SMYRNA, Del. – The 9-1 Smyrna Eagles are set to take on the 9-1 Salesianum Sallies in the Delaware D-1 State Title game at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at the University of Delaware.
Smyrna’s only loss this season came in Week 3 to the Sallies in a 20-point blowout, 76-56.
You guessed it. The Eagles are seeking redemption and their first championship title for their school.
“Going into this game we are really prepared,” Smyrna senior safety Rodney Ruff said. “We’re going to play physical and we’re definitely going to play our game. It’s just not going to be like last time. We’re going come out and you already know what it’s going to be.”
The Eagles proved they are a team that is capable of overcoming adversity. In their semifinals matchup against William Penn, Smyrna’s quarterback Nolan Henderson was carted off the field and did not return.
Already down by two touchdowns, the Eagles went into the locker room at halftime knowing they had to make a change for No. 2, their QB.
Eagles Running back William Knight and the offensive line led the charge with four touchdowns and the opportunity to advance to the state championship with the 30-13 comeback win.
Knight, a sophomore, knows this is his the last time playing with this team before they graduate 18 players.
“We’re leaving it all out on the field for ourselves and for our brothers,” Knight said. “We know this is our last chance so we are doing everything we can and practicing our best.”
Henderson has been practicing with the team but will remain a game-time decision depending on how he is feeling.
For Henderson, he is just happy to be back on the field and is anxious to hopefully take the first snap.
“We just have to attack the secondary and take shots,” Henderson said. “They’re big and their going to try to stop the run so we’re going to have to try and beat them in the passing game and beat them with our receivers and our running backs.”
While the Sallies have bigger physiques, the Eagles plan to use their speed to get past their defense. Head Coach Mike Judy, however, wants to make sure his team remembers the play that got them so far.
“Don’t play out of yourself,” Judy said. “Don’t try to do anything that you wouldn’t normally do. That’s not what’s going to win the game. You doing your job and you handling this week just like a normal game is what is going to win this game.”