WILMINGTON – Sussex Tech and Salesianum put on a defensive battle Sept. 14 under the lights at Baynard Stadium, with neither team reaching the end zone through more than three and a half quarters. With the clock ticking down and the Sals needing just a first down to close it out, the offense finally arrived.
That “offense,” if you will, was a first-down handoff from quarterback Dylan Mooney to junior halfback Andrew Watkins. Watkins, in his first year at Sallies, found a hole off left tackle and was gone, galloping 88 yards for a touchdown with just 2:19 left in the game. The extra point made it 9-0 Salesianum, and that was the final score between the Sals and the Ravens, ranked fourth and eighth, respectively, in Division I by 302Sports.com.
Watkins, who transferred to Broom Street from St. Mark’s, credited his line with giving him room to run. It was his fifth touchdown in the season’s first two games.
“We knew we needed a score or at least get a first down to put the game away, but I broke off that run, and the rest is history,” he said. “They’d been touching me the whole game. They were hitting hard. We just had to hit back and bounce back, and that’s exactly what we did.”
Watkins said the Sals knew the Ravens would pack the box in an attempt to slow down the Salesianum running game, and it worked for a half. The Sals were able to move the ball a bit more in the second half after making some adjustments.
The game’s first points came via a safety. A punt with a little over four minutes left in the first half pinned Tech inside its own 10-yard line. A couple of plays later, sophomore James Yelbert broke through the Sussex Tech offensive line with the Ravens against their own goal line, and he tackled Jalen Snead in the end zone for the two points. For most of the rest of the night, those looked like they might be the only ones for the night.
Sallies improved to 2-0 and has yet to surrender a point this season. They finish a season-starting three-game homestand next Friday night against brother Oblate school Father Judge at Baynard at 7:30 p.m.
Sussex Tech (1-1) is at home next week, hosting Mount Pleasant on Friday at 7 p.m. The Ravens have their next three games at home.