Indians wrap up season with loss to Central

It was certainly not the season that they had anticipated, and last Thursday, Nov. 7, the Indians wrapped up their 2019 campaign with a loss to neighboring Sussex Central, 47-7. The loss gives IR a 2-8 overall mark as they head into the off-season trying to find answers to a couple of questions.

The biggest question in the program is how can they stay healthy? Heading into the season, the Indians were already without presumptive starter Tyler Bowen after he suffered an injury in baseball. Then sophomore Reece Stone went down with a season-ending injury. Rinse and repeat for freshman Hayden Hall, as he then suffered an injury that knocked him out for the season. That left them with junior Reagan Dunn to finish things up, and he performed admirably considering he wasn’t expecting to take any snaps as the team’s signal-caller when the season started.

Head coach Phillip Townsend and his staff were left constantly trying to make changes practically every single week due to personnel being out for one injury or another. They were certainly not blessed with continuity like many teams throughout the Henlopen Conference.

Outside of the injuries, the major focus during the off-season will certainly be working on ways to do better at taking care of the football, cut down on penalties, and building some stability with the strong group of sophomores and freshmen this team had this year.

Against Sussex Central, the Indians found themselves in an early hole at 14-0 after the first quarter. That deficit ballooned to 40-0 by halftime. The Golden Knights, for the 8th year in a row, ended the regular season with a win over IR.

The Indians managed just 117 yards of total offense in the game on 48 plays — an average of just 2.4 yards per play. Sophomore Dalton Hall picked up 49 yards on 16 carries. He finished the season just shy of a 1,000-yard season.

Senior JaQuan Floyd scored the Indians’ lone touchdown from five yards out with 7:04 left in the game. He would rush for 28 yards on 11 totes. Ta’Jon Knight added 44 yards on nine carries.

IR turned the ball over three times in the game with an interception and two fumbles. That was an issue all season long.

Defensively, the Indians allowed 360 yards on 31 plays to the Golden Knights — 301 of those yards coming on the ground.

R.J. Rybicki was in on 13 total tackles for the game with a fumble recovery of Central’s lone turnover. For the season, the senior linebacker had 95 total tackles, six fumble recoveries, an interception, two sacks, and two blocked punts.

Senior T.J. Moore added 10 stops for the IR defense with Ramond Turner chipping in with five, and T.J. Burke three.

River Vickers converted his lone extra point try in the game, and finished the season connecting on 13-of-15 point-after attempts.

It was the final game in green and gold for the team’s eight seniors — Rybicki, Moore, Floyd, Knight, Turner, Nicholas Angelo, Josiah Morris and Adam Bordeau.

By Jason Feather
Staff Reporter