Week 2 of the 1290 The Ticket High School Football Game of the Week showcases one of the biggest games of the season as the 1-0 and two-time defending state champion Middletown Cavaliers travel to Camden-Wyoming to take on the Caesar Rodney Riders in a rematch of last year’s state playoff semifinals, won by Middletown, 35-28.
The Cavaliers struggled early but prevailed 35-28 over Concord in their opener. Middletown unveiled its new offense that includes huddling after each play rather than the hurry-up offense the Cavs employed during their two title runs. It worked to near perfection as Boston College-commit Darius Wade threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns. The athletic Wade also returned a fumbled punt 47 yards for a score.
Defensively, Middletown may have graduated several key players from last year’s title team, but Dennis Berger proved the Cavs are still formidable on both sides of the ball, returning an interception 26 yards for a touchdown.
Waiting for the Cavaliers’ explosive offense is a Caesar Rodney defensive line that might be the most experienced in the First State. Zack Parker, Dominique Dorsey, and Josh Herrmann are four-year starters, and Brendon Moore has started on the offensive line for four years and played significant minutes on defense in 2012. Maxx Buzzkirk rounds out the group that will have its hands full containing Wade and 2012 Delaware Player of the Year and Penn State-commit Chris Godwin.
In all, the defending Henlopen North champs return 17 starters, nine whom are starting for the fourth straight season, and several who play on the offensive side of the ball. Alex Kemp returns at quarterback to engineer the Wing-T offense that in Week 1 showcased significantly more passing plays than the Riders have traditionally employed. Kemp threw for two scores and ran in a third in the Riders’ heartbreaking 41-35 overtime loss to Salesianum. Balance can best define the Caesar Rodney offense, as four different running backs and wide receivers — Naquan Watkins, Cody Connell, Kendall Wicks and DeShawn Shuler — scored touchdowns for the Riders in the opener.
The Glasgow Medical Aid Unit begins at 7 p.m. with kickoff at 7:30, in a game many think could be a prelude to the state championship game.