Salesianum holds off Cape Henlopen 28-20 after 29 year layoff

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Salesianum celebrating after defeating Cape Henlopen 28-20

Salesianum School made its first trip to Cape Henlopen High School in 29 years jumping out to a 28-6 halftime lead and then hung on for a 28-0 victory.

Conor Campbell got his first start at quarterback for Salesianum in their new look mostly shotgun spread formation offense.

“Well we have a lot of changes this year we’re running more spread more open look and trying to use some of the skill that we have I thought our kids did a great job as well as our offensive coordinator Scott Cook,” Salesianum head coach Bill DiNardo said.

Campbell rushed for 54 yards with a touchdown and threw for 55 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the night.

“This win was huge, we knew Cape was going to be a good team coming in and they were really good, but we found a way to win together,” Campbell said.

The Sals put the first scoring drive of the game midway through the first quarter taking over at the Cape 41 yard line after the Vikings fourth down conversion failed.

A pass interference penalty put the ball at the Cape 25 yard line. The Sals mixed some runs with a Campbell pass to Lukas Ryan to advance down to inside the two yard line. Cooper Brown ended the drive with a one yard run. James Collins added the extra point and Salesianum took a 7-0 lead with 4:05 left in the first quarter.

Late in the first quarter the Salesianum defense held the Vikings again taking over at midfield. The Sals went on a six play 51 yard scoring drive capped off by two yard touchdown run by Campbell. Collins converted the extra point and Salesianum led 14-0 with 11:56 to play in the first half.

Cape Henlopen responded with a kick return to the Sals 41 yard line by Chancler Johnson. The Vikings offense sputtered in the drive they faced a third and 24 when a Sals defender was penalized for targeting keeping the Cape drive alive.

Three plays later Thomas Messick took a pitch around left end breaking two tackles on his way to a 17 yard touchdown run. The Vikings were unable to handle the snap on the PAT and the attempt failed leaving Salesianum with a 14-6 lead with 8:29 to play in the first half.

Salesianum would add two more scores before the end of the first half with Campbell connecting with Ryan Rzucidlo on a 14 yard pass and then later Campbell using his feet on a 26 yard scramble racing to the right corner of the endzone giving Salesianum a 28-6 lead at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter the Vikings came alive scoring twice in the fourth quarter.

Jordan Baines scored on a 20 yard run to cut the score to 28-12 with 8:02 left in the game.

On the ensuing kickoff the Vikings special teams forced a fumble giving Cape Henlopen the ball at the Sals 15 yard line. On the first play of the series quarterback Hank D’Ambrogi scrambled up the middle for a 15 yard touchdown run. Barnes converted on the conversion run closing the score to 28-20 with 7:48 left in the game.

Cape Henlopen forced Salesianum to punt on the ensuing possession with 4:28 left in the game. Sals punter Aiden Montgomery booted a beauty dropping the punt inside the Cape Henlopen 20 to the 13 yard line.

Jaiden Mason sealed the victory with an interception.

“The first half we showed a great deal of balance I was a little disappointed in the second half we got beat up, we were cramping, we were on our fifth running back for goodness sake, but overall I thought we did a good job,” DiNardo said.

Cape Henlopen drops to 0-1 and will travel to Woodbridge next Friday night. Salesianum moves to 1-0 and will host defending state champion Sussex Central next week.

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