When Dover starting quarterback Tyler Blazosky went down with a ruptured tendon in his foot Sept. 25 at Gettysburg, the dynamic offense that scored 102 points in four games suddenly changed.
Last week, senior Tad Pequignot attempted to fill the void, only having to throw one pass to lead the Eagles to a win over Eastern York. However, Pequignot was not available Friday night at Kennard-Dale.
That forced first-year head coach Wayne Snelbaker to find a third quarterback in as many games.
"It goes back to that next-man-up mentality," Snelbaker said. "There was a reason we put in [running back John Sterner] at practice this week and repped him. We didn't know what was going on."
Sterner anchored a run-option attack and did not need to complete a pass en route to Dover's 41-20 win against Kennard-Dale. It was his group of running backs, including senior Brett Mohn, which carried the load and made sure he didn't have to force passes in wet conditions.
Mohn, who ran for three touchdowns, said Sterner had command of the offense after just one week of practice.
"I think he did a great job," Mohn said. "He remembered all the plays. It was his first week at quarterback, and I was really impressed that he knew all of his reads. Throwing the ball was rough because it was wet, but I think he did a great job."
Snelbaker said he knew the game plan would feature a heavy dose of running, and he trusted in Sterner to orchestrate the offense.
"We knew we were going to run it a lot to get the ball out of his hands," he said. "When I got the job here, I was told John Sterner was a gamer. He proved it tonight. He played well."
The win over Kennard-Dale (1-5, 0-3 YAIAA Division II) makes it three straight for Dover (4-2, 3-0), which stands atop the Division II leaderboard. With a running back playing at quarterback Friday night Snelbaker said the game was no given, and that it presented another challenge.
"We're growing in a sense because of adversity itself," he said. "When I took over in March, I said there would be no excuses. And we could have very well said 'Well, there's an excuse' [Friday night], but we're not using it."
Chase Carlile, the fourth leading rusher in Division II, highlighted the Rams' homecoming performance. He rushed for 102 yards and caught two passes in Eric Updegrove's debut as a head coach for Kennard-Dale. Updegrove, who started the season as the defensive coordinator, stepped in for Patrick Weider.
KD — Kyle Woolridge 18 pass from Dalton Stike (Jenkins kick), 10:30
Do — Brett Mohn 67 run (Bradley kick), 10:08
Do — Joey Zutell 2 run (Bradley kick), 6:53
Do — Durran Ledbetter 57 run (Bradley kick), 9:46.
KD — Stike 40 run (kick failed), 0:00.
Do — Brett Mohn 58 run (kick failed), 11:45.
KD — Chase Carlile 36 run (Jenkins kick), 11:46
Do — Brett Mohn 10 run (Bradley kick), 3:03.
Do — John Sterner 3 run (Bradley kick), 2:49.
DoKDFirst downs1213Rushes-yards49-35936-117Passing0-3-08-21-2 Passing yards058 Total yards359175Fumbles-lost1-04-2 Penalties-yards6-757-65
Rushing — Do, Brett Mohn 10-165, John Sterner 12-(-5), Durran Ledbetter 18-149, Joey Zutell 8-50, Cole Jasmer 1-0. KD, Chase Carlile 16-102, Nick Workinger 4-0, Dalton Stike 15-12, Shawn Ellis 1-3.
Passing — Do, John Sterner 0-3-0-0. KD, Daniel Brewer 2-4-29. Dalton Stike 6-17-29.
Receiving — KD, Connor Stokes 1-5, Kyle Woolridge 1-16, Chase Carlile 2-15, Shawn Ellis 1-3, Jacob Deppen 2-9, Austin Jenkins 1-10.