Headed into Friday’s game against No. 1-ranked Woodbridge, Indian River High School head football coach Phil Townsend knew that his team would need to play nearly perfectly to pull off an upset and keep their Henlopen South title hopes in reach.
Unfortunately for Townsend and his squad, however, they didn’t.
“We knew going in that Woodbridge would be a really talented team,” said Townsend of the 48-0 Homecoming loss.
“Against teams like this, you’ve got to be flawless and, unfortunately, we weren’t. We had some penalties and made some mistakes in the first half — it’s hard to come back from that when you’re playing a team like them.”
The woes started early, when Woodbridge senior running back Terrique Riddick ran for his first of three touchdowns on the night, by way of a 23-yard handoff on the Blue Raiders’ first possession.
Riddick would add his next score on the next possession and after the Indians struggled to get anything going offensively, that time punching it in from 2 yards out, to push the lead to 14-0.
The All-Conference back wasn’t finished there, ripping off a 75-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter as the Blue Raiders rolled to 33-0 halftime lead.
After the Homecoming festivities at halftime, the Indians looked recharged, but with the running clock rule going into effect, it would be too little too late.
“I feel like, in the second half, we came out and did what we needed to do,” said Townsend. “I think we played much better. Unfortunately, with the running clock, we didn’t get much playing time.”
Senior running back George “G-Mart” Martin saw the bulk of the carries in the loss, racking up 67 yards on 19 carries. Senior running back Gerald Foreman finished with 27 yards on 11 carries, and freshman running back Kevin Custis was back in action with five carries for 11 yards and two receptions.
With senior linebacker Gianni Gottschalk seeing limited action, senior linebackers Zion Howard and Joey Cirello and senior safety Jared Arlett led the defense, all with five tackles each on the night.
The loss dropped the Indians to 2-5 on the season and 2-2 in the Henlopen South. With Woodbridge, Milford and Delmar all still undefeated in the division and each with three games left to go, the Indians’ title hopes weren’t mathematically eliminated by the loss, but they’ll now need some help to clinch a playoff spot.
“We’ve got three games left. We’re gonna play each game like we’re preparing for any other game and hope to get a win,” said Townsend.
Townsend and his squad will look to get back on track this Friday, Oct. 28, when they travel to Delmar to take on the Wildcats at 7:30 p.m.