Sussex Central's Dom Smith catches a touchdown pass in a state semifinal victory over Dover

Sussex Central's Dom Smith catches a touchdown pass in a state semifinal victory over Dover

Sussex Central's defense threw a 2nd half shutout, and Issac Barns hit Dom Smith for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left to give the Golden Knights a 21-20 win over a shocked Dover squad.

The Senators went to halftime leading Central 20-8 behind the triple-threat of Javon Peace.

Peace took a wide receiver screen for a 69-yard touchdown, collected a Central pass for a 37-yard interception return touchdown, and then scored on a 2-yard run to put the Senators seemingly in control.

Sussex Central did get a Barnes to Zion Reed touchdown late in the opening quarter to cut the game to 8-6, and then a safety on a bad punt snap by the Senators that led to Elijah Moorer tackling the punter in the end zone.

Sussex Central went to halftime trailing 20-8 dealing with mixed emotions according to their coaching staff, but they were able to find the necessary resposes.

Dover did not get their initial first down of the 2nd half until their final drive, but by then, the lead had turned to desperation.

Central used their Wing-T to create great time of posssession, but interceptions by Dover's Kylen Thomas and Peace short-circuited drives.

Barnes continued to march the Knights down the field, capping of a drive on the final play of the 3rd quarter to get within 20-15 after the successful extra point.

Dover would again go 3-and-out, but Peace collected another knockdown to stop Central's first attempted go-ahead drive.

Eventually the Golden Knights would get the ball at their own 32 with just over 4 minutes left, needing to drive for their season.

They would convert a pair of 4th downs, calling timeout with about 40 seconds left at the Senators 13.

John Wells and his coaching staff settled on a pair of crossing routes, and Barnes stood in the pocket, leading Smith towards his own sideline, where he had a stride on the closing Peace that gave room for the reception, and the lead.

Dover would be sacked twice trying to answer back, bringing an end to their season.

Next Saturday's game at Delaware Stadium will mark Sussex Central's first apperance in the state title game since wrapping up a 3-year run of title game losses in 2008.

Head Coach John Wells will look to reverse an 0-4 mark in the title game, including losses to Newark in 2000, Salesianum in 2006, Middletown in 2007, and Caesar Rodney in 2008.