It is always the most anticipated game of the football calendar.
Cape Henlopen and Sussex Tech in one of Sussex County’s best rivalries.
There’s a lot on the line, so here are some key things to look at:
With the Ravens’ (7-2) loss to Sallies, Tech picked up a quality loss. Sals are a Top 5 team along with the other team Tech lost too, Smyrna, who also beat Cape Henlopen (5-3) last weekend. The Vikings’ other losses were against Top 10 Oakdale from Maryland, and Sussex Central, which came after a 10-day layoff because of storm delays.
Most thought that last year’s game was going to be close, and then the Ravens dropped a 49-13 win in Lewes behind Kani Kane’s six touchdowns.
Both teams have taken a slight step back this year because of some youth, but the Vikings will certainly be looking for revenge and to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Vikings need a win along with some help to get the final spot in the Division I playoffs.
Head coach Mark Quillin will be telling his Ravens that no playoffs are guaranteed, so they need a win too.
Nothing settles playoff tension like a rivalry game.
If there is anyone who knows how important this game is, it’s the seniors.
On Cape’s side, a senior offensive line gives them a slight edge in the trenches but the Ravens backfield has been running the ball better this season.
That being said, Cape’s fullback Mike Williams will need to have a big day, along with fellow senior Jeremiah Smack. Playing keep away from Smyrna only worked for so long, but against the Ravens it might have more success.
Speaking of the backfield, Patrick Griffin and Timaun Williams will be poised to have a big day. The duo has been the one-two punch for the Ravens and finding the holes against Cape’s big defensive line will be key.
There’s also the quarterbacks, Tech’s senior Justin Hill and Cape’s junior Dillon Adams. Both have had success throwing the ball in certain games.
While all the focus is always on the linemen and running backs, one or two big plays by the quarterback could be the difference.
Cape Henlopen at Sussex Tech, 7:30 p.m. Friday
It will be closer than last year, but the Ravens have more firepower. Both teams will be pumped, but a long touchdown by Timaun Williams will put this one out of reach, pushing the Ravens securely into the playoffs.
Also, watch the game live on the NFHS Network and during halftime. I’ll be speaking with Benny Mitchell about whether the D-I playoffs should have more than six spots.
The Ravens beat the Vikings, 35-26.
Sussex Central at Indian River, 7:30 p.m. Friday
We can’t forget the battle for the Indian River School District.
The Indians haven’t beaten the Golden Knights since 2011 when they went on to win the state title.
A win would surely push IR into the D-II playoffs but Central’s physicality and numbers give them the advantage. KiAnte Sturgis will have a big day facing his former school. The game doesn’t help Central too much, playing a D-II school hurts the maximum amount of points Central can get and they need a ton of help to make the playoffs even with a win.
Central takes down Indian River 35-14.
On Twitter/Instagram: @ByRyanMarshall