Dover’s Devlin Locklin made his fourth-quarter interception on Friday night against St. Mark’s sound simple.
“All I saw was the ball in the air, coming straight to me. I put my hands up in the air and I caught it,” Locklin said of the pick that set up the Senators’ final touchdown in a 20-12 upset of the third-ranked Spartans. “They always say it’s only hard if you make it hard. You’ve got to make it easy.”
Locklin intercepted the pass with about 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and ran it all the way back to the St. Mark’s 2-yard line, setting up a five-play drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Raekwon Bouges that gave No. 7 Dover a 20-10 lead it would not surrender.
Dover coach Dante Jones knew that opponents would be looking to throw the ball on Friday.
“We played poorly last week, so we did a lot of work to prepare for this game,” Jones said. “I knew if I was scouting us, I would throw the ball. We did a lot of work in the secondary this week, and it showed.”
Dover got off to a fast start behind the running of Marcellus Pack, who scored on an 80-yard run less than a minute into the game. The kick by Jordan Hutchins gave the Senators a 7-0 lead.
“We talk a lot about not giving up the big play, and we did early in the first half,” St. Mark’s coach John Wilson said. “We’ll look back on this and there will be four or five plays that we wish we could get back. But that’s the way the ball bounces. We’ll get back to work and try to get back on the right track again.”
St. Mark’s closed the gap to 7-3 on Jeffrey Richards’ 21-yard field goal with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Spartans took the lead with just over seven minutes to go in the second quarter, capping an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard carry by Brendan Fogarty. The kick by Richards put St. Mark’s ahead 10-7.
But Dover’s running game took over on the ensuing possession. Robert Knox carried three times on the six-play drive for more than 50 yards. Pack wrapped up the 80-yard march with a 13-yard touchdown run. Hutchins’ kick put the Senators ahead 14-10 with four and a half minutes to go in the first half.
“It was just on our [offensive] line,” Pack said of his two touchdowns. “I just did what I did last week and put it on our o-line.”
Dover (3-1) allowed a safety in the fourth quarter when St. Mark’s recovered a fumble in the end zone but was able to hold off a furious drive by the Spartans with time running out.
St. Mark’s (3-1) took possession with 3:52 remaining on the Dover 46-yard line. Spartans quarterback Zachary Whitehead had two carries and two completed passes to push the drive all the way to the 7-yard line for a first-and-goal with less than a minute left. But four straight passes fell incomplete and Dover held on for the win.
“You got a great team in St. Mark’s, so we knew they were going to pound the ball,” Jones said. “So we just had to bend but not break. I was proud of the effort of the defense. We got a lot of work to do, but I was proud of our effort today.”