Wildcats top Lake Forest 32-19, advance to D-II semifinals

Delmar quarterback Jacob VonArx takes the ball up the middle on a keeper. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

DELMAR — Behind a bruising performance from Hunter VonArx, Delmar High erased an early 12-point deficit to punch its ticket to next weekend’s semifinal round of the Division II state football tournament Friday night, as the second-seeded Wildcats knocked off Lake Forest High, 32-19.

VonArx, the senior running back, totaled 226 yards from scrimmage (194 rushing, 32 receiving), rushed for a touchdown and caught another to pace the Wildcats’ offense.

The win over their Henlopen South foe comes just five weeks after the Wildcats handed Lake Forest their first loss of the season in a 34-6 victory in Week 6.

Next week the Wildcats (9-2) will host the second-lowest seed remaining following today’s quarterfinal match-ups between No. 5 Archmere Academy vs. No. 4 Howard High and No. 6 Caravel Academy vs. No. 3 Tower Hill High.

Quarterback Jacob VonArx tossed for 43 yards and a touchdown on 2-of-7 passing. The senior ran for another touchdown.

Senior running back Te’Kwon Dennard ran for a pair of touchdowns and gained 44 yards. His first touchdown gave Delmar its first lead and his fourth quarter TD put the finishing touches on the win.

The seventh-seeded Spartans (8-3) forced turnovers on each of the Wildcats’ first three possessions, including a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by Michael Brown on the first play from scrimmage.

Delmar senior running back Te’Kwon Dennard looks for running room.

Just halfway through the opening quarter, Lake had already built a 12-0 lead behind Brown’s defensive touchdown and a two-yard touchdown run from junior fullback Isaiah Johnson.

After Delmar struggled to hold onto the football through the first three drives, Hunter VonArx rumbled for a 53-yard run to set the Wildcat offense up inside the 10-yard line.

Two Lake Forest penalties later and his brother, Jacob, took a QB keeper two yards for the score at the 6:00 mark of the opening quarter.

The unsuccessful extra point attempt cut the Lake lead in half, 12-6.

Lake Forest put together a 14-play drive on the ensuing possession, but the drive eventually stalled, and Delmar forced a turnover on downs at the Spartan 13-yard line.

A couple drives later, VonArx connected with VonArx on a 32-yard score through the air, capping a four-play, 55-yard drive with 1:22 remaining in the half. Another missed extra point made it a 12-12 deadlock at the halftime break.

Lake Forest’s defense continued making plays as senior defensive lineman Kristopher Thompson recovered a fumbled at their own 31 on the second play of the second half.

Lake Forest quarterback Damian Galindez looks up field as he scrambles to escape pressure from Delmar’s defense.

Delmar’s defense forced a quick three-and-out and VonArx quickly drove the offense down the field on a six-play scoring drive capped by Dennard’s four-yard score to hand the Wildcats their first lead of the game.

Hunter scored his second touchdown of the game, from 19 yards out, on Delmar’s next drive to put them ahead by a pair of touchdowns with 1:05 remaining in the third quarter.

Lake Forest quarterback Damian Galindez cut into the lead with a 19-yard toss to Malachi Moore, but Dennard’s nine-yard fourth quarter score clinched the double digit win.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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