WILMINGTON – The first quarter of the Oct. 22 football game between Archmere and Conrad was not yet six minutes old, and the Auks found themselves in a 13-0 hole, but Archmere found its footing – literally and figuratively – and bounced back for a 35-19 road victory. Five different Auks found the end zone on a chilly, damp late morning.
Patrick Udovich paced the Auks’ ground game, picking up 127 yards on 18 carries and one of the touchdowns. Cole Bauer and Austin Marvel each rushed for 51 and a score, while Joseph DiGregorio completed eight passes in 11 attempts for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Early on, however, it was Conrad that was making noise with its running game. L.B. Brown got the scoring started with a powerful 39-yard run three and a half minutes into the contest. Conrad kept the momentum going by recovering a squib kickoff, taking over near midfield. Eli Walton was the featured back on this drive, going for 17 on a third-and-four situation, then blasting through the right side of his line for a 17-yard touchdown. This time, the point after was good, and Conrad held a 13-0 advantage with 6:37 to go in the quarter.
Conrad tried a pooch kick again, but this time the Auks were ready and took over at the Conrad 49. Bauer and Udovich traded running attempts on the drive, with Udovich converting a key fourth-down play. On first-and-10 from the 26, Bauer ran for six, and on the next play he covered the remaining 20 yards.
Trailing by six, the Auks (3-4) got started again midway through the second quarter, taking the lead on an 81-yard drive punctuated by Udovich’s six-yard TD run. The Auks began this drive keeping the ball on the ground again, but quarterback Joe DiGregorio mixed things up with a 12-yard pass to Luke Grant for a first down. On the next play, DiGregorio found Mark Dombroski for a 13-yard gain. Facing a third-and-14, Udovich took a screen pass down to the Conrad 15. From there, Udovich did the rest of the work on the ground, culminating with his touchdown with 4:09 to go in the half to give the Auks the lead they would not relinquish.
Conrad’s offense sputtered, giving Archmere another chance before halftime. DiGregorio went back to the air, finding Grant for 14 on first down and Dombroski down the right sideline on the very next play for 33. Once the Auks had a first-and-goal from the nine, it was Austin Marvel’s time to work. He ran three straight times, the last of which was over left tackle for a three-yard score with 44 seconds on the clock.
Quarterback Tim Metzler put a charge in the home crowd with a 65-yard keeper in the third quarter, although the two-point conversion was stuffed. Still, Conrad was down only two, at 21-19. Archmere answered with a 63-yard drive, all of it on the ground. This time, Bauer, Marvel and Patrick McVey took turns carrying the ball, and McVey covered the final 14 yards.
The Auks got the ball back toward the end of the third, and they made it a two-possession difference on the scoreboard by the time it was done. Udovich began the drive, which began at the Archmere 39, with an 18-yard run. He ran the ball four more times on the drive, but on third-and-goal from the five, DiGregorio found Dominic Cipriano all alone behind the coverage on a play-action pass.
Archmere put an end to a four-game losing streak and will try to keep the good times going Saturday at noon at the Academy of the New Church (Pa.). Conrad fell to 4-3 and will be at Tower Hill on Friday at 7 p.m.