Sussex County football teams will reprise old rivalries this fall. Here are some of the ones to watch.
Friday, Oct. 26 vs. Sussex Central, 7 p.m.
In week eight of high school football, Cape Henlopen will host Sussex Central in the battle on Route 9. The two will meet for the 49th straight time in a clash first played in 1969.
Cape has lost three of the last four against Central, with a 27-6 loss last season. The Vikings last won over the Golden Knights in 2016, a 16-14 victory.
After struggling to a 3-7 finish last season, the Vikings will look to bounce back under new head coach JD Maull, hoping to get to the postseason for the first time since 2012.
Highlights: 9/28 vs. Smyrna, 10/19 vs. Milford (Cape homecoming), 11/9 vs. Sussex Tech (Cape senior night)
Friday, Sept. 28 At Delmar, 7:30 p.m.
After kicking off 2018 with three straight out-of-conference games, Indian River will open Henlopen South Division play with a huge test in week four.
In their first divisional game of the year, IR will travel to Delmar to face the defending DIAA Division II football state champions.
IR has dropped their last two matchups against Delmar, including a 41-6 loss in last year’s game. The Indians went just 1-9 last season, but an early season test against Delmar will show how much they’ve improved.
Highlights: 10/19 vs. Laurel (IR homecoming), 11/2 vs. Woodbridge (IR senior night), 11/9 at Sussex Central
Saturday, Sept. 8 At Hodgson, 10:30 a.m.
After two straight playoff appearances, Sussex Central will open 2018 with a playoff-level matchup on the road against Division I standout Hodgson.
The two met in last year’s opener, and Sussex Central came away with an impressive 20-7 home victory.
The Silver Eagles advanced to the semifinals last season, and Hodgson is seen by many as a serious contender this year alongside the likes of Middletown and Smyrna.
It will be a good test for the Golden Knights, but it comes with a long trip up to New Castle County. Another is scheduled later at Caravel Academy.
Highlights: 10/5 at Sussex Tech, 10/12 vs. Smyrna, 10/26 at Cape Henlopen
Friday, Sept. 14 At Salesianum, 7:30 p.m.
Sussex Tech had an up-and-down 2017, finishing 4-6. However, the Ravens are seen by some as a Henlopen Conference sleeper.
After opening on the road at DII standout Milford, the Ravens will head to Wilmington in week two, taking on Salesianum at Baynard Stadium.
Salesianum, a program used to winning, missed the playoffs last season and will no doubt be motivated to get off to a hot start, making this a tough matchup for the Ravens.
Sussex Tech is familiar with the Sallies, but they’ve had little success, dropping the last three meetings, including a 36-10 loss at home last season.
The Ravens last defeated Salesianum in 2014, a 33-27 win in the opening round of the DIAA Division I football tournament.
Highlights: 9/28 vs. Appoquinimink (Tech homecoming), 10/5 vs. Sussex Central, 11/9 at Cape Henlopen.