Dover uses ground game to grind out win
Dover went to some basic football on Friday night against Steel-High, and it was good enough for a 19-6 win at War Veterans Memorial Field.
The Eagles rushed for 141 on the evening, and had 180 yards of total offense in the contest. Dover (1-1) ran the ball 46 times in the game while attempting just 11 passes. Only two pass attempts came in the second half.
"The front line did a good job," said Dover coach Wayne Snelbaker Jr. "As a team, the kids came out (Friday) and just played a good ballgame."
Defense and special teams are what vaulted Dover into the lead against the Rollers. After a first-quarter interception, Steel-High found itself backed up at its own 3-yard line.
On a third-and-11 from the 2-yard line, Dover linebacker William Tomes blindsided Steel-High quarterback Devauje Lee for a sack in the end zone, and a safety.
On the ensuing free kick, Dover's Cole Jesmer returned it 70 yards for a touchdown and an 8-0 Dover lead. The Eagles added a second safety in the third quarter.
"I told the team we had to come out and get out on them and get out fast," Snelbaker said. "We got the momentum going our way. It was the exact opposite last week against Shippensburg. It was big."
An example of Dover's dominance with the run came on its fourth possession of the game, when the Eagles marched 65 yards on 11 plays, capped by a 6-yard scoring jaunt from quarterback Alan Hansel. All 11 plays on the drive were runs.
Hansel was knocked out of the game late in the second quarter after being hit hard on a punt attempt. Steel-High got a 15-yard roughing the kicker penalty on the play. Starting running back Derek Arevalo also left the game after one carry and had his left arm in a sling on the sideline. Snelbaker had no word on either player's condition afterwards.
Steel-High (1-2), which has won nine District 3 Class A championships in its storied history — the last coming in 2013 — was held to one first down and 11 first-half yards. The Rollers managed just 66 yards against Dover in the game.
The Rollers went seven scoreless quarters until Lee connected with wide receiver Jarrod Robinson on a 76-yard touchdown pass with 2:30 left in the game.
"This is a young team but it believes in itself," Snelbaker said. "After (the loss at) Shippensburg, we showed them a bit of film, we didn't say much negative at all, it was all positive. That's what you do with a group like that. They responded. We're going to just keep working and getting better."
DOVER 19, STEEL-HIGH 6
Do -- William Tomes sack in end zone for safety, 2:00
Do -- Cole Jesmer 70 punt return (run failed), 1:38
Do -- Alan Hansel 6 run (kick failed), 8:09
Do -- Zach Noll 30 FG, :06
Do -- Brandon Lawyer recovers ball in end zone for safety, 9:20
S-H -- Jarrod Robinson 76 pass from Devauje Lee (run failed), 2:30
Rushing — Dover, Brandon Lawyer 30-103, William Tomes 6-31, Alan Hansel 3-4, Derek Arevalo 1-3, Dawson Jesmer 6-0. Steel-High, Javion Grant 7-2, Jarvai Flowers 7-1, Jayshun Ramsey 1-(-2), Isaiah Lockette 2-(-3), Devauje Lee 5-(-10).
Passing — Dover, Hansel 3-7, 39 yds., 0 TD, 1 Int., D. Jesmer 0-4, 0 yds., 0 TD, 0 Int. Steel-High, Lee 3-19, 78 yds., 1 TD, 1 Int.
Receiving — Dover, Cole Jesmer 2-34, Tomes 1-5. Steel-High, Jarrod Robinson 1-76, Flowers 1-6, Grant 1-(-4).