The Smyrna-Caesar Rodney football game got a little ugly Friday night, but in a tension-filled third quarter with Smyrna up just 22-14, the Eagles regrouped and looked good as they pulled away for a 50-14 win.

The Smyrna-Caesar Rodney football game got a little ugly Friday night, but in a tension-filled third quarter with Smyrna up just 22-14, the Eagles regrouped and looked good as they pulled away for a 50-14 win.

"Both teams were so emotional," said Smyrna head coach Mike Judy. "CR played tough like we knew they would."

With penalties including personal fouls for pushing and shoving after the whistle, tempers ran hot on both sides of the field. Following one penalty, a CR player was ejected in the third quarter with Smyrna clinging to a 22-14 lead.

After a timeout the Eagles regrouped and drove for a touchdown for a 28-14 advantage. Then Smyrna's defense forced CR to punt, and the Eagles scored about two minutes later on a pass play followed by the two-point conversion for a commanding 36-14 lead with 2:33 left in the third quarter.

"The key was trying to minimize the penalties and keeping our emotions in check," said Judy. "It wasn't pretty and our execution was lacking in some spots. It seemed like we were either really good or really bad."

The coach said he was proud of the effort of his players, but the team has to work on discipline.

"Football's an emotional game, but the only thing you can control is yourself," Judy said.

The Eagles evened their season record at 2-2, and will now visit Sussex Central Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. The Golden Knights are 4-1 after a 25-0 win tonight over Sussex Tech.


Smyrna's defense scored first for the Eagles on a sack and fumble that was scooped up by Demetrius Buckner near midfield and returned for a touchdown.

Stephen Whaley ran for the two-point conversion, and the Eagles led 8-0 with 3:46 left in the first quarter.

On CR's next possession, Smyrna's defense forced a punt, but the snap sailed over the punter's head and rolled toward the end zone. The punter tried to pick up the ball, but bobbled it, and as the Eagles swarmed in, he kicked it out of the back of the end zone to prevent the Eagles from pouncing on the ball for a touchdown. The result was a two-point safety and a 10-0 Smyrna lead with 45 seconds left in the opening quarter.

When Smyrna took over, the Eagles drove into CR territory with a mix of runs and passes, assisted by two CR penalties. Smyrna scored on an three-yard run by Whaley for a 16-0 cushion with 9:38 left in the half. The two-point try was no good.

After another defensive stop, the Eagles blocked the punt and recovered on the Riders' eight-yard line. Then Whaley ran four yards for a touchdown to put the Eagles up 22-0 with 7:26 to play in the half.

The Riders' offense finally started clicking and drove 67 yards for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 22-6 with 2:25 left in the second quarter. The two-point try failed.

At the start of the third quarter, a Smyrna fumble was recovered by the Riders in Smyrna territory, and they put together a five-play touchdown drive. With the two-point conversion run, the Riders pulled to within eight points at 22-14 with 8:49 left in the quarter.

On Smyrna's next drive, four penalties were called including a personal foul on Smyrna, a personal foul on CR and an ejection of a CR player. Then on a pass play, a hard hit by CR resulted in an injury to a Smyrna player. After the injured player was able to walk off the field, the referees called a meeting with both teams on the field.

As tensions settled, Smyrna's offense went to work from the CR 35-yard line. Whaley carried the ball to the 22, and then Wayne Knight ran for another first down to the nine. After an offside penalty on CR, Whaley followed his blockers into the end zone for a five-yard TD and a 28-14 Smyrna lead with 6:27 left in the third quarter. The two-point try failed.

Smyrna's defense snuffed out CR's next drive, and after the punt, the Eagles scored on a 45-yard pass play from quarterback Aidan Sanchez to Makhi Jackson. Whaley ran for the two-point conversion to give the Eagles a 34-14 advantage with 2:33 to play in the third quarter.

On CR's next drive, Smyrna's Gavin Sembly broke up a third-down pass to force another punt.

When the Eagles took over deep in their own territory, Whaley broke through the CR defense and raced 92 yards for touchdown with 25.7 seconds left in the third quarter.

"I trusted my line with the blocking," said Whaley. "I just saw an opening and I just burst through."

Whaley said the match-up with CR was "an emotional game. We just had to keep our composure. We calmed down and regrouped."

After Whaley's fourth touchdown, Knight ran for the two-point conversion and a 44-14 Smyrna lead.

To start the fourth quarter, Smyrna's defense forced a punt, and the Eagles' offense drove down the field. On first down from CR's 11-yard line, Emon Roberts made a diving catch in the corner of the end zone on a pass from Sanchez for the final 50-14 score with 7:57 left to play. The extra point kick was no good.