MIDDLETOWN — The game ended fittingly at 9:11 p.m. Friday night, but the outcome was decided just after the opening kickoff.
First-year Polytech head coach Stanley Burris said his team didn’t come out ready to play in its opener, and a 60-20 setback to host Appoquinimink followed before a sizable crowd at Jaguar Stadium.
The Panthers fell behind 20-0 in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the season, being trampled by a series of huge rushes and passes that were only slowed by slew of Appoquinimink penalties.
The Jaguars had several big plays called back by flags, and then lined back up and rambled down the field again.
The second quarter was no more competitive, and the Panthers trailed 53-7 at halftime. The Jaguars scored a touchdown every time they had the ball and never punted during the game.
“It’s easy to talk about being good, but you get better by doing and we weren’t able to put anything together tonight,” Burris said.
“To make a long story short, we need to practice better if we want to produce better results on Friday nights.”
Quarterback Jason Rigby connected with Doug Reed on touchdown passes of 72 and 18 yards, and hit Josh Smith with a 35-yard score, but those were essentially the only highlights of the game.
“We had a few nice passing hookups but overall it’s not working the way it’s supposed to,” Burris said. “We will watch the film, identify the positives to build on and figure out what went wrong. From there, we’ll to work Monday at practice trying to fix the things we didn’t do well.”
Appoquinimink won its first opener in program history, and set a record for points scored in a game. The Jaguars rushed for 410 yards in the first half and quarterback Kenyon Yellowdy passed for 96 more. Kevin Banning had 52 yards and a touchdown on three receptions, along with a host of long kickoff and punt returns.
Running almost unimpeded through the line, sophomore Derek Thompson rambled for 266 yards on 12 carries in the first half, scoring on touchdown runs of 30, 37, 19, and 80 yards.
Junior Jason Jeffers added 112 yards on five carries, scoring twice.
The Jaguars ran though gaping holes cleared by the blocks of Justin Fernandez, Andrew Arcuri, Noah Given, Jackson Truitt and Joshua Hudson.
“We thought we could run tonight and expected Derek to do very well,” Appo head coach Brian Timpson said. “He was able to get some big yards, along with a couple other guys.”
After winning just three games in the past two years, the Jaguars clearly enjoyed themselves in their 2015 debut. The competition will be far stiffer next Friday night when Appo hosts Smyrna in a 7 p.m. game.
“Smyrna obviously has many weapons and great athletes all over the field so we’re going to have to get back to practice on Monday and start working hard to take a shot at a team that
the rest of the state is speaking very highly of,” Timpson said.
For at least one night, the Jaguars offseason work paid off with a dominating result that has been lacking for several years now.
“The kids bought in to making this season something special,” Timpson said. “For the moment we started spring conditioning our focus was on this game tonight.”
With a running clock throughout the entire second half, the final two quarters were played in approximately 26 minutes of real time.