Delbarton jumped out to a 21-0 lead at halftime to beat DePaul, 24-14. The Green Wave defense held off DePaul five times inside the 10-yard line, a major factor in their win.
First Quarter: Delbarton scored on the opening drive when Cole Freeman found David Link for a 19-yard score. Freeman hit passes for first downs to Andrew Ross and Joseph Udina to set up the touchdown. DePaul answered by moving down the field with Andrew Butler hitting Marshawn Ferguson and A’Khoury Lyde for first downs. But they turned it over on downs when De’Mere White was stopped on the 6-yard line by a host of defenders, including PJ Casale, on fourth-and-one. Delbarton went right down the field and it looked as if they would add to the lead, but Lyde intercepted just short of the goal line and returned it 25 yards. Delbarton returned the favor, as Jake Jarmolowich intercepted on the 50 and returned it to the 3-yard line. The Green Wave took advantage when Gary Lewis crashed in from one yard out to make it 14-0 with 37 seconds left in the quarter.
Second Quarter: DePaul moved the ball with passes to Ferguson and Nuccio Lisitano, with a second pass to Ferguson giving the Spartans a first-and-goal on the 7. A good open field tackle by Jarmolowich dropped Ferguson on the 5 and DePaul lined up for a field goal. The Spartans pulled the fake, lateralling to kicker Matt Wilderson, who was taken down by Azarai Lewis, giving the ball to Delbarton. DePaul had another shot deep in Delbarton territory with a first down on the 12, but their fourth down pass was incomplete in the end zone with just under four minutes left in the half. A swing pass to Gary Lewis went 39 yards to the 34 of DePaul, as Lewis racked up yards after the catch. A pass to Udina put the ball on the 19 before Freeman rolled out and found Link for a 16-yard touchdown with 36 seconds left.
Third Quarter: DePaul came out with the ball and got moving with it paying off on a 64-yard touchdown pass from Butler to Lisitano. Lisitano made a one-hand catch, bobbling it initially, before running down the left sideline. The Spartans recovered an onside kick and were set to make it a game. DePaul had first down on the 4, but Jarmolowich had his second interception in the end zone to end the drive. Delbarton came down and Patrick Ryan kicked a 40-yard field goal to make it 24-7.
Fourth Quarter: Butler found Edward Conoran, who immediately lateralled to Ferguson who took off for a 33 yard gain to the 30. Butler found Ferguson again to the 14. Faced with 4-and-3 from the 7, Ferguson took it to the 3 for a first-and-goal. This time, DePaul scored with Butler’s 3-yard run. A Delbarton punt gave DePaul a chance at their 37. Completions to Ferguson and then Conoran gave them a first-and-goal on the 10. Pass interference on Delbarton brought it to the 5, but Butler’s fourth down pass ended their chance, as Delbarton ran out the clock.
Conclusion: From a Delbarton perspective, it was a big program win and their defense came up strong deep in their own territory. Their front four of Matt Gemma, Elijah Hills, Chuck Nnaeto, and Pat Caughey is a team strength. Behind them is Casale, a state champion wrestler last spring, at middle linebacker. They came up big all day and Jarmolowich’s two interceptions were huge – one setting up a touchdown and the other ending a scoring threat. Cornerback Azarai Lewis had at least two open-field tackles. This is a good team with a three-year starter at quarterback in Freeman and an electric playmaker in Gary Lewis playing running back.
From a DePaul perspective, it was a game of opportunities lost. They had their chances and could have won, but I won’t say they should have won. When a play was needed, Delbarton came up with it, not DePaul. They did have their bright spots and Ferguson had an outstanding game catching many passes. But in the end, it was a game of what could have been.