MIDDLETOWN — The Smyrna High offense stepped on to the Appoquinimink High field and five plays later the Eagles were in the end zone.
That first drive only took a minute and 21 seconds.
It was just the beginning.
The Smyrna offense recorded 395 yards of total offense and scored seven touchdowns in the first half on its way to a 64-0 victory over the Jaguars (1-1) on Friday night to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Smyrna’s starters just played the first half but still put up impressive numbers,
Junior quarterback Nolan Henderson threw three touchdowns to three different receivers and completed 15 of 19 attempts for 241 yards. Sophomore running back Will Knight caught a touchdown and ran for two more.
“Right from the get-go we came out firing,” Henderson said. “We game-planned well beforehand and we knew what we had to do. It just went our way at the beginning.”
The Smyrna offense is known for putting up points, so it was the defensive effort — against an Appqouinimink team that had put up 60 points in its opener against Polytech — that stood out the most.
Smyrna shut out Delcastle in its opener so the Eagles, who gave up an average of 33 points per game a year ago, have yet to allow a point this season.
It took until midway through the second quarter for the Jaguars to get a first down. Their best chance to score came when they were stuffed by the Smyrna line on fourth-and-goal from the three in the second quarter.
The Eagles then drove 98 yards in seven plays for a touchdown.
Jamier Brown forced a fumble, Ryan Seymour had a fumble recover and Tyler Fox had a pair of sacks to lead the Smyrna defense.
“We’re trying to prove to people that we’re the real deal and we’re here to stay,” Brown said. “We’re trying to make the playoffs.”
“They did awesome,” said Henderson of the defensive effort. “Their momentum that they earn goes right to us. They gave us some short fields that put us in the red zone and made it easier.”
Not to be out-done, the Smyrna special teams also contributed to the victory.
The Eagles recovered an onside kick after their first touchdown as Rodney Ruff leaped over everyone to snag it. Moses Carter returned a punt 37 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to extend the lead to 40-0.
Donte Ritchie was targeted the most by Henderson, finishing with 84 receiving yards and a touchdown. Marquelle Bennett caught three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Freshman Stephen Whaley entered into the game for Knight late in the second quarter and picked up right where Knight left off. Whaley rushed for a touchdown to end the second quarter and scored on the Eagles’ first drive of the third.
The Eagles scored touchdowns on every drive except their final one where they ran out the clock.
“My assistant coaching staff does a tremendous job of demanding that energy day in and day out,” said Smyrna second-year coach Mike Judy. “The coaches kept the energy up all week. The number-one thing we want out of these guys is energy and passion. We don’t accept anything less, from the first scrimmage until now.”
Another subplot to this game was the Eagles didn’t get caught looking too far ahead.
They play perennial state championship contender Salesianum next Friday at Baynard Stadium. But before the Eagles can take their shot at the Sals to see where they stand near the top of Division I teams, they had to take care of business at Appoqunimink.
“We weren’t looking forward at all,” Judy said. “We respect (Appoquinimnk) coach (Brian) Timpson and the Appo program to the highest level. We prepared like we were playing in the state championship this week and we take that attitude every week. We’re practicing for that moment so we’re not going to take anyone lightly.”