Coming off a loss one week earlier to Laurel High School, 35-25, the Sussex Tech High School football team approached this past weekend’s contest against undefeated Milford High School with one goal in mind — to re-establish itself as a team to be feared this season.
As the Ravens walked off the field following the game at home on Sept. 21, not only could they say they accomplished their goal, they made a statement that they have the ability to run all over anybody, even a team as good as Milford.
Tech (2-1, 1-0) opened its Henlopen Conference North schedule with a dominating win over the Buccaneers (2-1, 0-1), 51-21, riding a 23-0 first half and a series of huge plays to victory and its first conference win of the season.
Head Coach Bernie Nowakowski said it was promising to see his team come out of the gate the way it did and take advantage of some holes in the Milford defense.
Following the loss to Laurel the week prior, Nowakowski said the Ravens used the week of practice to regain its confidence.
“Last week we were humbled and we deserved to be humbled,” he said. “We learned from that and we grew from it, and then coming into this week we knew we were going to be a different football team. We didn’t know if we’d win or lose, because Milford is good, but we knew you would see a different team tonight than you saw last Friday, and it showed.”
Following a first quarter safety that put Tech up 2-0, the Ravens offense came to life in a big way, scoring three unanswered rushing touchdowns in the half, with junior running back Willis Dickerson finding the end zone twice and sophomore back Kani Kane punching in one score.
All the momentum was Tech’s heading into the second half, but Milford came out and put up an early third-quarter touchdown on its opening drive. That led to what would be the defining play of the game, and the one that showed the game was the Ravens’ to lose.
On the ensuing kickoff, senior wide receiver Aquilla Cartwright fielded the ball at his own 20-yard line and proceeded to sprint right past the oncoming Milford players to go 80 yards for the score. The momentum immediately shifted back and Tech was never really threatened again.
Kane ran in two more touchdowns after that with freshman Patrick Griffin also rushing for a score, but Nowakowski said it was the runback that defined his team in this game.
“As soon as something like that happens, adversity, everyone knows the most important play is the next play,” he said, talking about responding to the early Milford score. “We were going to get the ball and score. I didn’t know it was going to happen on the kickoff return, but we’ll take it.”
The Ravens will look to keep rolling in the Henlopen North next week when they visit Cape Henlopen High School (2-1, 0-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.