Kemp and Johnson’s 12-yard connection.
Having won the Henlopen Conference title, CR will join the Senators in the DIAA football state tournament which will begin next week. The DIAA will meet this Sunday to determine the seeds.