Wilmington opened its 2018 season on Sept. 1 in Richmond, Indiana, for the Quaker Bowl Rivalry against Earlham College.
The Fightin' Quakers built a 35-0 lead late in the second quarter before weather forced the game into a near 90-minute delay.
After the delay, Wilmington scored yet another touchdown to lead 42-0 at halftime.
Both teams scored seven points in the second half, leading Wilmington to a 49-7 victory, it's second over Earlham in as many years.
"We talked about in pre-game about hopefully getting a three-and-out, receive the punt and score within the first five plays," Head Football Coach Bryan Moore said. "We were close to executing that. With the number of freshmen and first-year starters we have, it was important to settle those guys down with that kind of start."
Muskingum scored the first touchdown, but Wilmington answered with a field goal and a touchdown to lead 10-7. The Quaker defense forced a field goal, and the offense drove near midfield in a 10-10 game looking to go ahead at halftime. The Musky defense then came up with a game-changing play, however, as an interception return for a touchdown put the visitors on top 17-10 at the break.
Facing a 4th-and-20 with under 3:30 to play, Luke Richardson made this fantastic catch on a post route to get Wilmington within a touchdown - 31-24.
The onside kick attempt failed, but the Quakers defense held forcing a Muskingum punt with less than a minute to go.
The snap went over the punter's head, giving Wilmington the ball at the Muskingum 20-yard line with 15 seconds to play.
Unfortunately for the Quakers, an interception ended the hopes of a comeback win on homecoming.
Baldwin Wallace took a 28-13 advantage with just under a minutes to play in the first half and looked to take the two-score lead into the locker room.
Running back DJ Chambers had other ideas, however, as the freshman took a hand-off and scampered 62 yards down the sideline for a Wilmington touchdown. Tyler Butcher converted the point after attempt and the Quakers trailed 28-20 at the break.
A 75-yard kickoff return from Luke Richardson setup Wilmington at the Otterbein 11-yard line to open the game. Three plays later, DJ Chambers scored on a one-yard touchdown run.
After an Otterbein score, Chambers scored again, this time an 87-yard run putting the Quakers on top 14-7.
The Quaker defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and Richardson took the punt back 65 yards for a score, putting Wilmington on top 21-7 after 15 minutes.
Chambers, a freshman running back, ran for 662 yards on the season including scoring six touchdowns. He averaged 73.6 yards per game along with an 87-yard touchdown run in the season finale against Otterbein University. Chambers also aided the passing game hauling in 17 receptions for 125 yards and one touchdown.
"DJ jumped onto the scene as a freshman, finishing sixth in the OAC in rushing yards despite playing in really only eight games. The most impressive thing to me is he never fumbled this season and had the longest rush from scrimmage in the conference." - Coach Moore
Parks, a sophomore, finished an even 100 tackles on the season to lead the Quakers' defensive unit. He also recovered two fumbles with one force and tallied one interception. As a safety, he finished second in the OAC in tackles.
"Tre really exploded the last half of the season.You could really see him becoming more comfortable and was playing extremely fast in the last two weeks of the season. He has started all 20 games of his career in our program and you can see that experience starting to show in how he plays." - Coach Moore
Richardson, also a freshman, returned 22 kicks for 503 yards along with a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown against Otterbein University. His longest kick return (75 yards), also against the Cardinals, setup a Quaker touchdown. Also a wide receiver, Richardson was Wilmington's top deep threat during the 2018 season, catching 27 passes for 561 yards and an average of 20.8 yards per catch. The Clinton Massie High School alumnus hauled in a team-high nine touchdown passes.
"I'm not sure I've seem a more impactful freshman season than what Luke [Richardson] put together," said Moore. He had the highest yards per catch in the OAC along with being fourth in the league in all-purpose yards per game." - Coach Moore