Has Glasgow turned into a Division II football powerhouse, or benefited from a soft schedule?
That question won’t be answered definitively until the D-II playoffs begin next week. But the Dragons can make a huge statement — and win the Blue Hen Flight B title — with a home victory over St. Georges at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Everybody says we’re 9-0 by default, basically because of our schedule,” Glasgow coach Shannon Riley said. “When I look at our guys, we’re experienced, we have size, we have athleticism all over the place, we’re playing good football. … We know what we’re capable of, and we have a little chip on our shoulder.”
So the Dragons feel like underdogs, even though they are undefeated and ranked second statewide in Division II. Because the third-ranked Hawks (8-1) have built a longer resume, including a 44-0 win over Glasgow in last year’s season finale.
“We know it’s going to be a battle,” Riley said. “Our guys have to play their ‘A’ game to give us a shot to win. … Last year was last year. This is a brand new team with us, and our guys have experience and they’re ready to avenge that loss.”
The Dragons have played only one team with a winning record — an 18-14 win over Howard (5-4). But they are undoubtedly miles ahead of last year, when they played the same 10 teams in the same order. Glasgow went 5-5 in 2015, but has already reversed losses to McKean, Newark, Lake Forest and Howard on the way to 9-0.
Both St. Georges and Glasgow are 6-0 in Flight B, buzzing through a set of common opponents with a combined 15-39 record. The difference has been in nonconference play.
The Hawks lost their season opener 27-24 to William Penn, which is 8-1 and ranked third statewide in Division I. They also have an easy win over a struggling D-I team (47-12 over 1-8 Caesar Rodney) and a win over a D-II playoff contender (33-20 over 6-3 St. Mark’s).
The Dragons opened the season with a 66-12 win over Seaford, which is now 2-7. They shut out traditional D-I contender Newark 28-0, but the Yellowjackets are struggling at 3-6. And Glasgow owns a 28-6 win over Lake Forest, which won the Henlopen South the previous two years but is only 2-7 this season.
“Year to year, you never know how teams will be,” Riley said. “But coming into the season, the schedule looked like a very strong schedule. It was just how things played out. Our kids can’t control that. All they can control is stepping up each week and playing their best football, and we’ve been doing that so far.”
There is no doubt about that. The Dragons are averaging 41.8 points per game, with three-year starting quarterback Isaiah Wilson V throwing to explosive receivers Michael Credle, Ja’saan Cunningham, Keishawn Jones and Martise Younger and handing off to Tyrique Woodland and Tavion Jones-Hill.
“I don’t know if they’ve seen a team with the all-out speed that we have,” Riley said. “We run a four-wide set, and all four of our guys can fly down the field. They’re all track guys, but they’re football first.”
But St. Georges is ringing up 36.1 points per game, as the Hawks’ traditional running game churns on behind Brian Benson (688 yards, 15 TDs), Jalen Smith and Craig Congo and an improved passing attack features Robert Shorts (1,087 yards, 12 TDs passing) throwing to tight end Doug Phillips (15 catches, 374 yards, 5 TDs).
“We know they love to run the football in their power sets,” Riley said. “But now they’ve added a quarterback who can throw the ball around a little bit. So you have to worry about everything with them.”
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ.