By Mike McClure

The Delmar varsity football team’s defense made some key stops while a number of running backs made plays behind the Wildcats’ offensive line in last Saturday’s 27-13 homecoming win over Sussex Tech. The two teams entered the contest with a 4-2 record.

“It feels great. I’m proud of the team to keep doing on for (Carter) Figgs (and Carter Powell),” said junior Brandon Turner, who made big plays on both sides of the ball. “From last year we showed a whole lot of improvement. We have a lot of guys that can run the ball.”

“As much injuries as they’ve (offensive line) had they’ve kept moving on,” Delmar junior running back Isaiah Holbrook added. 

Delmar’s Nathan VanZandt, left, and Garrett Cooper celebrate following VanZandt’s touchdown run in last Saturday’s homecoming football game. Photo by Mike McClure

Sussex Tech’s offense began the game with the ball on the 32 yard-line. Quarterback Zane Adams completed a pass to Zion Roach on third and nine before Delmar’s Ashton Baine and Turner brought him down three yards short of the first down, forcing a punt.

Delmar began its first possession its own 16. Holbrook had runs of seven and 10 yards and Khalid Schoolfield ran the ball two times for 23 yards. A seven-yard run by Turner and a face mask penalty on Sussex Tech set up first and 10 from the Ravens 13, Holbrook ran it in on third and four from the seven for the first down. A bad snap on the PAT attempt kept the score at 6-0 with 3:19 left in the opening quarter.

The Ravens moved the ball downfield on their next drive, which began at their own 19. Roach had a 16-yard run and a nine-yard run by Kyle Thompson and a personal foul penalty on Delmar moved the ball to the Wildcat 38. Two Ravens’ penalties made it second and 26 from the 46 before Schoolfield intercepted a pass.

The Wildcats were forced to punt the ball early in the second quarter with Sussex Tech’s Sidney Frazier blocking the punt and Khalil Kilgo recovering it.

Roach ran the ball in from the four and Matthew Parsaud kicked the extra point for a 7-6 Sussex Tech lead with 8:28 remaining in the first half.

Delmar’s offense opened the next series with the ball on the Sussex Tech 45 after a kick return by Carter Mason and a Sussex Tech face mask penalty. Nathan VanZandt picked up five yards on a quarterback keeper on fourth and two from the 26. 

The Ravens were called for a holding penalty on Sussex Tech on an attempted pass to Ryder Keidel. Holbrook ran for four yards on third and four from the 14 and Turner had a touchdown run called back due to an illegal shift penalty. VanZandt scored on a 13-yard on third down and also ran for a two-point conversion to put the Wildcats ahead, 14-7, with 33.7 seconds left in the first half.

Sussex Tech moved the ball downfield quickly in the closing minutes of the half. Thompson had a 35-yards run to the Delmar 24 with 7.1 seconds left. Roach added a 17-yard run to the seven with .6 seconds to go. Following a Ravens’ timeout, Roach was stuffed by the Delmar defense to move the game into half-time.

Delmar began the second half with the ball, but turned the ball over on a fumble.  

Sussex Tech’s offense started with the ball on the 30. Thompson was held to a two-yard gain on third and 11 and Kade Hall was stopped short of a first down on what appeared to be a broken play.

Delmar’s offense answered with a scoring drive, starting at the 30. Turner had a 20-yard run to move the ball into Sussex Tech territory and Schoolfield took a toss and rumbled 40 yards for a touchdown. The snap on the PAT went over the holder’s head kicker/quarterback VanZandt picked it up and completed a pass but it was short of the end zone, keeping the score at 20-7 (6:58).

Sussex Tech moved the ball upfield on its next possession. Adams completed a 22-yard pass to Thompson on third and five from the 45. Adams kept the drive alive with a two-yard run on fourth and one from the 14.  Baine forced a fumble on first and 15 from the 17 and Turner recovered it.

“When I saw him (Baine) pop it out I had to go get it,” said Turner.

“We got a big stop when we needed it,” Holbrook added.

The Wildcats took advantage of the turnover, putting together a 94-yard drive. Holbrook broke off a 24-yard run and added a seven-yard gain on third and four from the 47 early in the fourth quarter. Runs by Schoolfield, Turner, Holbrook and Kweli Jones moved the ball to the Ravens’ 22. An unsportsmanlike penalty on the Ravens set up first and goal from the nine and a half. Holbrook ran it in on third and goal from the three and VanZandt booted the extra point for a 27-7 advantage with with 3:54 left.

Sussex Tech put together one last drive as Thompson had a 19-yard run and Roach added a nine-yard run. Thompson scored on a one-yard touchdown run but the two-point run was stopped for a 27-13 score with 28.8 seconds left. Delmar was able to run out the clock to seal the win. The Wildcats visit rival Laurel this Saturday in the Bulldogs’ homecoming game.