SMYRNA — It’s been two years since Sussex Tech High crushed Smyrna by 55 points.
But Eagles’ receiver Devin Smith hasn’t forgotten the pain he felt after that loss.
“I was crying after that game,” said the senior. “That was definitely a personal game for me. We talked about it all this week — ‘61-6, 61-6.’ “
So there really wasn’t any chance of Smyrna taking the struggling Ravens lightly on Friday night.
The Eagles erupted for 42 first-half points before putting away a 50-7 Henlopen North football victory over winless Sussex Tech.
The win keeps Smyrna (4-0 North, 5-0 unbeaten) and sets up a showdown with Caesar Rodney for the Henlopen North title next Friday. The Eagles host the Riders at 7 p.m. in the regular-season finale of a schedule condensed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Smyrna’s players experienced the frustration of trying to play a season during a pandemic when their game with Milford was canceled last week because of a positive test among the Buccaneers.
That may explain why the Eagles got off to something of a slow start against the Ravens (0-4 North, 0-4 overall).
But Smyrna went on a 42-point scoring spree in a span of 12 minutes that started in the final minute of the first quarter.
Eagles’ coach Mike Judy knew his players were talking about that lopsided loss to Sussex Tech from 2018.
“They remember,” said Judy. “And as seniors, I’m glad they remember because that’s kind of what’s supposed to happen. Now, to me, none of that has anything to do with our performance tonight or had anything to do with this Sussex Tech team.”
Judy said he was more concerned about his team’s unplanned open date last week. Once the Eagles got their high-powered offense cranked up, though, they quickly pulled away.
Smyrna’s usual offensive standouts delivered: Quarterback Aidan Sanchez was 15-of-18 for 235 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. The senior completed his last 11 pass attempts of the first half before taking the second half off.
Sophomore Yamir Knight caught all three of those scoring passes, finishing with 97 yards on four receptions. Wayne Knight also ran for a TD and four two-point conversions totaling 67 yards on seven carries and 47 more yards on four catches.
Dominick Galban and Denim Smith accounted for the Eagles’ other TDs as Smyrna scored at least 40 points for the fourth time this season.
“We would normally handle a bye week pretty easily,” said Judy. “But with the pandemic situation, it just throws everything off. In the first quarter, we made some mistakes.”
Devin Smith, who added four catches for 55 yards, said missing last week’s game wasn’t easy in an already-short season.
“We all prepare week-in and week-out,” he said. “When we found dout we couldn’t play, we were mad. It’s been two weeks, we’re home. … Tech is a good team, but we came with it.”
Sussex Tech’s lone touchdown came in the third quarter when QB J’Sean Matthews fired a pretty deep pass to Travis Nock, who turned it into a 77-yard scoring reception.
The rest of the night, though, belonged to the Eagles.
Judy said it’s exciting to be playing for a North title on the last day of the regular season.
“It’s great for Delaware football,” he said about the showdown. “The silver lining in all this is there’s these matchups happening late in the year that matter. It’s not over.”