Adrian Trammell’s time on the field Friday night was short.
But Caesar Rodney’s standout senior running back made every second count.
Trammell returned the opening kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown and rushed for another less than a minute later to lead Caesar Rodney to a 28-14 win at defending Division I runner-up Newark.
Trammell had to leave the game late in the first quarter after injuring his ankle while throwing a block. He said he thinks it’s an ankle sprain, and his status for next week is unknown.
Devon Horton and Damani Jones also had rushing touchdowns for the Riders.
The play of the night however, belonged to Trammell. The opening kickoff bounced in front of him, he scooped it up, found a seam and left the Yellow Jacket defenders in his dust.
“The only thing that went through my head was ‘don’t get caught, don’t get caught, we need these points,’ ” Trammell said.
Newark then botched the snap on its first play from scrimmage, allowing Zackary Parker to pounce on the ball for the Riders. Trammell scored three plays later on a 21-yard rush, giving CR a 14-0 lead before the game was two minutes old.
The Yellow Jackets, who only returned only two starters from last year’s squad, showed their inexperience, turning the ball over three times in the first half.
“You’re trying to make sure everyone isn’t so nervous and anxious at the beginning of the game that they’re able to function,” head coach Butch Simpson said. “Clearly, I don’t think that happened. We didn’t luck out and function. We were still showing our lack of experience.”
Newark was able to mount a rally in the second half. Junior quarterback Keith Stubbs connected with senior Day’Quan Wallace for a 16-yard score at the end of the third quarter to make it 21-6 after a missed extra point. The Riders responded with an eight-play, 73-yard drive that Jones capped off with a one-yard rush up the middle for the Riders’ final touchdown.
“It was a nice opener,” head coach Mike Schonewolf said. “I thought we did some real nice things in certain phases of the game. I thought our defense was sticky, played a pretty good defensive game. Special teams made some plays, and we were pretty solid in those areas, and offensively we made some plays and were able to drive the ball a little bit.”
“In the long run, we made it a pretty even game after spotting them 14 early on,” Simpson said. “We have some positives in it, and that’s how we’re gonna look at it.”