Smyrna completes late comeback in instant classic vs Central
GEORGETOWN, Del.- With two touchdowns in the final two minutes from Wayne Knight, the Smyrna Eagles defeated Sussex Central 34-28 in an instant classic. With the win, the Eagles move to 3-0 on the season while the Knights fall under .500 at 1-2.
As we grew close to kickoff, an giant cloud of fog rolled in over the field making it almost impossible to see the field. Despite the fog, the Eagles were still able to move the ball on their opening drive. Aidan Sanchez capped off the drive with a screen pass to Yamir Knight to get the scoring started, the two point conversion was no good.
On the ensuing Central drive, the Golden Knights showed they didn’t need to see down field to fight back. Phillip Stratton punched it into the end zone from two yards out to tie it up at six, the extra point was good to give Central a 7-6 lead. The scoring went back and forth the rest of the first half, Aidan Sanchez with another TD pass to Devin Smith, answered with a 59 yard Stratton run for a score. Just before half, the Eagles pulled out some trickery, the HB pass from Wayne Knight to Jermaine Earl to take the 20-14 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Golden Knights came out strong. They drove the ball all the way down the field and Dion Stephens punched the ball in for a one yard score and 21-20 Central lead. The defense also dominating to start the half, their next two drives forced an Eagles turnover on downs and a pick. The latter giving Central the ball at around the 50 and a chance to wast some clock with the lead. The Knights took six minutes off the clock and extended their lead to 8 with Phillip Stratton’s third TD of the game.
With seven minutes to play in regulation, the Eagles got the ball down eight needing a score and two point conversion just to force OT. They were able to drive down the field in under two minutes as Wayne Knight got into the endzone with 5:10 to play in the game. The two point conversion was good so we were all tied up with just over five minutes to play. On the ensuing Central drive, it came down to a 4th and 3 at the 18 yard line with 2:55 to play in regulation. After a Central time out, coach Wells decided to keep his offense, that had run all over Smyrna all game, on the field and ice it instead of kicking the field goal for the lead. A handoff to Stratton up the gut was stuffed by the Smyrna defense handing the ball over to Wayne Knight and the red hot Eagles offense at the 18 yard line.
After two incomplete passes to start the drive, Sanchez threw up a contested pass to Jermaine Earl and Earl came up with it and broke away taking it all the way down inside the five yard line. On the next play, the handoff went to Knight and he outran the defense to the endzone for the 34-28 lead, the two point conversion was no good.
With 42 seconds left in the game, the Golden Knights had one last chance to put a drive together and take the lead but was unable to move the ball as the Smyrna Eagles held on to take it 34-28.