The clouds were out early in Saturday’s Delmar varsity football game, but by the end of the day the sun was shining bright. The same was true for the Wildcats and their fans during Saturday’s Homecoming game as they rallied from an early 21-0 deficit to defeat Easton, 35-21.
“We had guys who have not played, one who had not dressed at all and he made plays,” said Delmar head coach David Hearn. “I think they (Easton) were down a little and we put some pressure on the quarterback.”
The Warriors opened with the ball on their own 43 yard-line. Ryan O’Connor completed a 34-yard pass to Grant Copper before finding Thatcher Knox for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Brogan Stofa added the extra point to make the score 7-0 with 11:09 left in the opening quarter.
The Delmar offense started with the ball on its own 24. Hunter VonArx had two carries for 14 yards and Jacob VonArx competed a 14-yard pass to his brother to move the ball to the Warrior 38 before being forced to punt.
Easton started with the ball on its 11 but quickly moved the ball upfield. O’Connor had a 12-yard run, completed an 11-yard pass to Copper, ran 19 yards, completed a 21-yard pass to Shawn Warner, found Copper from 11 yards out and capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to Jarin Winters. Stofa’s extra point extended the Warriors’ lead to 14-0 (3:08).
The Warriors’ offense went back to work after the defense forced a Delmar punt. O’Connor completed a 32-yard pass to Copper at the end of the first quarter before funding Copper on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 11:52 remaining in the half. Stofa’s PAT made the score 21-0.
Delmar started its next possession near midfield at its own 46. Jacob VonArx had a 13-yard run on keeper, Te’Kwon Dennard ran 25 yards to the 16, Hunter VonArx had a 16-yard touchdown run and Guillermo Konowaluk-Echude added the extra point for a 21-7 score (11:03).
Easton started with the ball on its own 27 and moved the ball to the Wildcat 37. Delmar’s Christian Layton recorded a sack and Jamar Cuffee hit O’Connor and his pass fell incomplete on fourth and 10.
The two teams exchanged punts before the Wildcats took over on their own 40. The ball moved to the Easton 45 following an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Warriors. Dennard had two carries for 15 yards before Jaylin Warner took a pitch and ran 30 yards for a touchdown. Konowaluk-Echude’s extra point cut the Wildcats’ deficit to seven with 3:13 remaining in the half.
Easton faced a fourth and four from the four and picked up a first down on a direct snap to Knox on a fake punt. O’Connor completed a pass to Winters on first and 10 from the 44 before Hunter VonArx hit the receiver and dropped him for a one-yard loss. The Warriors eventually punted the ball, giving Delmar the ball at the 23.
Jacob VonArx completed a 20-yard pass to Dennard with under a minute left. VonArx completed a pass to Ryan Nelson on second and 15 from the 38. Nelson caught the ball and pitched it Warner to moved the ball to the Warrior 48, but an Easton interception ended the drive and the Warriors took a 21-14 lead into half-time.
Dennard opened the third quarter with an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Konowaluk-Echude booted the extra point to tie the score at 21-21 with 11:42 left in the quarter.
Easton opened the second half, starting with the ball on its own 34. O’Connor completed a 19-yard pass to Warner and had two carries for 15 yards. On second and 10 from the Delmar 22, the Wildcats’ Donte Handy pressured the quarterback and Trent Kemp sacked him for 14-yard loss. O’Connor had a 15-yard run before Delmar’s Josh Oakley intercepted a pass on fourth and nine from the Delmar 21.
The two teams exchanged punts with Covington recording a sack on third and 11. Delmar’s got the ball back at its own 20. VonArx completed an 11-yard pass and a 10-yard pass to John Roberts at the end of the third quarter.
Hunter VonArx had a 27-yard run and Jacob VonArx added a 15-yard keeper to set up first and goal. On third and goal from the 12, VonArx rolled out and found Warner who ran into the end zone for the go ahead score. The extra point by Konowaluk-Echude gave the Wildcats a 28-21 lead with 9:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.
On the Warriors’ next possession, O’Connor completed a 43-yard pass to Knox on second and 27 from the 24. Easton moved the ball to the Delmar 33 before Oakley hauled in his second interception of the game.
The Wildcats’ offense moved ball into Easton territory before turning the ball over on downs at the Warrior 31. Covington recorded a sack on first down, Rajay Allen broke up a pass on third and 21, and Dylan Rodriguez added a sack to turn the ball over on downs.
Delmar took the ball over on the Easton nine yard-line. VonArx scored on a four-yard keeper on third and goal and Konowaluk-Echude’s extra point upped the Wildcats’ lead to 35-21 (1:02).
Easton moved the ball to the Delmar 23 following a kick return and a personal foul penalty. The Warriors’ pass on fourth and three from the 16 fell incomplete with 13.3 seconds left and the Wildcats held on to win.
“Just a play or two and you’re back in the game,” Hearn said. “The defense just adjusted. We made a few changes in the second half. We tried to get all the pressure we could on them.”