Over time stop lifts Smyrna to first Division I football title!

December 05 22:12 2015 Print This Article
Smyrna running back William Knight (25) is tackled by Salesianum linebacker Evan Mullin (44) in the fourth quarter during a DIAA Division I championship game between Smyrna and Salesianum Saturday, Dec. 05, 2015 at Delaware Stadium in Newark. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

Smyrna running back William Knight (25) is tackled by Salesianum linebacker Evan Mullin (44) in the fourth quarter during a DIAA Division I championship game between Smyrna and Salesianum Saturday, Dec. 05, 2015 at Delaware Stadium in Newark. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

NEWARK – Delaware Stadium was the site of the most eagerly-anticipated rematch in the state’s history, as top-seeded Salesianum (10-2) met the third-seeded Smyrna Eagles (12-1) in the DIAA Division I championship game. On fourth-and-goal from inside the 1 in overtime the Eagles crushed running back Colby Reeder (28) for a 3-yard loss, to capture Smyrna first state football title with a 32-26 victory over Salesianum in front of an estimated crowd of 14,000 at Delaware Stadium.

The first pass of the game came on Sallies first possession, on a third-and-12. Gwynn hit Jeremy Ryan (31) on a slant pattern for a 21-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead. Smyrna would answer with a Charlie Taylor touchdown with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter.

Smyrna’s Jamal Powell (10) intercepted Sallies quarterback Zachary Gwynn (15) at the 1 on the next-to-last play of the first half,  Sallies would go into the locker room with a 18-6 lead.

On the Eagles’ first possession of the second half, Henderson floated an 86-yard touchdown pass to Taylor to pull Smyrna within 18-12.

Salesianum held Smyrna running back Will Knight (25) to 61 yards on 27 carries. Smyrna’s leading scorer all season, scored the Eagles’ last two touchdowns. His six-yard run with 10:12 remaining in regulation tied the contest at 26-26. But Knight was stopped on the two-conversion try after his over time touchdown, leaving the door open for Sallies to win the title with a touchdown and an extra point.

Smyrna head coach Mike Judy said “We took them into the locker room (at halftime) and told them, you don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary,”. “We’ve been in this position before. You’ve just got to go out there and do your job. Look to the man to the right of you and the man to the left, and that’s the guy who’s going to help you win the game. They stuck together as a football family and succeeded.”

Smyrna (12-1)

Charlie Taylor: 3 Rec, 95 yard; 3 Total TD, Will Knight: 27 Rush, 61 yards, 2TDs; 2-2 PASS, 72 Yards, Nolan Henderson: 10-16 Pass, TD, INT.

 

Salesianum split end Jeremy Ryan (5) catches a 11 yards  touchdown in the third quarter as Smyrna defensive back Jamal Powell (10) defends during a DIAA Division I championship game between Smyrna and Salesianum Saturday, Dec. 05, 2015 at Delaware Stadium in Newark. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

Salesianum split end Jeremy Ryan (5) catches a 11 yards touchdown in the third quarter as Smyrna defensive back Jamal Powell (10) defends during a DIAA Division I championship game between Smyrna and Salesianum Saturday, Dec. 05, 2015 at Delaware Stadium in Newark. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

Smyrna eagles players celebrate with the Division I championship trophy after defending Salesianum 32-26 in overtime Saturday, Dec. 05, 2015 at Delaware Stadium in Newark. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

Smyrna eagles players celebrate with the Division I championship trophy after defending Salesianum 32-26 in overtime Saturday, Dec. 05, 2015 at Delaware Stadium in Newark. Photo By Saquan Stimpson