Despite dominating play and possession in the first half, the football team found itself tied, 14-14, just moments after halftime Friday night, as Arlington’s Matt Garcia took the second half’s opening kickoff back 80 yards to the house in front of his home crowd.
Three plays later, however, the tide would turn in Wilmington’s favor once again, as after getting stuffed on first down, Wilmington’s senior running back, John Parsons, connected with junior Tim Woods on a halfback-option pass for 28 yards and then ran up the gut for a 35-yard touchdown, one of his three on the night.
In all, Parsons would have 241 yards on 23 carries to go along with his three touchdowns, one pass and one catch in Wilmington’s 28-14 win over Arlington in a battle between the Middlesex League’s two newest teams.
“[Parsons] ran real hard,” Wilmington coach Mike Barry said after the opening win. “He had a lot of carriers, and he ran real hard – it was a big bonus for us tonight.”
Parsons is a first-year starter at running back, replacing Kevin Moriarty, who led Wilmington to an 8-3 record in the Cape Ann League a year ago.
On Wilmington’s opening drive of the game, Parsons had a 30-yard scamper before senior quarterback Matthew Ferreira, also a first-year starter, found senior receiver Kyle Albanese in the back-right corner of the end zone on a six-yard fade.
After the teams traded punts, Woods, playing cornerback, picked off Arlington quarterback Jeremy Lee to set up Parsons first touchdown, a 26-yard run that put Wilmington up 14-0 with just over nine minutes left in the first half.
After two more punts, Arlington had its best drive of the game, a nine-play series capped off by senior Tom Jantz’ 38-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7 with less than two minutes remaining before the break.
In the second half, after the two early scores, Wilmington’s defense forced Arlington into two consecutive three-and-outs. Wilmington’s offense then sealed the game with a seven-minute, 12-play drive, which ended with Parsons punching the ball in from the two-yard line with about five minutes left to make the final 28-14.
Woods had a second interception late in the second half off Arlington’s other quarterback, sophomore Seth Coiley.
Both Wilmington’s James O’Regan and Arlington’s Lee were perfect on extra-point attempts.
Backup running back Ed DeLucia added 43 yards on the ground for Wilmington.
Wilmington will have an off week before hosting Masconomet at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23.
from the Wildcat win.