DOVER — The Atkins Red Devils won the Rivals Cup for the second year in a row with a 46-21 win over the Dover Pirates on Friday at Jack Berry Field.
Atkins (2-0) took a 24-7 halftime lead. The Red Devils scored on every possession besides one, which ended when Dover’s (0-2) Justice McMinn picked off Atkins quarterback Eli Roberson near the end of the second quarter.
The interception didn’t end in points, however, and the Pirates’ offense sputtered as the first half expired.
Atkins drew first blood with a 10-play, 61-yard drive. Roberson capped the drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kreed Stubbs. The Red Devils missed the PAT to make it 6-0 with 7:50 left in the first quarter.
Dover answered fast with an explosive two-play drive. Pirates quarterback Leighton Alexander hit Dawson branch for a 3-yard gain, then found Isaac Story deep for a 60-yard touchdown strike. Story was initially hit for a short gain on the pass but kept his feet and took it to the end zone.
Atkins made it 12-7 with 3:00 left in the quarter.
The Red Devils covered 74 yards in seven plays. Roberson tossed the ball to Trenton Casto for a 36-yard touchdown. Once again, Atkins missed the PAT.
After forcing the Pirates to turn the ball over on downs, the Red Devils went to work on their 24. Six plays later, Rylee Bowden rumbled across the goal line on a 12-yard run.
Atkins missed the PAT again to make it 18-7 with 9:46 left in the half.
After a Dover punt, the Red Devils set up on the Dover 40 and scored seven plays later on a 2-yard run by Bowden. The Red Devils missed the 2-point conversion to make it 24-7 with 4:43 left in the half.
The Pirates turned the ball over on downs again but soon picked off Roberson for another chance at the end zone.
Dover fumbled the ball on the last play of the first half, recovered by Atkins’ Tyler Leggitt.
The Pirates scored on their opening drive of the second half to pull within 24-13 with 8:41 left in the third quarter. Dover moved the ball 59 yards in 10 plays before Mitchell Raney powered across the goal line on a 2-yard run.
Atkins answered fast to go up 32-13.
The Red Devils went 51 yards in four plays capped with a 15-yard pass to Stubbs for a touchdown. Robinson found Casto on the 2-point conversion with 7:23 left in the third.
The Pirates fumbled on the second play of their next drive.
Leggitt recovered his second fumble of the night and put Atkins back on offense.
Six plays later Roberson hit Stubbs for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
The Red Devils missed the 2-point conversion to make it 38-13 with 4:28 left in the third.
Dover wasn’t done. With :54 left in the third quarter, Branch broke free on a 34-yard touchdown run to make it 38-21.
The Red Devils added another touchdown late in the game to set the final score.
Atkins hosts Magnet Cove on Friday. Dover travels to Fountain Lake.