EVERETT – The Wilmington Wildcats B Team overcame a 14-6 halftime deficit to topple the undefeated Everett B2 Crimson Tide 34-14 on Sunday. Wilmington came into the game 5-1 on the season while Everett came into the game a perfect 6-0. Everett would not leave the game undefeated. Paced by John Kenney’s four rushing touchdowns and 255 yards rushing on 11 carries, The Wilmington offense outscored Everett 26-0 in the second half of a very hard fought and physical ballgame. Defensively, the Wildcats were led by Blake and Braden Hiltz. Blake Hiltz had eight tackles including a sack, two tackles-for-loss a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Braden Hiltz also had a sack to go along with five tackles as well as a 50 yard touchdown reception from quarterback Andrew Sullivan on Wilmington’s last offensive play of the game. Other standout defensive performances would include nose tackle Pete Marino who had 6.5 tackles including two tackles-for-loss and Frankie Irizarry who had four tackles from his defensive tackle spot to go along with two fumble recoveries.
The game started on a wild note. Wilmington won the toss, elected to receive and on the first play from scrimmage, Kenney took the handoff from Sullivan and took an off-tackle run to the right 60 yards for the touchdown. The Wilmington offensive line led by Michael and Owen Steen, Mark Companeschi, Kyle Kenyon and Tommy Strow came out firing blocking for Kenney, along with fullback Kyle Penney, slot receiver Blake Hiltz and wide receiver Drew Brandenburg. The PAT by Mikey Daley was good and Wilmington took a quick 8-0 lead.
The Wilmington lead was short lived. Everett scored on their first play from scrimmage on a run right up the middle. The Wilmington defensive line appeared to tackle the quarterback on the play. Unfortunately it was the fullback that had the ball and the Everett back raced 55 yards for the tying score.
It looked like Wilmington would make it two scores in two offensive plays. On the first play of their second drive, Kenney raced 56 yards before being tackled inside the Everett 15 yard line. The Wildcat offense grinded out seven yards on the next three plays and on 4th and 3, a false start penalty set them back five yards and this was followed by a fumble to turn the ball back over to Everett.
After giving up another score (PAT no good) to go down 14-8, Wilmington was in a bit of trouble. The defense that had played so well this season gave up two quick scores and the offense failed to score on its second drive. Things got even worse for the Wildcats when they went in for their third offensive series. The Wildcats brought in an entirely new offense with the exception of Kyle Kenyon at Center. Colin Rooney and Pat McAndrew came in at tackle, Ben Stafford and Nick Kullman came in at guard, Ryan Brewer and Kyle Bolis came in at end and Timmy Rivers went to quarterback. Braden Hiltz and Pete Marino went to their running back spots. The Wildcats fumbled two plays into the drive and gave the ball back to Everett with good field position. This is where the defense came up big for the Wildcats. The defensive line, led by Marino, Irizarry, defensive tackle Brett Chisholm, defensive ends Andrew Sullivan (three tackles, one tackle-for-loss) and Drew Brandenburg (four tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one sack) began to exert some pressure on the line. The linebackers led by Hiltz, Hiltz and Joey Dumoulin (five tackles, one tackle-for-loss) came alive in their play with relentless pursuit and aggressive attacking of their gaps. The defensive backs, led by Kenney, Daley, Michael Ducharme (three tackles) and Aaron Soto were solid in pass defense and did not allow any Everett big plays.
After the stop, the Wilmington offense came back on the field but ran out of time three plays into the drive. The teams went into the half with the score 14-8.
While the defense started to come alive at the end of the first half, the offense came alive in the second half. Everett took the ball to start the half but a forced fumble by Blake Hiltz led to a fumble recovery by Frankie Irizarry, his first of two on the day. The Wildcats came back out with their second offense and on the third play of the drive, Kenney took the sweep and raced 76 yards into the endzone. The PAT was no good so the score was tied 14-14.
After a defensive stop, the Wildcats scored quickly. It took only two plays for Kenney to find the endzone for the third time on the day with a 40 yard run on a toss sweep to the right. The PAT was good so Wilmington went ahead 22-14. The Wildcat defense continued their aggressive and relentless assault on the next series. You could feel the momentum shifting in the game. The Wildcats went with a 6-2 defense in the second half with Irizarry and Marino as A Gap defensive tackles while alternating the combination of Kyle Kenyon/Kyle Penney and Michael Smolinsky/Cam Willis outside of them. This defensive adjustment seemed to work as Wilmington continued to stymie the Everett offense.
A fumble by Everett deep in their territory gave Wilmington good field position on their next possession. Wilmington went nine yards in three plays to score another touchdown by Kenney and to extend the lead to 28-14.
Late in the fourth quarter and facing a crucial third and long situation, the Everett defense stacked the line of scrimmage since the Wildcats had not thrown a pass all day. With great blocking from the line, quarterback Andrew Sullivan hit tight end Braden Hiltz in stride to complete a 50 yard pass play that caught Everett off guard and gave Wilmington a 34-14 lead. That would be the final score of the day.
Wilmington sits at 6-1 on the season as they get ready to take on Woburn in their final regular season game on Sunday at Glen Road. After that it will be off to the Eastern Massachusetts playoffs for the third straight year for this group and after winning the Eastern Massachusetts Championship last season the Wildcats will look for another deep playoff run.