Dover challenged Smyrna early, leading 21-14 in the second quarter before Smyrna overwhelmed the Senators with 38 unanswered points to win going away tonight.
The Smyrna High School football team shook off a sluggish start at Dover tonight, coming back from a 21-14 deficit in the second quarter to overwhelm the Senators 52-21.
To start the game, Smyrna tried an onside kick, but Dover recovered on their own 45-yard line.
The Eagles’ defense held, forcing a punt inside Smyrna’s 20.
Then Dover's defense pushed the Eagles back, forcing Smyrna’s punter to kick from the back of the end zone. The ball landed and bounced backward to Smyrna’s 15.
Dover scored a few plays later on a six-yard pass. The extra point kick was good and the Senators led 7-0 with 5:58 left in the first quarter.
Smyrna returned the kick to their own 20.
Isaiah Wilson threw to Emon Roberts for an 18-yard gain. Then Wilson connected with Keshaun Tolbert who ran to Dover’s 45.
Continuing the passing attack, Wilson threw a short pass, then connected with Stephen Whaley for a 26-yard gain to Dover’s 16.
Then Wilson capped the 80-yard, all-passing drive with a 16-yard touchdown strike to Tolbert. The two-point conversion run by Will Knight was good, and Smyrna took an 8-7 lead with 3:57 left in the first quarter.
Smyrna tried another onside kick but Dover recovered at its own 48.
The Senators drove to Smyrna’s 40, but then the Eagles made a tackle for a loss of nine and Dover’s defense couldn’t get started again. Dover punted, and Roberts returned it to Smyrna’s 25 with 8.9 seconds left in the quarter.
Wilson passed to Roberts to the 30-yard line as the quarter ended.
To start the second quarter, Knight ran for a first down to Smyrna’s 38.
But on the next play, Dover intercepted a tipped pass and returned the ball to Smyrna’s 23.
The Senators scored three plays later on a five-yard pass. The extra-point kick was good and Dover led 14-8.
On the kickoff, Roberts returned the ball to Smyrna’s 34.
Knight and Whaley took turns running down the field for the Eagles. Whaley broke through the defense for a 25-yard run during the drive, and later Knight sliced through the Senators for a five-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, and the scored was tied 14-14 with 6:56 left in the half.
After another short kickoff, Dover took over on its own 44.
Smyrna’s defense shut down the Senators who had to punt, and the Eagles took over on their own 16 with 5:30 left in the second quarter.
Smyrna's offense drove into Dover territory, but an offensive pass interference call brought up a first-and-25 situation from Dover’s 44.
On fourth down with five yards to go, Wilson’s pass fell incomplete and Dover took over at its own 25.
On the first play from scrimmage, a simple screen pass turned into a 75-yard touchdown as the Dover runner broke several tackles on his way to the end zone. The extra-point kick was good and Dover took a 21-14 lead with 1:56 left in the half.
On the kickoff, Akil Garrett returned the ball to Smyrna’s 34, but a holding penalty backed up the Eagles to the 21.
After an incompletion, Wilson dropped back to pass and scrambled for 21 yards. Then Wilson passed to Roberts for a gain of 34.
On another pass play, the Eagles were called for holding, moving the offense back to the 38.
After a Knight run, two incomplete passes led to a fourth-and-11 play, and then the Eagles were penalized for delay of game.
On fourth and 16, Wilson passed to Roberts for a first down to Dover’s 11.
On the next play, Wilson connected with Tolbert for a touchdown. Knight ran for the two point conversion to give Smyrna a 22-21 lead with 23.4 seconds left in the half, and the Eagles held the lead going into the locker room.
To start the third quarter, Roberts returned the kickoff to Smyrna’s 37.
Knight broke away for a big run to Dover’s 35-yard line, then bulled his way on the next play to the 18.
Dover’s defense stiffened, but on third-and-one, Whaley ran for the first down to the six.
On the next play, Knight burst through the line for a touchdown. Wilson ran for the two-point conversion to give Smyrna a 30-21 advantage.
Anthony Buscemi’s kickoff went over the head of the returner, and Dover recovered on their own seven.
Smyrna’s Hunter Moyer tackled the Dover runner for a four-yard loss, and Smyrna forced a punt.
After Smyrna took over on Dover’s 35, Wilson ran for 16 yards to the 19.
On the next play, Knight took a pitch out and threw the ball to Marcus Vass for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was stopped, but Smyrna led 36-21 with 5:35 to play in the third quarter.
The Senators misplayed the kickoff and fell on the ball at their own one-yard line; however, Smyrna was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for celebrating, moving the ball to Dover’s 16.
The Eagles’ defense pushed Dover back for losses, and on third down and 14, Smyrna stopped the play eight yards short of the first down.
After Dover punted, Wilson quickly connected on a 57-yard pass to Roberts for a touchdown, making the score 42-21. On the two-point conversion, Knight threw to Diron Accoo for a 44-21 lead with about 2:35 left in the third quarter.
Dover returned a short kick to its own 41.
Again, Smyrna’s defense came up big. On third-and-11, Dover threw a complete pass, but the Eagles tackled the runner short of the first down.
The Senators’ punt took a Dover bounce down to Smyrna’s three-yard line at the end of the third quarter.
After a penalty negated a big run by Knight, Wilson passed from his own end zone to Roberts for a first down at Smyrna’s 22-yard line.
Then Wilson passed to Knight for a big gain to Dover’s 30.
The Senators held firm, forcing Smyrna into a fouth-and-two from the 22-yard line, but Knight took the ball and rumbled 20 yards for the first down.
On the next play, Knight sliced through the defense for a two-yard touchdown, completing a 97-yard drive. Whaley ran for the two-point conversion for a 52-21 cushion with 8:42 left in the game.
After that, the teams traded possessions with no scoring the rest of the game.
The Eagles improved to 4-0 in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division and 5-2 overall, winning five straight after an 0-2 start.
The Senators fell to 1-6.
NEXT GAME: Smyrna hosts Sussex Tech Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., on Senior Night.