CLAYMONT — A late-starting offense was no problem for Archmere’s football team on Dec. 5, as the Auks turned a 14-6 lead after three quarters into a comfortable win with three fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Auks defeated Conrad, 35-6, and completed an undefeated 7-0 regular season.
Archmere will host a game in the DIAA Division II state tournament next weekend. Their seeding and opponent will be determined on Sunday morning by the DIAA football committee. The committee meeting is open to the public at this site.
The Auks and Red Wolves went nearly an entire half without a point being scored, but Archmere snuck a touchdown in just under the wire.
The Red Wolves’ last possession of the first half began at their own 6-yard line after the Auks turned the ball over on downs. Archmere’s defense held, and the team conserved time on the clock by using its timeouts. The Auks took over after a punt to the Conrad 38, and they went to work.
Quarterback Chris Albero hit Kieran Udovich on first down for 22 yards. Michael Mallamaci then caught a pass that was just long enough for a first down, stopping the clock. On the next play, Albero rolled to his left and threw, hitting Declan Pearson as he crossed through the end zone for a 6-yard score with just 6.7 seconds to go in the half.
Conrad began the second half with the ball near midfield, but Archmere took over after recovering a fumble. After Pearson caught a pass and took it to the 5, Mallamaci scored on the first-down run to double the Auks’ lead with 5:29 remaining in the third.
It didn’t take the Red Wolves long to answer. Kaleb Glynn scampered 51 yards for a touchdown two minutes later, but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful.
Conrad then forced an Auks fumble inside the Red Wolves’ 5, but the ensuing offensive drive ended when Udovich made a stop on a fourth-and-1 at the Red Wolves’ 49.
Albero showed off his running skills on second down from the 47. He carried it straight up the middle for a touchdown with 8:25 to go. The Auks’ defense, which was strong all day, gave the ball right back to their offense on an interception by Kevin DiGregorio, who took the ball to the Conrad 16. Mallamaci ran over the left end on first down and scored for the second time on the day.
Mallamaci added one more touchdown, this time on a 7-yard run.
Mallamaci had five receptions for 101 yards to go along with 12 carries for 62 yards and his three scores. Albero was 11-for-15 passing for 176 yards, and he added 94 yards rushing on nine carries. On defense, Scott Lucarelli had nine solo tackles and a sack, while DiGregorio had eight tackles along with the sack and interception.
Archmere will participate in the state tournament for the third straight year and are seeking their first postseason victory since 2012.
Conrad finished the season at 3-4.