CLAYMONT — Archmere, the top-ranked team in Class 2A by Delaware Live/302Sports, used a last-minute goal-line stand to hold off rival Saint Mark’s, 10-7, on Oct. 9 at Coaches Field.
The Spartans took over at their own 1 with 5:40 left after their defense made its own stand, keeping Auks quarterback Chris Albero a half-yard short on fourth and goal from the 1. The Spartans had some huge plays to move the ball from their own 1 to the Auks 48. Donovan Artis had runs of 12 yards and then 22 yards to get into Archmere territory with 2:04 left
The Auks’ defense had to dig down deep as the Spartans picked up another first down at the Auks’ 30. A couple of short runs set up third and six. The Spartans called their final timeout to set up the play with 52 seconds left. Jack Burns threw a pass to Jabri White in the end zone that fell to the ground, but there was some contact, and the interference penalty, followed by another flag, gave the Spartans first and goal at the Auks’ 6 with 40 seconds left.
Artis got down to the 3 on two runs, but the clock ticked down to 19 seconds. The Spartans snapped the ball, and Artis was stopped at the one. The clock ran out before Saint Mark’s could get the fourth-down play off.
It was another dramatic conclusion in a series that has had its share recently. The Auks struck first in the first quarter as Albero hit Conor Udovich on a 23-yard pass to give the Auks first and goal at the nine. After a few runs and an incomplete pass, Albero nailed a 22-yard field goal with 1:45 left in the first quarter.
Saint Mark’s offense was shut down early by the Auks, and a three-and-out set the Auks up at their own 42. The Auks marched 58 yards, including a 22-yard run by Johnny Kim. Declan Pearson finished the drive with a six-yard run to give the Auks a 10-0 lead with 6:45 left second quarter. The Spartans picked up their initial first down via penalty on their next drive and capitalized on a nine-yard touchdown run by Artis.
The third quarter was all defense. The Auks moved the ball on their last possession of the quarter that carried over to the fourth. Albero was the key with a 20-yard run set the Auks up at first and goal from the nine. Albero made it to the one on a third down run but was stopped on fourth down.
Albero had 106 yards rushing and threw for 78 yards as the Auks improved to 5-0. They host Tower Hill next Saturday for homecoming at 2 p.m.
The Spartans fell to 4-2. They travel to Concord for an early morning kickoff next Saturday at 10:30.
All photos by Jason Winchell.