GREENVILLE — Archmere and Tatnall got an early start on Sept. 10, kicking off their inter-class football game at 4 p.m. The Auks wasted no time establishing themselves, scoring on their first six possessions in a 40-0 shutout of the Hornets at Weymouth Field.
The Auks mixed a powerful ground game led by Kieran Udovich, who scored the first two touchdowns on rushes, with a passing game stewarded by quarterback Chris Albero. He three three touchdown passes, two to Kieran’s older brother, Conor. Defensively, the Auks forced multiple turnovers and made Tatnall pay for their miscues.
Tatnall received the opening kickoff, but the Hornets’ offense was off the field after three plays. The Auks took over at the Hornets’ 24, but two holding penalties and a few plays later they were facing a third and 23 from the 37. Albero completed one pass for six yards, and on fourth and 17, he found Johnny Kim, who took the ball down to the one. Kieran Udovich rumbled in on first down to give Archmere the 7-0 lead with 7:45 to go in the quarter.
Tatnall return man Micah Stamper took the ensuing kickoff to the Hornets’ 45, but the Archmere defense was stiff. The three-play series included a tackle for a five-yard loss by Kevin DiGregorio. The Auks had the ball at their own 46 after the Tatnall punt, and they went to work again.
This time, Albero connected with Conor Udovich on third down from the 49, and the play went for 37 yards to the Tatnall 14. Three plays later, Kieran Udovich found the end zone again, this time from three yards, to double the Auks’ advantage..
The Auks played stout defense as well, and Matt Dellose got the ball back for the visitors with an interception at the Hornets’ 28 with 1:57 to go in the first. The series ended just over a minute later as Albero found Conor Udovich for a 24-yard score. Udovich came down hard after making an impressive leaping catch, but he felt no ill effects. The extra point was no good.
The Auks’ good fortunes kept coming in the second quarter. Max Ewing came up with another interception on the first play of the quarter. Thomas Pinto ran for nine yards, and he added another 10 on a quarterback option. From the 25, Albero scrambled and found Dellose in the corner of the end zone for his second scoring strike of the afternoon.
A Tatnall fumble set the Auks on their next scoring drive. A running play, with yardage added after a personal foul, put Archmere at the 7. The Auks lost seven on first down, but Albero hit Cole Fenice on the next play at the one. Penalties and a defensive play by the Hornets resulted in fourth and goal from the 12, but Albero scrambled again, and this time, Conor Udovich got open in the back of the end zone to make the score 34-0.
Conor Udovich added an interception on the next Tatnall possession, returning the ball to the 8. A personal foul pushed the Auks back to the 23, but that did not stop the Auks. Albero hit Kieran Udovich on first down for 11 yards, then did the rest himself, covering the final 12 yards on a quarterback keeper to the right side for the game’s final points.
At that point, the Auks’ starters left the game, and the second half was played with a running clock.
For Archmere, Albero completed 12 of 15 pass attempts for 174 yards and the three touchdowns. Conor Udovich had four receptions for 81 yards, two scores and an interception. The defense held Tatnall to two first downs and forced four turnovers. Jack O’Neil had two sacks and a fumble recovery. The Auks (1-0) will make the short trip to Mount Pleasant on Sept. 18 for a 10:30 a.m. start.
Tatnall fell to 0-1 and will host Wilmington Friends next Friday at 7 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.