It was a successful Senior Day sendoff for the Wilmington College football team Saturday, as the Fightin’ Quakers posted a 41-34 victory over Ohio Athletic Conference rival Capital at Townsend Field.
Wilmington improved to 2-7 overall (2-6 in the conference). Capital remains winless on the season at 0-9.
The Senior Day home crowd had plenty to cheer about in the early-going, as WC scored touchdowns on its first three drives en route to a 21-7 first quarter lead.
With a pair of second quarter touchdowns, Wilmington built a 34-14 lead at halftime. For the Quakers, it was a good mix of rushing plays and passing, leading to five first half touchdowns.
The Quakers generated 349 yards in total offense during the first half, but the momentum did not carry over in the second half, and the Crusaders chipped away at the 20-point spread. Capital closed the gap to 41-27 early in the fourth quarter.
Things really tightened up in the final four minutes when the Crusaders narrowed the gap to just seven points on a 48-yard touchdown pass.
Wilmington recovered Capital’s on-side kick, but could not seal the game as Kyle Barrett’s pass was intercepted and returned into Wilmington territory. Capital reached the WC 13, but freshman Eli Berner stopped the Crusader comeback with an interception at the 1:13 mark. The Quakers killed the clock, preserving the hard-fought victory.
Capital’s quarterback tandem of Mitchell Machock and Justin McClelland combined for 441 passing yards on 32 completions, as the Crusaders outgained WC in total offense, 509-453.
Wilmington held the edge in rushing yardage, 168-68, with Gino Hinton leading the Quakers with 72 yards on the ground, including a 30-yard touchdown run.
Itika Wynn Jr, was the Quakers’ top receiver, with five catches for 168 yards, including a pair of touchdowns. Niko Jones, DeShawn Maddox and Luke Richardson each had a touchdown catch.
Barrett completed 18 of 27 for 285 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, Tre’ Quez Parks had 11 tackles.
Wilmington will attempt to close out the regular season with consecutive victories, traveling to Otterbein Saturday. Should the Quakers win, it would give them three victories on the season, something which has not happened since 2008.
In pre-game ceremonies, the graduating seniors were recognized, along with their parents and family members. They included Dusty Lykins, Aaron Volle, Nick Moore, Ed Cook, Tyler Butcher and Michael Vargo.
Retiring athletic director Dr. Terry Rupert was an honorary captain of the football team. Rupert, who has been the AD since 1996, will be stepping away from the post and transitioning into a full-time professor role in the Sports Management program.
Nov 9, 2019
Wilmington 41 Capital 34
WC-Wynn, 40-yd. touchdown reception from Barrett. Butcher PAT 9:42.
WC-Hinton, 30-yd. rushing touchdown from Barrett. Butcher PAT 7:20.
WC-Maddox, 17-yd. touchdown reception from Barrett. Butcher PAT 4:20.
Cap-Smith, 55-yd. touchdown reception from McClelland. Middleton PAT 2:02.
WC-Richardson, 21-yd. touchdown reception from Barrett. PAT blocked 14:54.
Cap-Butler, 8-yd. touchdown reception from Machock. Middleton PAT 11:54.
WC-Wynn-16-yd. touchdown reception from Barrett. Butcher PAT 7:49.
Cap-Smith-13-yd. touchdown reception. PAT blocked 4:47.
WC-Jones, 18-yd. touchdown reception from Barrett. Butcher PAT .
Cap-Lee, 14-yd. touchdown reception from Machock. Middleton PAT 14:15.
Cap-Barnett, 48-yd. touchdown reception from Machock. Middleton PAT 3:14.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.