NEWARK Sekayi Hercules had his job description altered during a discussion amongst Appoquinimink coaches. Well, whatever works.
The junior found himself on the toting end of six rushing attempts, good for 83 yards and two touchdowns, and the Jaguars came away with a big Flight A victory over Newark 22-12 Friday night.
Running mate Derek Thompson added 128 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries as Appoquinimink improved to 2-1 overall.
“I’m 100 percent sure,” coach Brian Timpson told his players, “last year’s team would have mailed it in and lost [after Newark scored on its opening drive of the second half to take a 12-7 lead]. But we won. That’s the best part.”
The Yellowjackets (1-2, 0-2) had gone 80 yards on 12 plays over 6 minutes, 42 seconds to grab the lead midway through the third quarter, Dequan Woods scoring from a yard out.
The Jaguars came right back with a 9-play, 69-yard scoring drive with Hercules scoring on a 3-yard run. His two-point conversion gave Appoquinimink a 15-12 lead. On their next possession, Hercules broke a big run for 41 yards then scored on the next play from the 2 for the clincher.
While Newark’s offense often deconstructed (three drives ending inside the Jags 32 during the game), Hercules and Thompson spearheaded an efficient ground attack in the second half, one that Butch Simpson said consisted of three plays that his Newark team could not turn back.
“All year long, Sekayi’s been our fullback,” said Timpson. “He’s been out pound guy, he’s been our blocker, blocker, blocker. Halftime, the coaches saw something in the middle there and let’s exploit it, and Herc was up to the challenge.”
“I just wanted to win the game,” said Hercules. “I ran as hard as I could, I blocked as hard as I could. It was just a really big game because we lost the last game and we wanted to prove a point to the conference that we can win.”
The Jaguars had lost last week 64-0 to Smyrna after opening with a 60-20 win over Polytech.
“Finally in a real game and the kids showed they can play tonight,” said Timpson.
Newark went 59 yards on seven plays and a penalty to take a 6-0 lead on the final play of the first quarter.
Junior quarterback Andrew DelPercio had the big play — a 32-yard sprint on a rollout — but Alexander Pollard did the rest. The senior running back was the guy who sprung DelPercio with a crushing lead block, bulled for one first down then capped the drive with a 10-yard show of power up the middle for a 6-0 lead.
Appoquinimink, which had gambled and had its punter unsuccessfully try to run for a first down to set up the Yellowjackets’ score, bounced right back to take the lead.
Emmanuel Kenion broke wide open down the right side and adjusted to an underthrown pass into a stiff breeze by Kenyon Yellowdy for a 35-yard hook-up to the Newark 33. Two plays later, Thompson went right on a sweep, cut back through an opening went 32 yards untouched for the score. Afrian Escarcega’s extra-point kick put the Jaguars on top 7-6.
Thompson rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries in the half and took a swing pass 40 yards to the Newark 18 on the final play before intermission.