Caravel runs to school’s first title since 2012

Glenn FrazerHeadlines, Sports

Caravel football Craig Miller runs the ball against Archmere in the DIAA 2A football state championship, photo courtesy of Donnell Henriquez

The Caravel Buccaneers completed a perfect season with a convincing 35-13 DIAA Class AA championship win against Archmere Saturday.

The Bucs broke open a close halftime game with a stout running attack powered by the “O” line scoring two touchdowns on four plays early in the third quarter. Senior running backs Jordan and Craig Miller led the way as the team totalled 414 yards rushing. The offensive line consisted of Dwight Williams, Ian Smith, Owen Kamether, Priest Jones and Zavion Tuck.

Jordan Miller scored on the second play from scrimmage in the second half on a 51 yard run.  Barely two minutes later, Craig Miller (no relation) sprinted 62 yards to the end zone to put the Bucs ahead 21-0. 

Archmere had struggled against the Caravel defense until late in the third frame when quarterback Miles Kempski threw a “perfect” pass to Gavin Lee for 31 yards to put the Auks on the “board”. That score sliced the Caravel lead to 21-7 with 1:41 left in the third quarter. However, coach John Reed’s Bucs answered early in the final quarter as Trey Hamlin ran for a 34 yard TD and a 28-7 advantage. 

Kempski engineered the longest scoring drive of the game as he guided the Auks on an 8-play 75 yard possession. The drive culminated with a pass of 11 yards from Kempski to Drew Duncan. At that point, Archmere trailed 28-13 with 7:33 left. Jordan Miller completed the scoring with a 24 yard touchdown run and a 35-13 Caravel lead. The Buccaneer defense made that score stand up for the final.

The championship is the fifth for Caravel Academy, and the first since 2012. Archmere was appearing in the title game for the 15th time dating back to the 1970’s.

Caravel scored the only points in the first half with 7:22 left in the second quarter. Following an Archmere punt, fullback Craig Miller burst through a hole at the line of scrimmage and raced 52 yards for the 7-0 halftime lead. Three of the Bucs five scoring drives took 2 plays or less. With the defenses dominating the opening half, the two punters put on an exhibition. Archmere’s Cole Fenice averaged 35.7 yards on his 7 punts, while Truman Auwerda averaged 37.3 yards on his 3 punts for the Bucs.

Jordan Miller carried the ball 31 times for 215 yards, Craig Miller gained 146 yards on 11 “touches”, and Trey Hamlin added 55 yards on just 3 attempts. Defensively, Caravel was led by Amir Myers and J-D Devane with 7 tackles each. Brock Rhodes added 6 tackles and Ian Smith had 5 stops including 2 sacks. The Bucs held Archmere to 57 yards rushing.

Archmere received a stellar “two-way” performance from junior linebacker Christian Wittmeyer as he had a game-high 10 tackles, four were solo, plus he added a “tackle-for-loss”. Wittmeyer was pressed into action offensively in the second half leading the team with 33 yards rushing on just 4 carries. Auks quarterback Kempski completed 12 of his 24 pass attempts for 140 yards and both of the teams touchdowns.

Caravel was the only team in Delaware to finish unbeaten with an overall record of 13-0. Archmere started the season 1-3, and put together an 8-game winning streak before falling to the Buccaneers in the final game.

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