CLAYMONT — With only two at-large bids available in the Division II football state tournament this season, coupled with the fact that the Diamond State Athletic Conference winner does not get an automatic berth, Archmere wanted to make sure they were in the best position possible to continue playing into the postseason.
The best way to do that was to pick up a win over Delaware Military Academy on Nov. 28, and the Auks did just that. Archmere held the Seahawks to two rushing touchdowns while scoring touchdowns three different ways themselves in a 21-12 victory at Coaches Field. The Auks improved to 6-0 with the win.
The Auks did a solid job shutting down the Seahawks’ ground game, led by the dynamic Devon Green. They forced DMA to turn the ball over on downs on their first possession, and the Auks took over at the Seahawks’ 39. Archmere kept the ball on the ground the entire drive, with quarterback Chris Albero taking it the final five yards for the score with 3:53 to go in the first.
Archmere didn’t score on its next possession, but the Auks set the stage for their next score. Sanjay Long drilled a punt that was downed inside the Seahawks’ 1-yard line, and on second and nine from the 2, Max Ewing intercepted a Miles Harding pass and returned it 18 yards for a score. The Auks led, 14-0, with 11:18 to go in the first half.
Green and the Seahawks got the offense moving after that. The running back accounted for all but 25 of the 69 yards on their next drive, which ended with a 9-yard scoring run. Keith Ellis picked up the other 25 yards on a pass from Harding. The extra point was no good.
The Seahawks narrowed that gap the next time they had the ball. They took over at the Archmere 38, and once again, Green was the featured player. He scored on a 20-yard scamper up the middle with 1:45 to go in the half, but after a failed two-point conversion, the Auks held a 14-12 lead.
Not content to take a two-point lead into halftime, the Auks went on the attack after receiving the kickoff. The first play, from their own 20, was a 33-yard pass from Albero to Jake Hernick. After a rush gained three yards, Albero lofted a pass down the middle, and Conor Udovich settled under it, shook off a tackle and went into the end zone. The drive took 51 seconds.
The Seahawks had a great opportunity to shave some points off the deficit in the middle of the third. Dom Sama intercepted a pass for DMA and returned it about 25 yards to the Auks’ 5. On third and goal, however, Ewing played the hero again, making a one-handed interception in the front of the end zone to end the threat.
Neither offense would come very close to scoring after that. The Auks were able to run out the final four and a half minutes with some clutch rushes by Albero and Kieran Udovich.
Albero finished with 62 rushing yards and 104 through the air. Kieran Udovich ran for 66 yards on 15 carries, while Conor Udovich had two receptions for 72 yards and the touchdown. Defensively, Kevin DiGregorio led the way with 10 solo tackles. The Auks close out the regular season at home next Saturday against Conrad at 11 a.m.
Delaware Military lost its first game of the year after four wins. The Seahawks will try to keep their postseason hopes alive when they visit Saint Mark’s on Friday at 7 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.