The fall season wraps up this week in three sports, and there are Catholic schools still alive in all three. Meanwhile, the state football playoff brackets were announced Sunday morning, and two teams earned spots and will play this weekend.
Wilmington Charter vs. Archmere, 6:30 p.m., Bob Carpenter Center. The second-seeded Auks face No. 4 Wilmington Charter for the state championship at the University of Delaware. These teams are no strangers. Both are members of the Diamond State Athletic Conference and played on Sept. 13. The Auks came away with the 3-1 victory that night, but that was two months ago. It was a big night for the teams’ best players. The Force’s Maddie Matheny had 22 kills and 12 digs, while Archmere’s Julia Kochie put up 18 kills and seven blocks, along with 12 digs. Tickets are $8 and available at www.statechamps.com. Last year’s final between Ursuline and Padua drew 2,836 to the Carpenter Center, a record for the event. The Raiders and Pandas, by the way, will meet in the consolation match beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Wilmington Charter vs. Padua, 2 p.m., Rullo Stadium. The Pandas return to the semifinal round for the third time in the past five years against the Force at the University of Delaware. Padua finished regular season 14-1, earning the second seed in the Division I tournament. They scored four second-half goals to defeat Middletown, 4-1, in the quarterfinals last week. The Pandas stand on their defense; they have allowed just 10 goals all season, and six of those came against Cape Henlopen, the top seed in the tournament. The winner faces the winner of Cape-Polytech, who will play immediately following this game. The final is Friday at Rullo Stadium.
Archmere vs. Wilmington Friends, 6 p.m., Caravel Academy. The Auks, seeded third in Division II, meet a tough Quakers squad, which is the No. 2 seed. These teams did not meet during the regular season. Archmere played stellar defense during the season, and that continued into their second-round meeting on Saturday vs. St. Andrew’s. The teams were tied, 1-1, at the end of two overtime periods, and the Auks prevailed in penalty kicks, 9-8. Friends tends to allow more goals than Archmere, although the Quakers threw a 1-0 shutout against Tower Hill in their meeting on Saturday. The winner plays Saturday at Smyrna High School for the state championship against the winner of Caravel-Indian River. This is the first game of a doubleheader at Caravel on Wednesday; tickets are $6.
William Penn vs. Salesianum, 8 p.m., Caravel Academy. Game two that night is this one, pitting upstart William Penn, the fifth seed, against the No. 1 Sals. Sallies is tested against some of the top teams in the country as they vie for their ninth consecutive state title. The team is blessed with talent on both sides of the ball, including state player of the year Tom McGrail. The Colonials can score some goals, as evidenced by their 4-1 win over Cape Henlopen in the quarterfinal round. The winner will face the winner of Appoquininmink-Caesar Rodney for the Division I championship on Saturday, also at Smyrna.
Salesianum at Middletown, 7:30 p.m. The Sals earned the fifth seed and a return to the Division I playoffs after an absence last season. They do not need to be reminded of their visit to Cavalier Stadium on Oct. 12, when Middletown defeated them, 34-7. Sallies has a prolific ground game, which will need to be working to keep that Cavaliers offense off the field. Middletown, the fourth seed, missed out on a first-round bye after suffering a narrow 14-7 loss to Hodgson on Saturday in the regular-season finale. They were held in check against Hodgson after putting up no fewer than 34 points in eight other games against Delaware opponents. Tickets to this game are $5.
Delmar at Archmere, 1 p.m. The Auks return to the playoffs as the third seed, and their reward is a visit from the defending Division II state champions. The Wildcats’ offense was a juggernaut all season until this past Friday night, when they were shut out by Woodbridge. That cost sixth-seeded Delmar a home game, and now they will be traveling from the state’s southernmost town to its northernmost. Archmere has plenty of weapons itself, including three-way standout Mitch Moyer. This is the Auks’ first tournament appearance since 2014, and their first one at home since 2011. Tickets are $5.