The Concord Raiders have had to play their last three games without star running back Grahm “Bam” Roberts.
Friday night would be a great time for a comeback, as the fifth-ranked Raiders (7-2, 6-1) travel to Middletown for a 7:30 kickoff at Cavaliers Stadium. A win over the second-ranked Cavaliers (9-0, 7-0) would throw the Blue Hen Flight A race into a three-way tie with No. 3 William Penn (8-1, 6-1).
Will Roberts play?
“That is the burning question. I don’t know,” Concord coach Greg Mitchell said Monday. “He didn’t play last week. He’s slated to come back, hopefully, but we’re still not sure.”
Roberts, a junior, suffered a high ankle sprain late in the first half of a 27-0 loss to Salesianum on Oct. 15. The Raiders were only down 7-0 when Roberts left the game.
“If he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go and we’re going to use him,” Mitchell said. “But he has barely played. He’s got to be ready to play, but at this point I don’t know.”
Concord lost a 14-7 heartbreaker to William Penn the following week, then rebounded to easily down Charter of Wilmington (42-6) and Delcastle (55-0). Mitchell believes the Raiders have already clinched a DIAA Division I playoff berth regardless of the outcome at Middletown, but there will be no temptation to rest Roberts if he’s ready to play.
“We’re going to give them our best shot, and what happens happens,” Mitchell said. “We’re not going to go down there with the mentality of thinking about the following week, because I know [Middletown is] sure not doing that.”
The Raiders did get a boost from the return of quarterback Dillon Coughenour last week. The junior, who had missed the last five games due to illness, went 4 for 4 passing with three touchdowns against Delcastle.
“He did a nice job,” Mitchell said. “It was good to see him get in there. He was still a little winded, but he threw the ball well.”
Henderson still a Hen
The Oct. 16 firing of University of Delaware football coach Dave Brock has cast doubt on the commitments of the Hens’ 2017 recruiting class, including Smyrna quarterback Nolan Henderson.
“I’m waiting for the dust to settle a little bit, then make my decision once I figure out the details,” Henderson said after Smyrna’s 56-16 victory at Cape Henlopen last Friday. “But as of now, I’m still committed.”
Henderson isn’t letting any uncertainty affect his play. The senior has completed 106 of 170 passes (62.4 percent) for 1,956 yards and 27 touchdowns with only three interceptions as the top-ranked Eagles (9-0, 5-0) have clinched their second straight Henlopen North championship.
The speedy Henderson also has 31 carries for 227 yards and three scores, including an 8-yard run for Smyrna’s first TD at Cape.
Henlopen cross country
Ben Bamforth of Sussex Tech won boys title at the Henlopen Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Killens Pond State Park, exactly 32 years after his father, Tim, won the same title for Cape Henlopen in 1984.
Ben Bamforth, who also won the Sussex County title last Tuesday, finished in 16.29.7 to outpace Caesar Rodney’s Johnathan Epstein (16:43.0), Delmar’s Austen Cave (16.46.6) and Cape’s Gregory Boyce (16.47.3).
CR won a three-way race for the boys team title, finishing with 68 points to edge Sussex Tech (70) and Dover (84).
Smyrna’s Naomi Bowser, fresh off a Kent County title last Tuesday, won the girls individual championship in 19:00.2, just two-tenths of a second above the meet record set by CR’s Rebekah Mills on the Indian River course in 2014.
Milford placed four runners in the top 10 – Deja Rodriguez-Santiago (second), Rajene Bowe (fourth), Emily Holstein (seventh) and Olivia Cromer (ninth) – to easily outdistance Smyrna 40-70 for the girls team title. Sussex Academy’s Helena Helou finished third individually.
Rounding it up
— Visitation for former Archmere football coach Jerry Ambrogi will be held from 8-9:45 a.m. Tuesday, followed by Mass at 10 a.m. in the Archmere Academy Performing Arts Center, 3600 Philadelphia Pike in Claymont. A luncheon will follow at the Patio. Burial will be private. Donations in Ambrogi’s memory may be made to Archmere Academy; DFRC Inc., 640 Plaza Drive, Newark, DE 19702; or Lancaster General Health Foundation, Cancer Patient Support Fund, 609 N. Cherry St., Lancaster, PA 17602.
— Pairings have been set for the inaugural DIAA Unified Flag Football playoffs. The four quarterfinal games will be played Wednesday, with top-seeded Smyrna hosting No. 8 Caesar Rodney at 6 p.m. The other three games will start at 3:30 – No. 5 Middletown at No. 4 Newark Charter, No. 6 William Penn at No. 3 Seaford and No. 7 Mount Pleasant at No. 2 McKean.
Semifinals will be held Wednesday, Nov. 16 on the home fields of the two highest-seeded remaining teams. The championship game will be played Saturday, Dec. 3 at Delaware Stadium, at a time to be determined.
— Kickoff for Friday’s Sussex Tech at Cape Henlopen football game has been moved up to 6 p.m.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ