Heading into the season Stephen Decatur head coach Bob Knox wanted his team to be the epitome of “blue collar” when they hit the field.
At a rain soaked County Stadium, Knox saw his vision come to fruition behind bell cow back Dryden Brous’ three touchdowns to take a 21-13 win over Wicomico High on Saturday afternoon.
“Dryden is like the Energizer Bunny, you just wind him up and he keeps going and going and going and going,” Knox said. “You can’t do that without an offensive line, the offensive line has gotta open some holes.”
Decatur strung together a solid, clock-eating drive to start the game, but stalled on fourth down in the Wi-Hi redzone.
At the end of the first quarter, the blue collar Decatur offensive line proved its strength when faced with a fourth-and-goal at the Wi-Hi four-yard line. After switching ends for the start of the second, the Seahawks O-line cleared the way for senior running back Dryden Brous to score on a four-yard touchdown.
“I give credit to my offensive line,” Brous said. “My offensive line worked hard on those plays, those holes were wide open, I just hit the holes hard.”
Later in the second, the Indians returned a kickoff all the way down to the Seahawks’ 25-yard line, only for junior quarterback Jason Patterson to throw a pick on the first play of the possession.
Rain continued to pour at County Stadium to finish the sluggish second quarter, with the teams hitting the locker room at the half with Decatur leading 7-0.
Lightning that accompanied the strong rains stretched halftime into an hour and ten minute delay.
The Indians started the third quarter with excellent field position after a kickoff return to their own 40 was aided by a 15-yard penalty from the end of the first half that carried over to the start the second. The combination of yardage brought Wi-Hi all the way to the Seahawk 45-yard line.
“When we came out we knew they were going to get that 15-yard penalty so that was a big boost,” Wicomico head coach Pat McGlinchey said. “They ended up kicking it deep and we had a really great return which really set up our kids, I thought we were back in the game.”
The return may have brought life to the Indians, but they weren’t able to score from inside Seahawks’ territory.
Decatur’s offense took over from there and marched down the field in five minutes for another Brous touchdown, this time from 11 yards out.
“We rallied and came right back down and scored, showed a lot of guts coming back like that but it was truly a blue collar effort,” Knox said. “They dug down and their work ethic is paying off.”
Wicomico responded with a touchdown on the next posession with a one-yard-run run by quarterback Jason Patterson to bring the score to 14-13, but moments later the game-tying extra point clanked off the left goalpost.
Seeing the Indians down from the missed opportunity to tie up the game, Decatur again responded with a staggering ground game controlled by Brous. Going for a hat trick, Brous followed his blocking wide receivers 22-yards for a third touchdown – sealing the victory for Stephen Decatur.
“The wide receivers had some good blocks on the outside,” Brous said. “I was just reading the blocks and making a cut whatever way they were blocking and touchdown.”
Decatur hosts Easton next Friday in Berlin while Wicomico squares off with Parkside at County Stadium for Salisbury city bragging rights.
“I feel like we can play with Parkside for sure,” McGlinchey said. “We have to become more consistent defensively. When we get those third and longs we have to expect that they’re going to do the unexpected, we have to shut them down.”