The Wilmington College football team gave once-beaten Baldwin Wallace a battle to the final whistle but came up two points short, 35-33, Saturday at Townsend Field in Ohio Athletic Conference play.
WC falls to 1-6 overall, 0-6 in OAC action. The Yellow Jackets improve to 6-1 overall, 5-1 in the OAC.
Despite falling behind by in the second half, 35-20, the Quakers staged a dramatic fourth quarter comeback.
Wilmington kept the game close, as they trailed by a 28-20 margin at halftime, and allowed Baldwin Wallace just one touchdown in the second half of play.
During this tough stretch of high caliber OAC teams, WC head coach Bryan Moore has spoken of his teams’ determination and resiliency. They certainly answered that call on Saturday. The WC coach pointed to a key series when his team made a big stop as Baldwin-Wallace threatened to put the game away.
“There was a moment late in the third quarter when they (BW) could have pounded it in and really buried us,” Moore said. “But, we have some talented players. We knocked the ball out which gave us new life.”
Trailing by 15 with Baldwin-Wallace knocking on the door for another touchdown, Quaker safety Tre’Quez Parks forced a fumble at the 1 with the Quakers making the recovery, denying the touchdown. The momentum turned and Wilmington fought back with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to close the gap.
WC quarterback Kyle Barrett hooked up with Clinton-Massie grad Luke Richardson on a fourth-down, 35-yard touchdown pass, making it a 35-26 contest. Wilmington’s attempt for the two-point conversion failed.
Wilmington successfully engineered an onside kick to get the football, and drove 54 yards for another score when Barrett connected with Ace Taylor on a 23-yard TD. Kicker Tyler Butcher’s PAT pulled WC within 35-33. Baldwin Wallace successfully kept its next drive alive and ran out the clock.
The teams combined for more than 900 yards in total offense – BW 561, WC 379.
Barrett completed 19 of 30 attempts for 222 yards and four touchdowns. Richardson had 84 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions. DJ Chambers had 157 yards rushing on 21 carries. Parks had an outstanding game defensively with 14 tackles, one fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
Despite losing, Coach Moore feels his squad gave an outstanding effort.
“It was good to see our team not quit,” said Moore. “That rally is something we can build upon.”
Moore and the Quakers return to Williams Stadium Saturday, hosting John Carroll in OAC action. Kickoff will be at 1:30 p.m.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet