For much of the first half Friday night at West Shore Stadium, the home Red Land Patriots traded possessions and mistakes with the Dover Eagles.
Red Land (2-1) pulled away and coasted to a 38-14 win, with the scoring plays coming in bunches.
Patriots' kicker Chad Stout nailed a line-drive 42-yard field goal for the only scoring of the first eight possessions of the game. RB Justin Johnson scored from 16 yards out two Red Land possessions later, but it still had the feel of a tight game.
Then came the fireworks. Coming off a 54-49 shootout loss to the Carlisle Thundering Herd, the Patriots know how to put up points.
Facing third-and-3 from the Red Land 36, Patriots' QB Jake Radic dropped back and looked for his favorite receiver on a deep in cut. Hunter Briner made the catch near midfield, and the footrace was on. An Eagles defender had a good angle, but Briner beat him to the goal line.
The comfortable 17-0 lead lasted all of 18 seconds. Or the time it took for Caden Snyder to race 95 yards for a kickoff return touchdown. Red Land made it back-to-back-to-back big plays by taking its kickoff about 65 yards to the Dover 20-yard line.
Five consecutive Johnson carries made it a 24-7 game at the break.
First-year Dover (1-2) head coach Wayne Snelbaker said his team is hard-headed when it comes to executing the Xs and Os.
"We get a game plan in, and some of these guys aren't buying all the way in," he said. "It's a culture we're trying to break ... We knew it was going to be hard coming it, but we'll change it."
The big plays continued with the second-half kickoff, which bounced around deep in Dover territory before a Red Land defender fell on it. Radic hit Briner again on the next play for a four-second score.
"They're a good team," Snelbaker said, "but I don't think they're that much better than us."
Red Land 38, Dover 14
RLa — Chad Stout 42 kick, 00:24
RLa — Justin Johnson 16 run (Stout kick), 8:24
RLa — Hunter Briner 64 pass from Jake Radic (Stout kick), 5:14
Do — Caden Snyder 95 kickoff return (Bradley kick), 4:56
RLa — Johnson 2 run (Stout kick), 2:47
RLa — Briner 18 pass from Radic (Stout kick), 11:56
RLa — Nathan Stahl 1 run (Stout kick), 10:35
Do — Durran Ledbetter 1 run (Bradley kick), 00:34
DoRLaFirst downs1114Rushes-yards33-13846-139Passing7-209-17Passing yards106179Total yards244318Punts5-1263-97Fumbles-lost2-14-0Penalties-yards4-464-38
Rushing — Do, Tyler Blazosky, 4-8, Durran Ledbetter, 24-107, Joey Zutell, 2-30, John Sterner, 1-(-7), William Tomes, 2-0. RLa, Justin Johnson, 20-117, Hunter Briner, 1-7, Jake Radic, 7-(-36), Nathan Stahl, 10-50, Jordan Weldon, 4-(-2), Jack Hertzog, 2-(-5), Josiah Espinosa, 2-8.
Passing — Do, Blazosky, 6-18-58-0, William Zutell, 1-2-48-0. RLa, Radic, 9-16-179-0, Jack Hertzog, 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — Do, Derek Brenneman, 1-3, Andrew Hoffman, 2-16, Ledbetter, 1-11, Caden Snyder, 1-21, Zutell, 1-7, Cole Jesmer, 1-48. RLa, Briner, 4-94, Kyle Campbell, 2-24, Zi Reevey, 1-44, Joe Crocenzi, 1-5, Jake Rollman, 1-12.