The Indian River High School football team will face one of their toughest tests since the start of the season this Friday night, when No. 1-ranked Woodbridge comes to town for what will be the Indians’ Homecoming game.
The 6-0 Blue Raiders are 2-0 in the Henlopen South and coming off their third straight shutout and a 54-0 win over Seaford (1-5, 0-3) on Friday, Oct. 14.
This year, they’re again led under center by sophomore quarterback Troy Haynes. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound signal-caller managed touchdowns through the air and on the ground last year in what was the Blue Raiders’ own Homecoming game, during a 34-0 win over the Indians after the game had gone into halftime scoreless.
First-Team All-Conference running back Terrique Reddick has again been the Blue Raiders’ bell cow for his senior campaign, joined by senior running back Anwain Holden, who poses a threat as a return man as well, and recently returned a 73-yard kick for a touchdown against Lake Forest on Monday, Oct. 3.
Both Reddick and Holden also play in the Blue Raiders’ secondary.
Defensively, Woodbridge has allowed only 19 points this season, posting shutouts against Polytech, Lake Forest, St. John Paul Catholic and Seaford.
The defensive line is anchored by senior defensive tackle and Florida transfer Brian Ireland, who at 6-foot-2, 280 pounds, could spell trouble for the Indians’ offensive line, along with senior defensive tackle and 2015 First-Team selection Leah Styles.
The line is bookended by 2015 First-Team defensive end Shymere Vessels, back for his senior campaign, and senior defensive end and 2015 Second-Team selection Blaize Rayford, who will also see action at tight end.
While IR head coach Phil Townsend said his squad needs to play some of their best ball for an upset, he was also encouraged that his squad should be getting back to full health for the game.
Senior linebacker Gianni Gottschalk is scheduled to return for the matchup and should be a key factor in keeping the running game at bay, after sitting out last week against Milford. Gottschalk will strengthen the linebacking core led by senior Joey Ciriello, coming off an 11-tackle, two-sack performance, senior linebacker Zion Howard, racking up nine tackles in the middle, and sophomore Jacob Anderson, recording his first career interception.
The team is also scheduled to return freshman quarterback Jalen Snead and running back Kevin Custis, with Custis back in the secondary at corner.
Senior running back George Martin saw the lion’s share of the carries last week, going for 111 yards and a touchdown, on 19 carries, and is currently averaging more than 100 rushing yards per game. Anderson also got into the backfield mix against the Bucs, going for 26 yards on seven carries.
The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Oct. 21, at Indian River High School’s football stadium. Homecoming festivities will be held at halftime.