For The Dialog
WILMINGTON — Junior Chris Cropper rushed for four touchdowns Thursday night at St. Elizabeth opened the 2016 football season with a convincing 49-0 win over McKean in the DFRC Kickoff Classic at Baynard Stadium.
Cropper, who did not play until the second quarter, found success behind an offensive line that provided him opportunities all night.
“The line did a great job opening holes, and I ran behind them,” he said.
The Highlanders threatened first, as quarterback Keyhon Davis hit Devon Taylor on a fourth-and-19 for a first down at the St. Elizabeth 31, but the Vikings’ defense toughened up and stopped the drive on downs.
The Vikings answered on the next drive, as quarterback Casey Rock found Herman Jones for a 60-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
On the following possession, Vikings running back Jordan Brown ran for a couple of 12-yard gains as the quarter ended. Cropper then entered the game, and on the second play of the second quarter, he took his first carry 21 yards for a score and a 14-0 advantage.
St. Elizabeth kept it rolling in the second. Timothy Butler Jr. ran one in from 22 yards out with 4:52 to go in the half. McKean fumbled a snap on a punt attempt, and the Vikings took over at the Highlanders’ 15. Cropper made it 28-0 on the next play, breaking a few tackles along the way. They got the ball back on the McKean 49 with 54 seconds remaining. Rock found Jones for a 35-yard gain, and Cropper scored for the third time on a 14-yard run.
He added a 52-yard score early in the third quarter.
Vikings coach Joe Aviola was happy with the win but noted the team will need contributions from a wider variety of players.
“Crop is a blue-chip[ athlete, and we surrounded him with some new players,” Aviola said. “That’s what we are trying to build, a multi-dimensional team.”
The Vikings (1-0) travel to Laurel next Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff, while McKean (0-1) hosts Glasgow next Friday, also at 7.