After back-to-back-to-back losses, the Indian River High School football team was back in a big way on Monday, Oct. 3, putting an end to the blues with a 60-20 division win over the Jays, to start 1-0 in the Henlopen South.
In a game rescheduled from Friday, Sept. 30, senior running back Gerald Foreman didn’t waste any more time in getting the Indians on the board, taking a handoff 71 yards up the sideline and to the house on the first play from scrimmage.
Then, after the extra point from senior kicker Andrew White made it 7-0, Foreman would find the end zone again on the next play from scrimmage, that time picking off a pass from Seaford quarterback Isaiah Lake and returning it 36 yards to paydirt.
“Seaford was coming off a win; their morale was up. As soon as we got off the bus, we had to be ready to go,” said IR head coach Phil Townsend of the quick start.
“The seniors and upperclassmen — George [Martin] and Gerald — stepped up and did what they needed to do tonight on offense and defense to get points on the board and get the win.”
After Foreman’s second touchdown, Martin would add his first of four, romping in for 15 yards, to make it 19-0, after sophomore fullback Jacob Anderson had ripped off a 57-yard run to get the Indians in the red zone.
Both runs came after an 84-yard touchdown run from “G-Mart” Martin was called back for holding.
G-Mart’s second score of the day came on freshman quarterback Jalen Snead’s first of his high school career, when Snead dropped back and found Martin over the middle. Martin then rumbled through Seaford defenders for what would end up being a 20-yard touchdown.
“I saw my open guy, I read the defense, and George did it from there,” said Snead after the game. “My first touchdown felt good. Hopefully, there will be more to come.”
With IR leading 31-0 after another Martin touchdown — that time from the 1-yard line — Seaford would finally answer when Lake hit DeShaun Taylor for a 17-yard strike.
The two would hook up again just before the half, but a 24-yard touchdown run from freshman running back Kevin Custis, zig-zagging out from under blue jerseys, kept the Indians out in front, 38-14, before heading into the break.
“The line was doing what they were supposed to do,” said Custis of what was also the first touchdown of his high school career, after breaking out of the pack and finding a lane to the outside. “Then the play had basically broken up, so I had to make my own way.”
Junior quarterback Brandon Hoffman saw his first touchdown pass of the season after taking over for Snead, finding junior wide receiver Ja’Vonta Briddell for a 29-yard bomb to make it 46-14 after Custis added the two-point conversion.
Martin would push the lead to 55-14 on a 45-yard punt return in the third quarter, and Briddell capped the scoring when he intercepted a fourth-quarter pass from Lake and returned it 75 yards for the touchdown.
On defense, senior safety Jared Arlett led in tackling, with 11-solo tackles; senior linebacker Gianni Gottschalk racked up eight; Custis added six; and senior linebacker Zion Howard finished with five. White went 4-4 on extra-point attempts.
The win put the Indians at 1-3 overall on the season and 1-0 in Henlopen South play.
“It’s tough going 0-3. These guys have been working, some of them, since June, and a lot of them since Aug. 15,” Townsend said of the first win of the season.
“Every week, we’re one block away or we’re one tackle away, and I think tonight it all came together and they’re starting to realize that we can compete in the South.”
After the Monday-night game, the Indians were getting ready for Laurel (0-1, 2-2) on a short week, as they looked to make it 2-0 in the South.
“We know they’re gonna be hungry — so tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, we’ve gotta practice hard,” said Custis.
That matchup is set for Friday, Oct. 7, at the Indian River High School football stadium at 7 p.m.
IR game stats:
Passing: B. Hoffman (2-4, 37 yards, TD); J. Snead (1-2, 20 yards, TD)
Rushing: G. Foreman (7 carries, 145 yards, TD); K. Custis (6 carries, 57 yards, TD); G. Martin (5 carries, 39 yards, 2 TD); Ja. Anderson (3 carries, 69 yards); P. Banks (1 carry, 3 yards)
Receiving: J. Briddell (2 receptions, 37 yards), TD; G. Martin (1 carry, 20 yards, TD)
Tackles: J. Arlett (11), G. Gottschalk (8), K. Custis (6), Z. Howard (5), M. Allender (4), J. Turlington (4), Ra. Turner (4), G. Foreman (3), J. Morris (3), Z. Schultz (3), J. Ciriello (2), M. Corcoran (2), R. Foxwell (2), J. Mears (2), A. White (2), J. Flloyd (2), I. Boyce (1), J. Briddell (1), R. Rybicki (1), J. Martin (1), J. McKenna (1), S. Miltner (1), T. Moore (1), R. Walter (1), A. White (1)
INT: J. Briddell (1), G. Foreman (1)
Def. TD: J. Briddell (1), G. Foreman (1)
Punt return TD: G. Martin (1)
Kicking: A. White (4-4 XP)
Henlopen South standings
Woodbridge (1-0, 4-0)
Delmar (1-0, 2-2)
Indian River (1-0, 1-3)
Milford (0-0, 4-0)
Laurel (0-1, 2-2)
Seaford (0-1, 1-3)
Lake Forest (0-1, 0-4)