Cape football wins the over/under at Dover 28-21
Michael Mapp's lifelong nickname was changed by coach Bill Collick this season from Peanut to Houston - a nod to Houston Nutt, legendary football coach - with Collick saying, "[Mapp's] heart is too big for a peanut!"
Mapp stopped two Dover drives inside the 5-yard line on fourth down, one in each half, made a touchdown-saving tackle on breakaway speedster Jordon Robinson and made a few line-em-up-and-knock-em down tackles that could be felt in the stands like a vibrating cellphone, as Cape absorbed Dover's crazy good and talent-laden offense, escaping the state capital with a 28-21 victory.
Cape is now 5-1 on the season and travels to Sussex Central Friday, Oct. 19, to face the 4-2 Golden Knights, who lost to Caesar Rodney at home 20-9.
"Houston is a special player, I'm telling you now," Collick said after the game. "He doesn't back down from any situation."
And on the same field where he won the Meet of Champions high jump, sailing 6-feet-6-inches into the air, tall and ripped fit defensive end Jeremiah Cohen got it going in the fourth quarter with two sacks, one causing a fumble and the other batting down a final fourth-down pass by Ian Gory, who had thrown for 208 yards in the game.
Cape was trailing 6-0 when Diaz Nardo connected on touchdown passes of 17 and 47 yards to tight end Andrew Grau. Grau's second quarter 47-yarder was a pop pass which Grau turned to the outside, then stiff-armed the defensive back while rumbling down the sidelines for a touchdown.
A fumble then rumble recovery by Thomas Ott set up Cape's third touchdown of the first half, a four-yard power up the middle by Juan Saez. Miguel Merino-Sanchez was good on all conversions as Cape led 21-6, but the "track meet" was just beginning.
Dover was back down the field and into the end zone followed by a 2-point conversion quicker than Cape fans could lament, "What are we doing out there?" The Senators were back in town at 21-14. Memories of the 2011 55-54 overtime loss were withdrawn from the Vikings' memory bank.
The play of the game and winning touchdown played out on the ensuing kickoff when a pooch kickoff was caught and fumbled by Cape's DD Gooch. The officials huddled, ruled that Gooch had signaled fair catch and was hit before fumbling, awarding the Vikings possession on the Senators' 40-yard line.
The "Brain of Billings" came into focus as offensive coordinator Herky Billings dialed up a centerfield home run strike to wide receiver Gooch. The pass was one of those "my guy is better than your guy" throws into double coverage, which Gooch somehow caught going backwards and falling down, giving Cape the ball on the 12-yard line.
Justin Lopez delivered the mail to the house and it was 28-14 at the half.
The second half saw the football moved up and down the field by both teams along with several boneheaded plays and miscues by both teams, but in the end Cape covered the over/under with Cohen and Mapp and remains solidly in the hunt for a playoff berth.
Notes: Dover running back Donovan Cain had 121 yards for the game. Athletic Director Jeff Savage said Cain is looking to attend Naval Academy Prep School. Quarterback Ian Gory at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds is being looked at by several midlevel major colleges. Dover junior tight end Nick Spadifino, who played quarterback for Dover on last year's 55-54 Dover win, barely touched the football.