Rankings, who cares about rankings. The fourth ranked Red Hurricanes (according to local newspapers) faced the number one ranked Hopewell Vikings (according to those same local newspapers).
Hopewell never had a chance. The Vikings nearly matched the Canes in size but were clearly no match in team speed. The top two teams in the Parkway slugged it out but two big plays by New Castle fueled by the Hurricanes speed, spelled doom for the Vikings, as the Canes remained undefeated at 7-0, winning 18-0.
Fullback and middle linebacker, Noah Elliot scored the Canes first touchdown on an 81 yard run. On a first and 10 from the 19, Elliot took the handoff right up the middle and broke into the open. Try as they may, not a Viking on the field could catch him as he maintained a least a 10 yard lead on Hopewells safety Matt Fontana in the race to the endzone.
Next facing third and seven from their own 34, Ross Crist fired a 15 yard pass to Cameron Reid coming across the middle. The ball bounced up into the air and Reid grabbed it and headed up field. Only one Viking could catch him, safety Fontana. Fontana had an angle on Reid but when he arrived at the spot, Reid had already gone by flying to the endzone and the Canes second score.
New Castle received the games opening kickoff and started on the 20 but managed only three yards and was forced to punt.
Hopewell took possession on their own 45 with Tom Poslusnzy lined up at tailback. Poslusnzy a star running back and linebacker injured his ankle two weeks ago and only played about a half dozen plays last week. The hand off went to fullback Mike Druse for no gain. However Poslusnzy then left the field and did not return on either offense or defense the rest of the evening.
Another run for minus one yard was followed by a 13-yard pass to put Hopewell in Canes territory at the 42. After a gain of two, QB Fontana kept the ball and was stuffed by Allen Billyk for a no gain. A third down pass was incomplete and the Vikings were forced to punt. The Hurricanes defense was so dominating that Hopewell would not get another first down until the 3:07 mark of the second period.
Hopewells punt was downed at the one yard line and New Castle took over with 6:00 gone in the first period.
Identical to the first possession, New Castle again gained only three yards and was forced to punt. Billyk, who got off some great punts tonight, standing at the back of the endzone boomed the ball and Hopewell took over at the New Castle 45 after a five yard return.
The Vikings gained three yards on two plays then Fontana dropped back and heaved it long down the field. Canes defensive back Leon Ward with tight coverage made a remarkable catch for the interception and the Hurricanes had the ball on the Viking two yard line with 3:21 left in the first period.
New Castles first three possessions had started at the 20, the one and now the two.
Robert Calhoun went up the middle for two yards on the first play. Then back up the middle for four on the next. New Castle now faced a third and four from the eight. Crist then hit Reid for 11 yards and a first down at the 19.
Thats when Elliot crashed through the middle and saw nothing but green in front of him, going 81 yards for the score. Joey Harvey missed on the PAT and the Canes led 6-0 with 2:00 left in the first.
Hopewell began this possession at the Hurricanes 29 but three plays later they were punting the ball back to New Castle.
New Castle started the second period with the ball on the 31 but a Hopewell penalty moved it to the 36. Zach Mariacher ran for one yard then Calhoun lost three off an option pitch from Crist leaving a third and seven.
Crist then hit Reid over the middle and Reid streaked 66 yards to the endzone with the Canes second score. This time Harveys PAT was blocked and the Canes lead was 12-0 at the 10:08 mark
Hopewell began their next possession at the Hurricanes 27. Their first play went for minus 2 yards and their next for just two yards. After an incompletion the Vikings punted again.
The Canes took over at their own 45. Five yards by Elliot got the ball to midfield. Five more on a pass from Crist to Stephen Threats moved the ball into Hopewell territory. On the play however the Vikings were called for a personal foul, headslap and 15 yards were tacked on moving the ball to the 30. From there the Canes dynamic duo took over with Calhoun running for eight-yards then Mariacher squeezing through the right side and running 22 yards for a touchdown. This time the Hurricanes went for two but Crist found no one open and was tackled short of the goal. With 8:30 left in the second period New Castle led 18-0.
The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds and Hopewell started on their own 35. After a run of five yards on first down the Vikings fumbled on the next handoff and Calhoun from his linebacker spot jumped on the ball at the Hopewell 39.
New Castle did not capitalize. After two runs and an incompletion the Canes punted.
The punt rolled into the endzone and Hopewell took over at the 20. This time the Vikings got things moving. Runs of six, three and three again got them first down at the 32. A 27-yard pass completion moved the ball into Hurricanes territory with 3:07 left in the half. On the next play however, Mariacher blitzed from his defensive back slot and nailed Fontana for a nine-yard loss. Desperate to score before the end of the half, Hopewell fired up a long bomb on the next play, and the Canes Threats ended the threat by grabbing the interception at the 13.
New Castle ran out the half and led 18-0 at intermission.
Hopewell received the ball to start the second half. Starting at their own 15 the Viking after two runs and a personal foul on the Canes were out to the 35. Here the drive stalled, as a run for minus one and two incompletions forced Hopewell to punt.
The Canes Threats took the punt at the 25 and raced 30 yards to the Hopewell 45 to start the drive. Calhoun ran for six on first down then Mariacher for four and New Castle had a first down at the 35. An attempted half back pass from Calhoun to Billyk (who was open deep) fell incomplete, then a run for minus two yards and a penalty set up a third and 17. Crists pass was incomplete and the Canes were forced to punt.
Billyks punt rolled into the endzone for a touchback.
The Canes defense continued to control the game as Hopewell got one first down and again had to punt.
Starting at their own 35, an illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back five yards and the Hurricanes began first and 15. Calhoun ran for five and then three, then Crist hit Threats for six more but again the Canes had to punt coming up a yard short.
Hopewell started this possession on their twenty again. Aided by a pass interference call against New Castle the Vikings moved to midfield. After a loss of one on first down Fontana took the ball through the line and was belted coughing up the ball. Billyk grabbed the fumble and the Hurricanes took possession just as the third quarter ended.
New Castle ran just three plays before punting it back to Hopewell and pinning them deep at the nine-yard line.
The Vikings moved the ball out to the 29 before punting back the New Castle with 7:42 to play in the game.
This time the Vikings got a heavy dose of Calhoun as the Canes back ran six straight times gaining 28 yards in the process. But with the ball on the Hopewell 40 the Canes were penalized for delay-of-game setting up a second and 15. An end-around to Ward gained nothing and a run Calhoun went for minus one and New Castle punted after running five minutes off the game clock.
Hopewell took the ball at their own 14 with just 2:22 left. They promptly fumbled and the Canes Caleb Quimby grabbed the loose ball and sealed the shut out.
Noah Elliot led the Red Hurricanes in rushing with 87 yards on three carries and a score while Robert Calhoun added 56 yards on 19 carries and Zach Mariacher 30 yards and a touchdown on six.
Ross Crist was four of 10 passing for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Cameron Reid caught two passes for 77 yards and a touchdown while Stephen Threats caught two for 11 yards.