It is safe to say that Delhi (1-3) has been struggling on the football field these past few weeks. The Hawks continued their losing streak as they fell to Waterford (3-1) 61-20 Friday night.
The onside opening kickoff recovered by Waterford was the beginning of a night that seemed destined for disaster. It was all Wildcats from there, scoring four first quarter touchdowns. Wildcat running back Dylan Gonzalez racked up 141 of the 224 Waterford first half rushing yards.
Delhi failed to convert on all six of their first half possessions including two interceptions thrown by sophomore quarterback Garret Thomas, who was 1-9 passing in the half.
Delhi was outmatched on both sides of the ball at scrimmage. With the Hawks missing their usual starting nose guard, Brian Medel, due to injury, the running game came easy to Gonzalez and the Wildcats as the Hawks defense continually failed to wrap up and missed tackle after tackle allowing Waterford to run right up the middle numerous times.
“We didn’t have any answer for stopping their run game,” Delhi head coach Rod McCombs said. “Brian Medel is a big key playing that nose for us and with him out, we really slide backwards second man out.”
Entering the second half with a score of 47-0, the Hawks’ wings seemed to have been clipped. The recipe for disaster continued to unfold as Waterford took the second half kickoff 85 yards to the house, extending the lead 54-0.
“We had a real bad week of practice,” McCombs said. “They were flat all week, and their excuse was that they were saving it for Friday night.”
The long kickoff return however must have been a wakeup call for the Hawks as they tried to climb their way out of a deep hole finding the end zone for the first time with 6:00 remaining in the third quarter. They put together an impressive drive covering 70 yards ending with a two yard pass to Joel Cantu for the score. The Hawks went on to recover back to back onside kicks both ending in Thomas-to-Cantu touchdown passes, eight and 30 yards respectively.
Attempting a third onside kick was Delhi’s only option as the clock ticked away in the fourth quarter. However, the Hawks failed to recover, giving Waterford solid field position to put up yet another seven points on the scoreboard ending the game 61-20.
“I think they understand now that there is no such thing as conserving energy throughout the practice week,” McCombs said. “I think they learned their lesson.”
The Delhi Hawks will seek to end their losing streak with their new found intensity next Friday as they host Le Grand High.