The Wilmington College football team will look to snap a two-game losing streak Saturday when the Fightin’ Quakers host Marietta for Homecoming. The Pioneers will be in search of their first win of the season.
The last time Wilmington played Marietta for its Homecoming game, WC slid past the Pioneers, 13-12, in 2012. However, both teams made coaching changes following the 2012 season and Marietta has won the last two meetings – both in Marietta.
Marietta is coming off a 61-0 loss to Mount Union, while Wilmington fell to Otterbein 31-9.
Stopping the run, and running the ball, could be the key for both teams as the respective defenses enter the game near the bottom in the OAC in conference rushing. Wilmington is eighth, allowing 255.0 yards per game, while Marietta is surrendering 275.0 yards per game.
The Pioneers are last in conference rushing, gaining just 129.0 yards per game. Although, they gained just 77 yards against Mount Union, skewing their average. Sophomore running back Nick O’Neal leads the team with 243 yards rushing on 57 attempts and two touchdowns. The starter at the position, Roger Bush has gained 128 yards on 29 carries.
Wilmington varied its rushing attack against Otterbein last week as four running backs – Kyle Davis (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington), Chase Manica (Shelbyville, KY/Shelby County), Eric Flynn Jr. (Cleveland, OH/Central Catholic) and Gino Hinton (Maple Heights, OH/Maple Height) – all earned carries.
However, the top two rushers in the game were quarterbacks Austin Jarbo (Gratis, OH/Preble Shawnee) and Luke Creditt (Wilmington, OH/Waynesville), who combined for 103 yards on the ground.
Lucas Havens has attempted every pass for the Pioneers this season, completing 48.9 percent (43-of-88) for 437 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
Receiver Clay Moorefield is the primary recipient with 16 catches for 114 yards and one touchdown. While Moorefield gets his share of touches, his per catch average is the lowest of all receivers at 7.1 yards per reception.
Bush and receiver Nick Hineman each have eight catches for the Pioneers.
Defensively, Marietta linebacker David DeWindt is sixth in the OAC with 9.3 tackles per game (28 total) and is tied for fourth with 3.5 tackles per loss. Defensive back Corey Hunsberger is second on the team with 24 tackles.
Senior Nick Williams (Cleveland, OH/Fairview) leads Wilmington, and is fifth in the OAC, with 10.3 tackles per game (31 total), while senior Tarrell Starckey (Richmond, VA/Highland Springs) is averaging 9.0 tackles and junior David Henry (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) is averaging 8.3 tackles. Henry is currently third in the OAC with four tackles for loss.