BEREA — The Wilmington College football team allowed 21 unanswered points in the second and third quarters, and fell to Baldwin Wallace Saturday, 21-14, at George Finnie Stadium in Ohio Athletic Conference action.
The Fightin’ Quakers took the lead on the first play of the second quarter as sophomore Brandon Mitchell (Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Chapel), playing for an injured Luke Creditt (Wilmington, OH/ Waynesville), connected with sophomore Aroyal Wright (Cincinnati, OH/Newport (KY)) for a 58-yard touchdown strike. Creditt was injured on Wilmington’s second drive of the game.
Wilmington’s defense was stifling in the first half, but a huge 26-yard run on 3rd and 19 late in the second quarter gave BW the boost it seemingly needed. On the next play, with 26 seconds remaining in the half, the Yellow Jackets scored to knot the game at 7.
The drive was set up by special teams as the previous Wilmington drive started on the one. WC went three-and-out, and after a punt return, BW was set up just 39 yards from paydirt.
Prior to the aforementioned scoring drive, Baldwin Wallace almost got on the board – but a blocked 24-yard field goal kept the Yellow Jackets scoreless.
Baldwin Wallace took the lead with its first drive of the second half, going 60 yards on eight plays.
The Fightin’ Quaker defense played a little bend, but don’t break as BW drove 98 yards down to doorstep of the goalline. However, a blitzing C.J. Thompson (Cincinnati, OH/Northwest) forced a fumble, which was recovered by senior Cody Reigelsperger (Trenton, OH/Edgewood).
A late touchdown in the third quarter proved to be enough for Baldwin Wallace as it built a 21-7 lead.
Refusing to go away, Mitchell connected with senior Justin Lee (Middletown, OH/Madison) for a 54-yard touchdown with less than five minutes to go. The defense stepped up to give Wilmington a chance for the tying score as Reigelsperger forced a fumble, which was recovered by freshman Jay Higgins (Hollywood, FL/Cooper City). However, four plays later, the Fightin’ Quakers were turning the ball over on downs and BW was able to run out the clock.
Four different defenders recorded double-digit tackles, led by Tarrell Starckey’s (Richmond, VA/Highland Springs) 16 stops. He added a forced fumble and pass break-up.
Senior Nick Williams (Cleveland, OH/Fairview) finished with 12 tackles, 1.5 for loss, while Reigelsperger contributed 11 tackles and a forced fumble. Junior David Henry (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) had 10 tackles and two sacks.
Wright recorded his second 100-yard game of the season, and his career, totaling 111 yards on five catches and a score. It marks the fourth time in six games as WC receiver has eclipsed the 100-yard plateau.
Mitchell finished 8-of-22 for 149 yards and two scores, while Creditt was off to a good start – completing five of his six attempts.
Wilmington (1-5 overall, 0-5 OAC) hosts No. 1 Mount Union 1:30 p.m. Saturday.