With a raucous Homecoming crowd in Williams Stadium Saturday afternoon, the Wilmington College football team jumped out to a two touchdown lead, but for the second straight season, Baldwin Wallace scored 21 unanswered points and the Yellow Jackets posted a 28-17 win in OAC action at Townsend Field.
“Our guys fought hard,” said Wilmington head coach Stacey Hairston. “We didn’t make a ton of mistakes, but the ones we made cost us. It cost us points right before halftime, it cost us points on their first drive in the second half. Missed tackles, missed sacks and a pass interference all added up to help them on that drive. We are a young team battling. I think we got a little tired in the second half. We can’t rotate because we just don’t have the depth right now.”
After forcing a punt on the game’s first drive, Wilmington methodically marched down field. Eight of the Fightin’ Quakers’ 11 plays on the 82 yard possession came on the ground, including a five-yard touchdown run by senior Chase Manica.
Another long drive, this one, 89 yards on eight plays, was culminated by a 34-yard scoring strike from junior Luke Creditt to junior P.J. Meyer and WC led 14-0.
“We came out and played with confidence and I told them if we play with confidence, we can play with most teams,” said Hairston.
The 14-point lead didn’t last long as BW responded with a long drive of its own, but the extra point was blocked by junior Darren Milligan.
Wilmington had a chance to increase its lead in the waning moments of the first half following an interception by sophomore Brandon Roberts with 59 seconds remaining. It was the first career pick for Roberts.
A couple big plays and a facemask penalty had the Fightin’ Quakers in the red zone with eight seconds remaining. Instead of attempting the 32-yard field goal, Wilmington went for the score. The pass was intercepted in the end zone as time expired.
BW scored on its first drive of the third quarter and drove to the red zone on its second but missed the field goal. The Yellow Jackets amassed 162 third-quarter yards to WC’s 26 yards in the quarter. Despite the yardage differential, the Fightin’ Quakers still took a lead going into the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, Wilmington was outscored 15-3 in the final period.
Manica had his best game of the season with 102 yards on 18 carries and a score. He came into the game with 74 yards on 29 attempts.
Creditt finished 23-of-30 for 190 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Meyer led the team with 71 yards on six catches, while sophomore Dylan Voltz finished with 34 yards on four receptions.
Defensively, senior C.J. Thompson recorded 10 tackles and junior Sam Tedtman added eight tackles. Milligan, in addition to his blocked extra point attempt, had 1.5 sacks.
Wilmington (0-5 overall, 0-4 OAC) travels to Marietta 1:30 p.m. Saturday in OAC action.