In a game that appeared the team with the ball last would win, a key 4th down stop by Dover was the difference in a 41-25 Senators victory on homecoming night.
Sussex Central trailed 28-25 with 7:41 left in the game, facing a 4th and 1 at their own 42 yard line. Zimir Gardner gave the ball to Joey Finney, who appeared to get to the edge for a first down. Dover’s Jamir Richardson reacted quickly from his safety position to make the stop on Finney and it took the officials several minutes to bring in the “chains”, look from every angle -and finally bring out a card to decide the ball was short of the 1st down. That defensive stop led to a Dover touchdown pass of 13 yards from Jordan Moran to freshman John Parker giving the Senators a 9-point advantage at 34-25. Dover would get another stop on a 4th down sack by Jakwon Kilby and Jaylen Powell, leading to a Kilby 19-yard touchdown run to finally secure the win.
The game was close at the half with Dover up 14-12 as both teams scored on one-yard runs early, and then both posted touchdowns late in the 2nd quarter. The Senators scored on a short run by Kilby with just under 3:00 to go. Sussex Central answered barely two minutes later as Gardner connected on three consecutive passes, the last to a wide-open John Abbott for 30 yards.
There were 4 lead changes to start the second half as both teams excelled on offense until the Richardson tackle on Finney midway through the final quarter.
Kilby led the Senators with 149 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. Tyron Abrams added 93 yards on 9 runs and a score. Moran completed 12 of his 15 pass attempts for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns, both to the freshman Parker.
The Golden Knights had balanced rushing as Andrew Long led the way with 71 yards, Patrick Henry chipped in with 69 and a touchdown, while fullback Kristopher Shields scored twice, gaining 44 yards on just 7 carries. Gardner connected on 8 of his 16 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown to Abbott.
Dover improves to 5-2 and 3-0 in district 2 of Class 3A. The Senators travel to meet Smyrna next Friday in a battle for 1st place in District 2. Sussex Central falls to 3-3 (0-2 district 2) and will meet rival Cape Henlopen next Friday.
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