WILMINGTON — After an impressive second half the included overcoming a 14-point deficit to forge a tie at Conrad, the St. Elizabeth football team was left crestfallen when Ja’Teir Berkley-Osborne took an interception 31 yards for a touchdown with 1:17 left in the game. Berkley-Osborne then picked off another pass to thwart any hopes of a Vikings comeback in a 34-27 Red Wolves win on Nov. 21.
The teams were tied, 13-13, after the first quarter, but the second quarter belonged to the Red Wolves. Xander Glynn ran 16 yards to give Conrad its first lead of the day, and the team added the two-point conversion, and Conway found the end zone on a keeper from 2 yards out. The halftime score was 27-13, but both defenses tightened in the second half.
St. Elizabeth cut one touchdown off the deficit after a long drive in the third. The Vikings reached the Red Wolves’ 9-yard line in the middle of the quarter, but on two plays they lost five yards. Quarterback Brett Smick found Shawn Cintron in the front of the end zone on third and goal from the 14 with 4:29 left in the third, and the Conrad lead was 27-20.
A 52-yard Red Wolves punt pinned the Vikings at their own 5 in the early stages of the fourth quarter. Facing a third and 9, Smick and Cintron connected again for a first down at the St. Elizabeth 25. Benson ran for nine yards on first down to move the ball to the 34. On the next play, Benson bounced outside right and scampered down the sideline for a 66-yard touchdown run that tied the score at 27 with 6:24 on the clock.
With the ball at their own 30, Conway took the Red Wolves into Vikings territory with a run to the 47. But a combination of penalties and a long sack pushed the Red Wolves way back, and the Vikings’ Chris Caracter gave his team possession at their own 36 with an interception with 1:28 left.
A penalty moved St. Elizabeth back another five yards to the 31. On the next play, Berkley-Osborne leapt to grab a pass attempt, maintained his balance when he landed, and ran down the left sideline into the end zone. He then clinched the win for the Red Wolves when he picked off a pass on the next Vikings offensive play. It was his third interception of the fourth quarter.
The Red Wolves (2-3) visit the Charter School of Wilmington next Saturday at 11 a.m., while St. Elizabeth (2-3) play at Saint Mark’s on Friday at 7 p.m., although the Vikings will be the home team.
All photos by Mike Lang.