Selbyville Middle School football is on a roll following their 40-6 defeat of Laurel Middle School on Oct. 20. Selbyville’s record improved to 5-0, which marks their 17th game won in a row.
With two games remaining on the schedule, Selbyville has momentum on their side as they prepare to face their toughest opponent, unbeaten Sussex Central Middle School, on Nov. 3.
Selbyville’s first-team defense limited Laurel’s offense to only 30 yards the entire game Oct. 20, and capitalized on three fumble recoveries and great field position by punt returner Deshawn Godwin.
Their defense has been so good that they didn’t give up a single first down for all except one of their five games thus far.
Outside linebacker Keion Sturgis ravaged Laurel’s backfield for two sacks, six tackles, and a forced fumble, and added a 10-yard touchdown on a reverse. It wasn’t until Selbyville removed their starters that Laurel was able to move the ball against their second- and third-team defense.
Selbyville’s first-team defense forced five 4-and-outs, which gave their offense great field position. Godwin totaled 89 punt-return yards on three attempts, giving his team little less than half the field to score.
“When I get the ball, I look to score that touchdown,” said Godwin. “I look for that block and explode.”
Selbyville’s offense took only four plays to score their first touchdown, on an 8-yard rumble from fullback T.C. Howard, who was filling in for starter Drew Hitchens. Howard then recovered a Laurel fumble on the second play of their second drive, setting up a first-play 29-yard touchdown strike to tight end Montre Andrews from backup quarterback Cory Showalter.
Selbyville prevailed offensively, despite missing Justin Rines (QB) and Hitchens (FB) for the first quarter. Rines fell ill to the flu and Hitchens missed practice to have surgery on a broken nose that he suffered and played through in the previous game against Mariner Middle School.
Hitchens noted that he hadn’t even noticed that his nose was broken and wasn’t willing to let this minor injury keep him from playing. It’s that kind of unselfish attitude that has spread and inspired the team, according to offensive coordinator Tim Clausen.
“Drew’s our leader and it rubs off on the other players,” said Clausen. “I even have players that want plays called for him or so they can block for him.”
Selbyville’s third score took just as many plays and Sturgis took the reverse for a 10-yard uncontested touchdown. On the next defensive series, Sturgis forced a fumble that Selbyville recovered at the Selbyville 48 yard line. Rines returned and completed a 28-yard pass to Godwin to get them inside the red zone.
Following miscues by the center and quarterback and a dropped pass to Andrews in the end zone, running back Jeremiah Farlow darted around the left corner for a 13-yard touchdown.
Farlow earned 66 yards and two touchdowns and pushed hard for a two-point conversion. He had to be patient and wait for his blockers on his 19-yard touchdown scamper (his second).
Hitchens added 19 yards on four carries and a two-point conversion.
With the game well in hand and the clock running, Selbyville got a chance to let their second-team offense perform.
Seventh-grader James Toppin took advantage of his playing time. He took his first carry 45 yards to reach paydirt, despite getting stopped at the line. But he kept his feet moving and Laurel at that point had given up, where Toppin had not.
Clausen credited his team’s success to hard work and consistency on both sides of the ball. Selbyville runs an almost identical offense to Indian River High School, which will help the younger players in the future, as they climb the ranks.
“Our main goal is to get these kids ready for high school,” said Clausen.
Selbyville will travel to Seaford for an Oct. 28 game before they square off with Sussex Central at Indian River High School on Nov. 3. Game time is 6:30 p.m.