Five different players scored touchdowns as Laurel High shut out Indian River High, 33-0, in the semifinals of the DIAA Class 1A football state tournament on Friday night.
Laurel (10-2), the top seed in 1A, will play for the state title next Saturday at 6 p.m. at Delaware Stadium against the winner of today’s matchup between second seed St. Elizabeth and third-seeded Tatnall. It is the first state title appearance for the Bulldogs since the 2014 Division II championship game.
Indian River, seeded fifth in the inaugural Class 1A tournament, finished its season at 6-5 overall. It was the second time the two teams met this year.
Laurel was also victorious in the regular season, needing a blocked extra point to win in overtime.
Friday was less stressful on the Bulldogs as they took a 27-0 lead into halftime.
Kaden Shockley, Kylse Wilson, Javier White and Kyle Weaver each scored a rushing touchdown in the first half. Patrick Belle added a rushing touchdown for Laurel in the third quarter as the Bulldogs improved to 10-2 overall.
Is ex-Hens’ QB next UD coach?: Delaware apparently isn’t going to land K.C. Keeler as its next head football.
But that doesn’t mean the Blue Hens aren’t going to hire a Sam Houston State staff member to take over the reins of the program.
Former Delaware quarterback Ryan Carty, Keeler’s offensive coordinator with the Bearkats, may in fact be athletic director Krissi Rawak’s choice for the Delaware job.
Carty was the backup QB to Andy Hall on Delaware’s 2003 NCAA Division I-AA national championship team has made a name for himself both as an assistant coach at New Hampshire and now at Sam Houston State.
A 2007 Delaware grad, Carty has been at Sam Houston State since 2018 after spending the previous 11 seasons on the New Hampshire coaching staff. At UNH, Carty spent six years as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
After helping Sam Houston State win the FCS national title in the spring, Carty named the FCS Coordinator of the Year by FootballScoop.com and was also named to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s “Top 40 Coaches Under 40” list following the year.
Earlier in the day, Keeler tweeted out a message to Delaware fans.
“Reaching out to you #BlueHens,” he wrote. “Thank you for all your outpouring of support to bring me. It is heartwarming & means a great deal to my family & I. Leaving you was hard. I hope it gives you solace to know I’m w/ good people. Wishing you all the best in ur search.”
Previously, Keeler sent out a message that he wasn’t a candidate for the Blue Hens job.
“Let’s put this to rest #BearKatNation,” Keeler tweeted. “I have not and will not interview for the UD opening. Love my KATS!”
While Delaware athletic director Chrissi Rawak hasn’t set a deadline publicly for hiring a new coach, the early national signing day for football is on Dec. 15.
Several Blue Hen players have entered the NCAA transfer portal since coach Danny Rocco was fired on Monday. Many have said they may stay at Delaware but want to keep their options open.
On Friday, linebacker Johnny Buchanan joined that list. Quarterback Nolan Henderson, the Smyrna High grad, most recently tweeted that he has an offer from FBS Connecticut.