CLAYMONT — Archmere will begin its Class 2A football title defense next week on a high note. The Auks forced four turnovers as they defeated Delaware Military Academy, 29-8, on Nov. 12 at Coaches Field. The Auks are now riding a five-game winning streak.
This was the first meeting between the Auks and Seahawks since last season’s semifinal tilt at Abessinio Stadium. DMA gave the Auks their stiffest challenge all season before falling in a nailbiter. This year’s game had a one-point margin at the half, but Archmere pulled away in the second half.
The Seahawks struck first on Saturday, capping a drive that lasted nearly nine minutes with a 19-yard touchdown pass from B.J. Alleyne to Mason Harding. The scoring play came on a third and 19, with the swift Alleyne scrambling to avoid various Auks. The extra point was no good.
Archmere answered quickly on a 61-yard drive. Senior Kieran Udovich was the workhorse, carrying several times, including once on a second down for 19 yards to the DMA 19. Once inside the red zone, quarterback Chris Albero ran three straight times, with the Auks facing a fourth and two after his third rush.
A play-action pass on fourth down caught the Seahawks, and Albero connected with Brendan Burke from eight yards out. This point after also was no good, and game was tied at 6.
The Auks forced DMA to punt on their next possession, but the ball was downed at the Archmere one. Albero was sacked in the end zone on second down to put the Seahawks back on top with 4:21 left in the half.
With just 36.3 secons remaining in the half, the Auks regained possession at the Seahawks’ 40. Four passes later, Archmere faced a fourth and 10 from the Seahawks’ 26. Albero dropped back and hit Gavin Lee at the 4. He got out of bounds with just two-tenths of a second left, and Albero connected on a 22-yard field goal for a 9-8 Auks lead at the break.
A DMA fumble on the Seahawks initial second-half possession set the Auks up at their own 37, and Archmere capitalized. Udovich began the drive with a 12-yard run, but two other plays stand out. On first down at the Delaware Military 40, Burke made a rolling catch of an Albero throw for a 23-yard gain. The Auks stalled, and, facing a fourth down and 13 at the 20, Albero dropped back and threw to Cole Fenice in the far left corner for a touchdown and a 15-8 lead after the extra point was blocked.
The Auks’ defense forced a punt from the Seahawks early in the fourth, taking possession at their own 42. Udovich carried on first down to the DMA 41, and an unsportsmanlike penalty added another 15 yards. Three plays later, Archmere again faced a fourth down from the 18. This time, Albero kept it, running around right end for the score with 6:59 left in the third. His point after was good this time.
A turnover put the ball back in the Auks’ hands. It ended with Fenice on the receiving end of an 8-yard Albero pass with 1:52 to go.
Udovich rushed 11 times for 93 yards, and he added seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Fenice had 11 tackles. The Auks (7-2) will learn their DIAA Class 2A tournament opponent this afternoon.
DMA is -5 and is expected to make the tournament as well.
All photos by Jason Winchell.