ARLINGTON – The Wilmington Wildcats B Team won their 20th consecutive Middlesex League game and third consecutive Middlesex League Championship by toppling the Arlington Spy ponders 42-18. Six different players scored touchdowns for the Wildcats including defensive lineman/wide receiver Frankie Irizarry who had a banner day for Wilmington. Irizarry had a 27 yard touchdown reception on offense to go along with a sack, a fumble recovery and three tackles on defense. Wide receiver Michael Ducharme also hauled in a 34 yard touchdown strike from quarterback Andrew Sullivan. Running backs John Kenney (five carries, 115 yards), Kyle Penney (two carries, 25 yards), Braden Hiltz (two carries, 42 yards) and Pete Marino (three carries, 25 yards) all scored rushing touchdowns for the Wildcats on Sunday.
In some ways, it was an odd game for the Wildcats. The Wilmington offense ran only 18 plays for the entire game but scored touchdowns on six of those plays and managed to amass 278 yards of total offense. The Wildcats went up by a score of 28-0 in the game before allowing three Arlington touchdowns in the second half. Wilmington ran only four offensive plays in the second half but scored touchdowns on two of them to take the commanding 42-18 lead.
After winning the coin toss, Wilmington elected to receive and the offense went on a seven-play, 61 yard drive capped by a 34 yard touchdown strike from Sullivan to Ducharme. Sullivan was 2/3 passing on the drive (including a two yard completion to slot receiver Blake Hiltz on the first play of the game) for 36 yards and the score. The PAT by Mikey Daley was good and the Wildcats took an early 8-0 lead. The Wildcat offensive line, led by Kyle Kenyon at Center, Mark Companeschi and Owen Steen at Guard and Tommy Strow and Michael Steen at tackle, was brilliant on the drive providing both pass protection and solid run blocking.
The Wilmington defense came out and immediately began to pressure the Arlington offense. Sacks by Marino (team leading fifth sack of the season) and Irizarry (tied for second on the team with two sacks) backed up the Arlington offense while linebackers Blake Hiltz, Braden Hiltz and Joey Dumoulin (combined five tackles on the day) kept Arlington at bay.
After the defensive stop, the Wildcat offense returned to the field and immediately brought in an almost all-new offense. Kyle Kenyon stayed at center but the rest of the line consisted of Pat McAndrew, Colin Rooney, Nick Kullman, Ben Stafford and Kyle Bolis. Timmy Rivers came in at quarterback, Ryan Brewer and Sudarsham Swamy came in at receiver and Braden Hiltz and Pete Marino went to tailback and fullback. Even with an entirely new group, the offense continued to click on all cylinders as the Wildcats scored back to back touchdowns on a two-play drive and a one-play drive. Braden Hiltz had a 19 yard run followed by an 11 yard touchdown run by Pete Marino to put Wilmington up 14-0 and after a defensive stop, the Wildcat offense scored in one play when Braden Hiltz took the handoff and went 23 yards into the endzone. This score put Wilmington on top 20-0 early in the second quarter.
In order to keep the game from getting completely out of hand (Pop Warner penalizes teams that win by more than a 28-32 point margin), the Wildcats brought in a host of new players on defense. Rivers (one tackle) and Brewer (two tackles) took snaps at safety while Aaron Soto (1.5 tackles) and Swamy (one tackle) took snaps at corner. Brett Chisholm, Michael Smolinsky and Cameron Willis played defensive tackle and combined for three tackles. Mark Companeschi and Tommy Strow also played some defensive end to replace injured starter Drew Brandenburg. The defense played well but still allowed a touchdown by Arlington to cut the score to 20-6. Kyle Kenyon blocked the PAT to keep the score 20-6.
The Wildcats had one more offensive possession of the half. After runs of three, six and eight yards by Marino, Penney and Rivers, Wilmington scored on the fourth play of the drive when Rivers hit Irizarry wide to the left on a quick screen pass. Irizarry stiff-armed the defender and used his state championship track speed (USA Track & Field New England champion in the 100 meter hurdles) to sprint into the end zone untouched. The PAT by Mikey Daley was good and the Wildcats went into the half up 28-6.
The Wildcats allowed a score to start the second half as Arlington cut the lead to 28-12 but on the next possession, John Kenney took off and raced 91 yards to the endzone to extend the Wilmington lead to 34-12. Slot receiver Blake Hiltz made a crushing (but legal) block on the play to help spring Kenney and Kenney used his own track speed to race into the endzone for the touchdown.
One more score by Arlington against the second defense of the Wildcats cut the lead to 34-18 but once again, the Wilmington offense put points on the board quickly when Kyle Penney followed up an 11 yard run by Marino with his own 19 yard run right through the heart of the Arlington defense to put the Wildcats on top for good 42-12 after another Mikey Daley PAT.
The Wildcats will be back in action this week when they travel to Everett for a date with the Everett Crimson Tide B2 team.