BEAR The Caravel Academy football team got off to a blazing start against Archmere on Friday night and needed every bit of it to come away with a crucial win.
Ahead by 17 early in the third quarter, the Buccaneers watched the Auks climb back to within two points, but held on for a much-needed 30-28 win of a game between two teams still with hopes of making the Division II state tournament.
“I’m very proud of the effort our kids put in every week,” Buccaneers head coach John Reed said. “Winning builds confidence and both games we’ve won this year have been very close and credit to Archmere — that’s a program and a group of kids we have a lot of respect for.”
“It was important for us to win because we’re a good football team and we haven’t really shown it yet,” explained sophomore Josiah Larkins, who returned both a punt (77 yards) and a kickoff return (80 yards) for touchdowns to stake Caravel to their big lead. “We weren’t going to give this game away – not that easy.”
It looked liked Caravel (2-3) was going to have an easy time after a two-hour delay thanks to persisting lightning in New Castle County. After Daniel Bark struck first for the Auks (1-4), the Bucs reeled off 24 straight points, including Larkins’ electrifying kickoff return to start the second half.
“My special teams did a great job of blocking for me,” Larkins said. “I just followed my blocks, made the right cuts and took off.”
Even with that, pesky Archmere would not go away, with Bark rushing for two touchdowns and quarterback Chris Dewees scrambling 40 yards for a score of his own in a frantic 4th quarter that saw the Auks close to within two points. However, the Buccaneer defense was up to challenge on Archmere’s final drive and under pressure, Dewees’ fourth-down pass to Mark Dombrowski fell harmlessly to the turf.
“Our coaches told us it was time to step it up,” said junior linebacker Keith Medley. “I knew for me and my teammates, we played hard and we definitely tried our best and we got the win.”
Medley is still hopeful that Caravel can finish with a flourish and make the state tournament.
“I’m very confident in our chances of making it,” he said. “We’re a new team and we’re just finally starting to mesh together. We definitely meshed well tonight.”