WILMINGTON — What a way to end a long losing streak versus an Ohio Athletic Conference rival.
In dramatic fashion, the Wilmington College football team stunned visiting Ohio Northern, 42-38, Saturday at Williams Stadium.
Trailing 38-35 with just under 2:00 remaining in regulation, the Quakers engineered a 90-yard drive which ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Barrett to Itika Wynn Jr. with 28 seconds to play. Tyler Butcher’s extra point kick made it a four-point margin.
Ohio Northern failed to covert in its final drive as Anthony McFadden’s desperation pass into the end zone was incomplete on the game’s final play, preserving the Homecoming victory for the Quakers.
“The biggest thing for us was to make a big play when it counted,” said WC head coach Bryan Moore following the contest. “In the past four games we have played, making a big play here or there could have made the difference. We (coaching staff) have stressed the need to follow the process. We’ve had our share of bad breaks, but sooner or later, we’re bound to get one that goes our way and today it happened.”
Regarding the famed two-minute drill, its something Moore and his staff have been working on.
“We have been designing plays for just this type of situation and working on it. Fortunately, it worked today when we needed it. I’m proud of the kids for their effort and desire, it really showed,” he said.
The victory snapped a 25-game losing skid against the Polar Bears. The last time Wilmington defeated Ohio Northern was in 1956, a 28-12 victory in Ada.
Wilmington is now 1-2 on the season, 1-0 in OAC play. Ohio Northern also is 1-2 on the season but 0-1 in the conference.
On the day, Wilmington had nearly 600 yards in total offense (592 on 70 plays), while the Polar Bears generated 473 yards offensively on 64 plays.
Wilmington had its offense in high gear to start the contest, scoring touchdowns on its first four series. WC held a 14-7 lead at the first quarter break, and a 28-10 lead at halftime.
After three quarters, WC led 35-24 but the momentum had changed and the Polar Bears came back strong. McFadden connected with Ryan Rockwell on a 24-yard TD pass to put ONU on top for the first time in the game, 37-35, midway through the final quarter. Neither team was able to generate any sustained drives over the next few minutes, before the Quakers engineered their winning drive.
For the game, Barrett completed 26 of 34 pass attempts for 406 yards and four touchdowns. Wynn had eight catches for 131 yards and three touchdowns. Clinton-Massie grad Luke Richardson had five catches for 190 yards and a touchdown.
Wilmington was able to establish a running attack, generating 186 yards on the ground on 36 rush attempts. Gino Hinton had 121 yards rushing on 14 attempts and scored one touchdown.
Next week the Quakers travel to Muskingum in OAC action. After a bye on Oct. 5, the Quakers return home at Williams Stadium versus Division III powerhouse Mount Union Oct. 12th.
Sept 21, 2019
Wilmington 42 Ohio Northern 38
WC-Barrett 5-yrd. run, Butcher PAT kick good at 9:06.
ONU-Eick, 42-yard reception from McFadden. DiFalco PAT kick good at 6:44.
WC-Wynn Jr. 25-yard reception from Barrett. Butcher PAT kick good at 4:30.
WC-Richardson, 59-yard reception from Barrett. Butcher PAT kick good at 13:14.
ONU-DiFalco good on 32 yd. field goal at 8:08.
WC-Hinton, 65-yd. run Butcher PAT kick good at 6:38.
ONU-Marks, 1 yard pass from McFadden. DiFalco PAT kick good at 11:31.
WC-Wynn, 13-yd. reception from Barrett. Butcher PAT kick good at 8:15.
ONU-Williams, 3-yd. run. DiFalco PAT kick good at 5:17.
ONU-Eick, 15-yd. reception from McFadden. DiFalco PAT kick good at 12:38.
ONU-Rockwell, 24-yard pass from McFadden. DiFalco PAT kick good at 7:35.
WC-Wynn Jr., 8-yard reception from Barrett. Butcher PAT kick good at :28.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.