Richards kicks St. Mark's to critical victory

By Sean Greene 1:15am, October 26, 2013
VIDEO: Highlights and Reaction to St. Mark's vs. CR
St. Mark's kicker Jeff Richards hit a 35-yard field goal with 51 seconds remaining, as the Spartans rallied for a 19-17 victory at Caesar Rodney Friday night.

Facing a must win game after being shutout at home by Salesianum last week, St. Mark's fell behind 14-0 after the opening quarter on a touchdown run by Jordan Downes and a 53-yard catch, and mostly run, by Kendall Wicks for CR.

Richards' first field goal of the night made it 14-3 with 4:36 to go in the opening half, and then Zach Whitehead found Dalton Ziemba on a long pass play down to the 1 yard line. T.J. Brown finished with a short dive to make it 14-9 at the half after a blocked extra point.

St. Mark's opening drive of the 3rd quarter again netted points, with Brown again scoring on a short run to put his team up 16-14.

In a drive that bridged into the opening seconds of the 4th quarter, a CR drive stalled, but not before Timothy Steindl could connect on a 25-yard kick putting his team up a point.

St. Mark's next drive ended in a fumble, but their defense forced a critical sack against the Riders, giving Whitehead and the offense one last chance.

After a 3rd down pass came up empty in the end zone, Richards came on for another field goal attempt, and out of the hold of Whitehead, calmly drilled the 35-yard kick for just St. Mark's second last-minute field goal victory in John Wilson's 9 years as head coach.

St. Mark's (5-3) desperately needed the win with just one game remaining as they don't currently have an opponent lined up for Week 10. The Spartans meet St. Elizabeth at Baynard Stadium next Friday.

Caesar Rodney (5-3), who has played one of the toughest schedules in the state, still remains atop the Henlopen North with a 4-0 record despite the Non-Conference defeat. They also lost to Middletown and Salesianum, two of the candidates for first round byes in the Division I State Tournament. A trip to Smyrna is next for CR, with a showdown at home to likely determine the Henlopen North Champions against Dover looming the following Friday.

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