Delaware Military Academy and St. Mark’s started an annual football matchup five years ago.
The first four years, the Spartans won 35-7, 43-7, 31-0 and 35-6.
“When I became the athletic director and started working on the schedule for the next two-year cycle, I had a lot of people tell me that we should drop St. Mark’s,” said Michael Ryan, in his second year as DMA’s football coach and AD. “I just said, ‘I want to keep them on the schedule. I think we’re going to start catching them.’”
The Seahawks caught them on Friday night. In fact, they blew right past the Spartans and scored a 49-21 victory at St. Mark’s.
“To be quite frank, I did not think it would happen in year two,” Ryan said. “I didn’t think it would be that fast; I didn’t think it would be that decisive. But it did happen, and we’re very happy about it.”
The win pushed DMA to 5-0 for the first time in school history. The Seahawks will be No. 2 in Division II – their highest ranking ever – when The News Journal’s updated rankings are released Tuesday.
A pregame thunderstorm pushed the start back 48 minutes, and St. Mark’s Jamai Rice returned a punt 84 yards for an early 7-0 lead. But DMA scored the next five touchdowns and never looked back.
Alphaeus Hanson ran for two scores, Paul Wolfe threw a 52-yard pass to Jeffrey Gillis, and Jacob Hudson fired a 21-yard TD pass to Brennan Hazewski before scoring on his own 21-yard run.
“I really think Jacob Hudson has taken so many strides as a leader and a player from last year to this year,” Ryan said of his starting quarterback. “He’s running the show, and we have a lot of guys contributing on the offensive side.”
Wolfe is a multi-purpose threat as a tight end, receiver and occasional QB. The defense is led by Trevor Hill at safety, Gillis and Hudson at the corners; Wolfe, Marcus Brooks and Hazewski at linebacker and T.J. Thomas and Alex Cross on the line.
And the football team is far from the only DMA squad enjoying a big fall season. The Seahawks’ volleyball team is 8-0 and ranked No. 1 statewide. Boys soccer is 8-2 and ranked fifth in Division II. Field hockey is 6-3, girls cross country is ranked second in Division II and boys cross country is ranked third in Division II by N5CTA.
Hot start for Milford
After winning the Division II state championship in 2008 and going 6-4 in 2009, the Milford football team plummeted to a combined 9-41 record over the next five seasons.
But a new coach has made an immediate impact, as former Caesar Rodney assistant Shaun Strickland has the Buccaneers off to a 4-1 start.
“The kids bought in from the jump,” Strickland said Monday. “They’re hungry. A lot of these seniors have been on the wrong side of some seasons here, and they want to go out on top and put together a season they’ll remember.”
Tackles Jose Ortiz and Tyler Norwood, center Thomas Eisenbrey, guards Gregg Clark and Ryan Jones and tight end Shawn Snowden have paved the way for a three-headed running attack led by D.J. Bowman, Dominyc Hovington and Rashawn Price. Kenny VanVorst, Mike Holstein, Ryan Jones, Bowman and Son Martinez have led an improved defense.
Milford opened the season with a 67-0 rout of Red Lion Christian, then dropped a 34-14 decision to Delaware Military Academy. The Buccaneers bounced back to defeat St. Andrew’s, Conrad and Seaford by a combined 126-7.
The most difficult part of the schedule remains, with Henlopen South tests against Indian River, Laurel, Woodbridge, Delmar and Lake Forest over the next five weeks.
“It’s always tough in conference play, because everyone knows what’s at stake in every game,” Strickland said. “Now, with the back end of our schedule being the perennial conference powerhouses, the kids are anxious and they’re fired up.”
Fleet First Staters
Two Delaware runners are making waves on the regional cross-country scene.
On Oct. 2, Charter of Wilmington senior Kevin Murray and Padua sophomore Lydia Olivere both won their races at the prestigious Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. Murray clocked a 15:29 over the Lehigh University 5K course to be fastest in a 42-team boys field, and Olivere finished in 17:49 to win a 39-team girls race.
On Saturday, both were just as impressive in the Manhattan Invitational over a 2½-mile course at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Olivere won the girls varsity D race in 14:08 – the fastest Van Cortlandt time ever by a Delaware girl, the fastest sophomore time in the event’s 38-year history and the 10th-fastest girls time in the course’s history.
Murray finished in 12:30 – the second-fastest Delaware boys time ever at Van Cortlandt – to place 11th in the Eastern States championship race.
Rounding it up
► Glasgow will honor its 1995 boys soccer state championship team when the Dragons play host to Archmere at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20. The Auks are coached by Bob Bussiere, who guided Glasgow to the title 20 years ago. Players and alumni interested in attending should email [email protected] or [email protected]
► The Brandywine football team will honor late coach Carmen Bianco before their home football game against Dickinson on Oct. 24. All who played under coach Bianco are invited to attend a pregame ceremony at 10:15 a.m. The Bianco family will be in attendance.
Contact Brad Myers at [email protected] Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ