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2018 Wilmington College Football Season Recap Head Football Coach Bryan Moore completed his second season as the Fightin' Quakers head coach.

2018 Roster

Wilmington's roster, which stood at well over 100 student-athletes the entire season, featured a freshman class of over 70, the program's largest freshman class in a decade. Seventy-seven student-athletes are natives of Ohio.

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."

After a bye week, Wilmington opened Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) play at Ohio Northern University. Thanks to a couple of defensive turnovers, the Quakers were within a single score for nearly the entire first half. A Polar Bear touchdown with 35 seconds left in the first half sent the hosts into the locker room up 21-7. Ohio Northern would score the first four touchdowns of the second half en route to a 49-16 win.

After two road games and a bye week, Wilmington was finally able to play a home game. Muskingum University came to Williams Stadium on Sept. 24 as part of the College's Homecoming Weekend.

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.

Muskingum would score a touchdown late in the third quarter to go ahead 24-10, but a 69-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Barrett to Luke Richardson got the Quakers within a score once again. The Muskingum running game couldn't be stopped, however, as the visitors went up 31-17 on a four-yard run with just over five minutes to play in regulation.

Then came the Wilmington's comeback effort.

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.

The next three games were challenging for the Quakers as a home loss to Heidelberg University was followed by trips to No. 1 The University of Mount Union and then-unbeaten Marietta College.

The schedule did not let up, as is typical in the OAC, as Baldwin Wallace University, which was receiving votes to be ranked in the D3Football.com Top 25 Poll at the time, came to Williams Stadium on Oct. 20.

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.

Baldwin Wallace scored the only points of the third quarter and had the ball a yard from Wilmington's end zone as the fourth quarter began.

The Wilmington defense, led by Tre'Quez Parks, forced a fumble to start a comeback effort.
Luke Richardson and Ace Taylor after catching touchdown passes against Baldwin Wallace.

Kyle Barrett found Luke Richardson for a 35-yard touchdown strike, but the two-point conversion failed and the hosts trailed 35-26. A perfectly executed onside kick gave the hosts back the ball. Barrett found Ace Taylor for yet another touchdown.

Head Coach Bryan Moore as Wilmington hosts Baldwin Wallace on Oct. 20

Wilmington couldn't recover another onside kick and Baldwin Wallace ran out the clock to escape Williams Stadium with a 35-33 victory.

Another tough stretch for Wilmington followed with losses to nationally-ranked John Carroll University and at Capital University. The stage was set for the season finale against Otterbein University on Nov. 10.

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.

The lead would not hold, however, as Otterbein outscored Wilmington 28-3 over final three quarters and earn the 34-24 victory.

The five Fightin' Quakers to earn All-Conference recognition.

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

Ackley was the senior stalwart on the defensive line for Wilmington, accumulating 56 tackles including seven for loss. He also tallied three sacks on the season. Saul Boysel, also a senior, led the offensive line that allowed just 12 sacks on the season, 31st in all of NCAA Division III.

"These two guys had their best individual seasons as seniors. Neither of them missed a lift, practice or practice rep since I've been here." - Coach Moore

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