Forgive Ray Jones for missing that extra point with 2:52 left in the quarter.
The Hodgson junior had already scored three touchdowns, intercepted a pass and made a huge hit that almost resulted in a safety. Jones and the rest of the Silver Eagles dominated from start to finish in a 45-0 victory over vo-tech rival Howard on Saturday.
Hodgson, ranked second in Division II, improved to 3-2 overall and 3-0 in Blue Hen Flight B. Fifth-ranked Howard managed only 91 total yards and fell to 4-1 and 3-1.
“They’re a good team, 4-0. They came in hot-headed a little bit,” Jones said of the Wildcats. “We just had to come in and do what we had to do. We flew around and made plays.”
Jones was sharp on the Silver Eagles’ opening series, running for 7 and 8 yards, completing a 19-yard pass to Justin Hardy and finding a hole up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown run.
Hodgson’s Marqus Brown recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to set up the Silver Eagles at the Howard 20. Six plays later, Jones swept to his left for a 10-yard touchdown.
“The things that he does, you just can’t teach,” Hodgson coach Frank Moffett said of Jones. “From the first week to this week, he’s getting better every game. He’s starting to really be that leader that we need him to be.”
Jones drove a runner back into the end zone with a big hit on Howard’s next series, but the Wildcats kept the ball at their own 2. Two plays later, Jones intercepted a short pass and returned it to the Howard 17.
“I jumped that pretty good,” Jones said. “Reading the defense, the slot had bubbled out and I came up and picked it off. I thought I was going to run it back, but I got tackled.”
He wasn’t tackled two plays later, running 12 yards for his third score. Jones converted the first two PATs but missed this one to keep Hodgson’s lead at 20-0.
That was about the only thing that went wrong for the Silver Eagles. They opened up the passing game from there, as Jones threw touchdown passes of 24 and 40 yards to tight end Bilal Nichols, then added a 42-yard strike to Hardy to make it 39-0 at the half.
“A lot of it, I’ve got to give credit to my guys up front,” Moffett said. “We did a lot of good things, and a couple of kids made some big plays for us.”
Jones finished with eight carries for 97 yards and completed 7 of 11 passes for 163 yards and three scores. The Silver Eagles’ secondary also played well, limiting Howard to 6 of 24 passing for 81 yards.