WILMINGTON — After being postponed Friday night due to weather issues, Wilmington unleashed its own version of a Hurricane Saturday afternoon, defeating visiting Batavia, 48-8, at Alumni Field.
The victory evens the Hurricane season record at 4-4, with one regular season game remaining, Friday at home against Little Miami.
Batavia is now 2-5 on the season.
For Hurricane head coach Scott Killen it was a matter of pride and confidence in his players to overcome the obstacles, after their playoff game versus DeSales was not played, due to a case of Covid.
“I am really proud of these guys hanging together and showing improvement as a team,” said Killen. “We have a chance to finish strong and end the season on a high note. Today was a great all-out effort.”
Wilmington accounted for seven touchdowns in the game, including five rushing, plus one pass reception and a pick-six by the defense.
Carter Huffman’s interception led to the Hurricane’s first score of the game. Isaiah Rigling took it in from 11 yards. Huffman also helped set up the score, as he and quarterback Peyton Hibbard connected on a crucial fourth down play during the drive.
Wilmington kept it on the ground during their next series with Thad Stuckey handling the carries, and his 14-yard run for a touchdown extended the lead. Parker Henry connected on the PAT, making it a 13-0 game at the end of the quarter.
Batavia’s second turnover helped set up the next Hurricane score. Josh Snell intercepted Batavia quarterback Mick Heckard at the Wilmington 35.Wilmington executed a 10-play drive featuring Thayne McCoy as the primary running back, and he plunged across the goal-line with 8:22 remaining in the half. Henry’s PAT increased the margin to 20-0.
In their next series, it was Kendal France chewing up yardage, and he capped off the drive with a three-yard run with just under 4:00 remaining.
Wilmington’s defense prevailed the next time Batavia had the ball, as sophomore Shane Griffith snared an errant Bulldog pass and went 55 yards to the end zone, enabling Wilmington to boost the lead to 34-0, with just under a minute remaining until the intermission.
In the third quarter, France broke several tackles weaving his way to paydirt on a 25-yard run at the 5:13 mark.
Jeff Valentine had the third interception of the game for the Hurricane defensive unit on the next series, and Hibbard connected with Huffman on a 36-yard pass play for a touchdown. After the PAT by Henry it was 48-0 Hurricane after three quarters.
In the final quarter, Batavia moved the ball to the WHS 25 in search of is first score, but Hurricane defender Brett Brooks sacked the Bulldog quarterback, causing a fumble which Chase Pickard recovered for Wilmington, marking the fourth turnover of the game for Batavia.
The Bulldogs were able to avoid the shutout in the closing minutes, as Eckard connected with Lucas Scaggs on a touchdown with 1:44 remaining in regulation. The two also hooked up for the two-point conversion, making the final 48-8.
Oct. 24, 2020
Wilmington 48 Batavia 8
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.