Here's a closer look at Appoquinimink High's 21-6 football loss to Mount Pleasant last Saturday afternoon in Wilmington.
The Jaguars (4-3) host Dickinson (0-7) on Friday night. Game time is 7 p.m. at Jaguar Stadium.
MOUNT PLEASANT 21, APPOQUINIMINK 6
Pregame The AHS marching band performed admirably as the light rain turned hard at times. Captains Zach Lorenz (lineman) and Ricky Jackson (back) represented the Jaguars for the coin flip. The Appo cheerleaders were in fine spirits despite the dreary conditions.
1st quarter Playing a rainy road game against a talented foe for the second straight Saturday, the Jaguars quickly fell behind. A game opening, 55-yard kickoff return set up a quick Mount Pleasant scoring drive. “I didn’t think we came ready to play,” AHS coach Jeff Weiner said. “We weren’t inspired. We need to respond when people score first on us, and we didn’t do that.” Led by Cornelius Smith, the speedy Green Knight runners regularly broke to the outside and into the open field. On Smith’s second touchdown, he burst 34 yards up the middle without breaking stride. It was 13-0 late in the first quarter. The quarter ended badly for Appo’s offense when quarterback John Gasparovic was sacked and lost the ensuing fumble. It was the Jaguars second turnover in as many possessions. The offense ran just six plays. The only bright spots were kickoff returns by Mike Marino to the 39 and Armando Estrada to the 36. Also, cornerback Jackson rushed up from the secondary to make a jarring tackle, but was shaken up and briefly left the game.
2nd quarter Finally, the Jags showed signs of fighting back even as the rain continued to fall. James Scully and Marino made a big defensive stop to get the ball back. AHS appeared to be thwarted early in the quarter, but punter Connor Whitehead was roughed on a kick and possession was retained at the 38. Estrada went left for 20 yards on the next play, and Marino gained four more to the Mount Pleasant 38-yard-line. The Jaguars bogged down from there, and Estrada slipped and fell to the wet turf on a fourth and eight play. Mount Pleasant had the ball back with 5:29 left before intermission, and steadily drove for a 57-yard touchdown match. Quarterback Bajon Mosely orchestrated the running-only drive, and Smith got loose for a 26-yard scoring run with a minute left before halftime.
“We made mistakes that shouldn’t be made in the seventh week of the season,” Weiner said.
Halftime Mount Pleasant held its homecoming ceremonies.
3rd quarter Appoquinimink finally got the offense going, and Gasparovic teamed with Marino for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
4th quarter The Jaguars defense clamped down and at least earned the second half shutout. AHS earned second half shutouts against Moyer Academy and Middletown earlier in the season.
Moment of the game
Midway through the second quarter, Appoquinimink trailed 13-0 but finally gained some momentum with about six minutes remaining. The Jaguars were moving the ball, but then lost a fourth down fumble. Estrada was making a cut on the soggy field when his feet went out from underneath him and the ball went loose. Mount Pleasant quickly took advantage and rambled down field to get a touchdown on a 26-yard burst from Smith. Instead of possibly being down a touchdown at halftime and holding momentum, AHS trailed by three scores.
3 turnovers by Appoquinimink in its first three offensive possessions of the game. Mount Pleasant answered with two touchdown drives on the opportunities. The Jaguars made six turnovers overall.
0 minutes the Jaguars have led in their last two losses to Hodgson and Mount Pleasant. During the preceding four-game winning streak, AHS never trailed against Seaford, Moyer Academy, St. Georges and McKean.
5 touchdowns by sophomore running back Mike Marino this season. He also recorded a safety in the win over St. Georges..
9 straight successful extra point kicks by Tyler Green until Saturday’s rare miss.
Appoquinimink (4-3) 0 0 6 0 – 6
Mount Pleasant (5-2) 13 8 0 0 – 21
MP-Smith 1 run (Eriksen kick)
MP-Smith 33 run (kick failed)
MP-Smith 26 run (Mosley run)