MARIETTA, Ohio – Marietta College capitalized on four turnovers to score three touchdowns in the final five minutes of the first half in a 34-7 victory over the Wilmington College football team at Don Drumm Stadium on Friday evening.
The contest, which was the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Crossover game between the No. 3 seeds in the East and West Divisions of the odd 2021 spring season, was the season finale for both teams.
The Fightin' Quakers' first three drives of the game ended in turnovers including one inside the Pioneer red zone. Wilmington's defense, however, forced two punts and Tre'Quez Parks stuffed Marietta running back Bryce Agnew on 4th-and-1. The third turnover, a fumble, led to a 41-yard field goal attempt from the hosts, but the kick was short to open the second quarter.
The visitors took over and moved the chains once, but Wilmington Head Coach Bryan Moore elected to get aggressive on a 4th-and-1 near midfield, just has his counterpart, Marietta Head Coach Andy Waddle had done earlier. The result was the same, a stop, but the Quaker defense once again kept the Pioneers off the scoreboard by forcing a punt.
After a three-and-out from Wilmington's offense a long return from Austin Veatch started a bad five-minute stretch for the Quakers. The Pioneers, with a very short field, scored the game's first touchdown as Ethan Brown connected with Gage Giovengo for a four-yard touchdown. Another three-and-out followed, and Marietta marched down the field in four plays to double its lead.
With a minute to play, the Quakers stayed aggressive as they were looking to gain some momentum going into halftime, but Kyle Barrett was intercepted for the second time on the first play, setting up a third touchdown for the hosts right before halftime.
Wilmington's got back within two scores on its second drive of the second half that include a 22-yard scramble from Barrett as well as a conversion on 4th-and-1. Barrett capped off 10-yard drive with a three-yard strike to Ace Taylor.
The Pioneers sealed the game, however, early in the fourth quarter as Wilmington had a punt blocked for third time this season.
Marietta held a slim 250-238 edge in total yards in what was a very defensive game. The Pioneers were balanced with 122 yards through the air and 131 on the ground while the Quakers threw for 169 yards and rushed for 69. The hosts capitalized on four turnovers, tallied four sacks and blocked a punt.
Agnew led the way for Marietta with 24 carries for 100 yards and a score. Barrett finished with 169 total passing yards while also rushing for 33. Taylor hauled in eight passes for 58 yards and the one touchdown.
Defensively, a trio of Quakers – Parks, Jarod Lee and Xzerious Stinnett – finished with double digits in tackles while Parks tallied a tackle for loss. Kyle Gallagher had nine tackles and two sacks for the Pioneers defensively.
Wilmington finished the 2021 spring season with a 2-3 overall record.