Smyrna's defense made big plays at all three levels in a second-half shutout as they defeated Salesianum 18-10 Friday night.
The game looked like it might be a shootout when both teams used simple screens to set up long touchdowns.
Smyrna's Mekhi Jackson put the Eagles on the board just 97 seconds into the contest when he took Aidan Sanchez's pass and tip-toed down the sideline 67 yards for a score, putting the Eagles up 6-0 after a failed 2-point conversion.
Two drives later, Salesianum took a 7-6 lead after Dylan Mooney scrambled and found tailback Liam Mara with a short pass, and when he turned the corner on his own sideline, he just had to make one inside cut to finish off a 55-yard score.
After missing a 44-yard kick earlier, Salesianum's Hunter Simmons boosted the lead to 10-6 after connecting from 25-yards away with 5:36 to go before halftime.
Smyrna would reclaim the lead for good on their next drive, as Sanchez again hit Jackson, who put an inside move on his cornerback and fought off a second defender for a 13-yard score, giving the Eagles a 12-10 lead at halftime.
A defensive stalemate then broke out, as Salesianum's James Johnson intercepted a pass in the end zone early in the 3rd quarter.
Their drive would be cut short, but Simmons could not hit a 55-yard kick, keeping Smyrna out in front.
In the fourth quarter, Debo Williams would put an end to another drive with a crushing sack, and that would set up Wayne Knight for an 11 yard run off the left edge to get the game to a maximum one score.
Salesianum would get two more chances down by 8, but one drive ended on a Hugo Harp 4th down sack, and then Ray Nyameke launched for a jump-ball interception, and Smyrna had the victory.
Smyrna (2-2) returns to Henlopen North action Friday night when they host Sussex Tech.
Salesianum (3-1) starts the first of back-to-back out-of-state games when they host Episcopal Academy (PA) at Caravel. You'll hear the game on WDEL next Friday night.