Interboro’s defense stronger than the storm, Caravel

BEAR, Del. >> Interboro defensive end Steve Royer knew what the atmosphere would be like Friday night as the Buccaneers traveled south to take on Caravel Academy. The less-than-perfect conditions were of no concern to Royer and his mates, however, as Interboro pounded Caravel with a staunch defense and a formidable running attack en route to a convincing 23-6 victory.

“We love this weather,” said Royer, who had three sacks on the night. “Last year Chester killed us in this exact weather and we felt like we had something to prove. We’re not scared of the rain or the cold. We wanted to come out and play Buc football … real Buc football and that’s what we did.”

The conditions at Bob Peoples Stadium — much like everywhere else in the region — were wet and windy. The turf, while soaked, was playable and the teams appeared to have good footing. Regardless, keeping the ball on the ground looked like a safer option for both teams as Interboro and Caravel focused on establishing a running attack.

Caravel, which fell to 1-3, struggled mightily in the conditions. The Delaware Bucs could not consistently open holes to threaten the Delaware County Bucs’ run defense.

“We played as a unit,” Royer said of the Interboro defense. “The inside guys opened things up for us, which help us get some sacks and the linebackers came in and had some great tackles. All around, it was a great team effort.”

Because Royer and company were so effective in shutting down the Caravel rushing attack, Caravel turned to quarterback Jackson Argoe, who performed admirably despite being chased out of the pocket on nearly every pass attempt.

Interboro, which improved to 4-1, relied on the trio of Chris Thomas, Lamar Shaw (52 yards), and Chris Hummel to chip away at the Caravel defense. To its credit, Interboro seemed completely unfazed by the conditions. In fact, the Bucs seemed to thrive in the cold wind and swirling rain.

“This is football weather and we came out ready to play,” said Thomas, who finished the game with 93 yards on 14 carries. “Their defense didn’t want to hit us. We set the tone on the first play of the game. As a backfield we played well tonight. It was one of our better games. We hit the holes hard.”

Thomas put Interboro on the scoreboard with a touchdown and two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead in the second quarter.

It was Hummel, however, who really swung the momentum of the contest. His 68-yard punt return for a touchdown ignited the Bucs after halftime and was sprung by key blocks from Thomas and Chase Pattinson.

“I got the ball and literally didn’t have to do anything,” said Hummel, who downplayed his electrifying run and also contributed with 20 yards rushing on offense. “There was a straight line to the end zone. We had some phenomenal blocks from Chase (Pattinson) and (Chris) Thomas. I give that touchdown to the people that were blocking on the punt return.”

Pattinson’s crushing block was pivotal in springing Hummel, but that was far from his only contribution. The senior tight end/defensive end registered a sack and also hauled in a 22-yard reception from quarterback Dan Mea. Manny Obaseime also had a sack for the Interboro defense.

Mea later added a touchdown on a one-yard quarterback sneak to give Interboro a 23-0 advantage in the third quarter before Argoe finally put Caravel on the scoreboard with a 10-yard keeper in the fourth quarter to give the game its final margin.

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