John Wells and his Sussex Central High football team didn't want to rely on points scenarios and any other such factors to qualify for the DIAA Division I Football State Tournament.
The Golden Knights knew if they could just win, everything else would take care of itself.
Sussex Central was able to do just that as sophomore Shawn Savage rushed for 110 yards on 14 carries, including three touchdowns, to spark the Golden Knights to a decisive 42-20 triumph over Indian River.
Savage scored on TD runs of 40, 13 and 2 yards for Sussex Central (8-2 overall), which won its fourth consecutive contest. The Golden Knights were able to spread the rushing wealth around out of their Wing-T attack, as Keith Jones rushed for 59 yards, Sha'Quandas Murray for 57 yards and James Jenkins for 56.
"We've been treating every game as a playoff game because we didn't know," Wells said. "We thought this week we were in, but you never know in case something crazy happened in points. ... Our boys came out and played a great game.
"Our seniors, it could be their last time playing [at home], because it looks like we're probably going to be traveling [in the state tourney]. So it was great to see our seniors play so well. They gave us a chance to be the team that we've been all season long, and it's just been tremendous."
Indian River (8-2) had its seven-game winning streak snapped as it was unable to stop the Golden Knights' offense. SC only punted one time during the contest.
"We never stopped them all night," Indians coach Ray Steele said. "We made mistakes the first half that cost us being in the ballgame. If you're in the game and you keep trading [scores], then you never know what could happen at the end, but we showed no signs of stopping them, and that worries me a little bit [heading into the Division II tournament]."
Sussex Central jumped on the scoreboard first after the Indians' opening drive was stopped after 14 plays and a nice-looking drive to the Golden Knights' 41-yard line.
Greg Taylor raced around the corner of the line, blocked an IR punt, grabbed it and raced 42 yards for a touchdown. Alberto Sosa-Contreras kicked the point-after as SC took a 7-0 lead with 6:11 left in the first quarter.
Savage had TD rushes serve as bookends to Indian River's first score, as the Golden Knights took a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Sussex Central opened the second half with an 80-yard drive that was topped off by Savage's third touchdown as the Golden Knights went up 35-14 with 5:12 to play in the third.
Indian River quarterback Marquel Knight finished with 101 yards on 23 carries, while Aarron Moore rushed for 89 yards and Jalen Griffin had 80 yards and a pair of TD runs.