Delhi Charter returned a fumble and interception for touchdowns and recovered an onsides kick and fumble on a kickoff as the Gators defeated Delta Charter 46-14 to clinch the District 4-1A title.
“The score was not indicative of the game,” said Delta Charter head coach Blake Wheeler. “Those mistakes roll up quick. You can’t give a team like that so many opportunities.”
Delta Charter was playing without quarterback Juvari Singleton, who injured his ankle against Delhi the previous Friday.
Singleton was averaging 100 yards rushing a game and 100 passing.
Delhi Charter led 16-6 at half-time.
“If their quarterback plays, it’s probably a one-possession game,” said Delhi Charter head coach Jeremy Foote. “We played sloppy. I hate he didn’t get to play, but it definitely helped us. Delta Charter always gives us a battle. We just don’t match up well against them. Coach Wheeler and his staff do a great job.”
“The deck was certainly stacked against us,” Wheeler said. “He is most of our offense. But I thought our offensive line blocked well.”
Sophomore Will Wiley, who completed two passes coming into the game, was admirable in relief of Singleton, throwing his first-ever touchdown pass to Jaydon Griffin, covering 28 yards.
Wiley finished 18-of-23 for 115 yards and the touchdown.
“I thought Will managed the game well for what was basically his first start.”
Wiley finished with 56 hard-earned rushing yards, despite being tackled for a loss on three different occasions, including one of 20 yards.
“We did some things that are very uncharacteristic” Wheeler said. “We definitely missed Juvari, but the guys played hard.
Tyrin Singleton rushed for 83 yards, most coming on a jet sweep, and caught 13 passes for 71 yards.
Delhi Charter scored on its first possession as quarterback Chadwick Clark finished off a 66-yard drive with a 1-yard run.
Keidron Thomas ran in the conversion.
Delta Charter moved the ball down the field on its next possession behind the running of Otis Bates and Tryin Singleton.
Singleton scored on a 9-yard run, but the score was negated by a holding penalty.
Otis Bates finished the drive with a 5-yard run up the middle into the end zone on the third play of the second quarter. The conversion failed.
A 36-yard run by Deandra Young set up a 2-yard run by the junior Gator back to answer the Storm score.
Young, who had 100 yards rushing in the first half, finished with 183 yards on 22 carries. Clark ran in the conversion for a 16-6 lead.
Following an interception, Delhi Charter faced fourth-and-five from the Delta Chatter 37, but Clark’s attempted pass was broken up by Ronald Ellis Jr., to give the ball back to the Storm.
An interference call moved the ball to the Gator 33, but the first half ended with Delta Charter on the Gator 43 following a sack.
Delta Charter’s Timothy Harrell recovered a Gator fumble on Delhi Charter’s first play of the second half.
The Storm moved the ball to the Gator 28 before Delhi Charter’s Lance Lively took the ball from a Storm running back and raced 75 yards to pay dirt. Young ran in the conversion for a 24-6 Gator advantage.
Wth 1:27 remaining in the third quarter and Delta Charter on the Gator 28, Ellis went in motion and Wiley looked his way before throwing down the middle to Griffin, who made the grab for the score. Wiley ran in the conversion to cut the lead to 24-14.
Delhi Charter then added to its lead with a 1-yard TD run by Young, but the conversion failed.
The Gators recovered the ensuing kick as Young scored from two-yard out and Shamar Udeji ran in the conversion.
The final Delhi Charter score came as Merritt Coenen intercepted a pass and returned it 60 yards for the score and Young added the conversion run.
Delta Charter travels to Block Friday.