WILMINGTON – William Penn didn't show much in the way of offense in the first half of Friday night's football game against Salesianum, but the Colonials found enough in the third quarter to score three times, holding on for a 21-14 win at Baynard Stadium. It was the Colonials' sixth straight win as they improved to 7-1.
Penn's Terin Cochran appeared to have scored the game's first points on the second-half kickoff, but his return was negated by a holding penalty. Instead, they began their drive at their own 26, and after Zach Burton gained four yards on first down, Joe Greenwood streaked down the right sideline for 70 yards to open the scoring 35 seconds into the third.
Salesianum (5-3) compounded its problems by fumbling the kickoff, and the Colonials fell on the ball at the Sals' 2. A penalty sent the ball back to the 7, but on fourth down, quarterback Jahsan Gildersleeve snuck it into the end zone for the 14-0 advantage.
The nightmare quarter continued for Salesianum on the next series. A backward toss eluded the Sals' Josh Patrick, and William Penn picked it up and returned it to the 8. This time, on third down, Burton was under center. He faked a handoff to his left, turned and ran it right from the 3 across the goal line.
The Sals gave their stunned fans some optimism before the quarter ended. Facing a third down and 17 from the 27, quarterback Zach Gwynn found Liam Mulvena near the right sideline. By the time he was tackled at the William Penn 9, Mulvena had covered 64 yards. It was third and goal two plays later when Gwynn hit Mulvena again, this time in the corner of the end zone.
After a three and out by the Colonials and a short punt, the Sals took over at the Penn 38. Salesianum was looking at fourth and 11 in the opening minute of the fourth when Gwynn hit Josh Patrick with a slot pass for 29 yards to the Colonials' 10. Gwynn completed the drive with a seven-yard keeper, and suddenly the deficit was only a touchdown.
The Colonials (7-1) could not score when they got the ball back, but they did chew nearly eight minutes off the clock. The drive included two fourth-down conversions, one on an offsides penalty on Salesianum, the second on a three-yard sweep by Greenwood. By the time Salesianum got the ball back, they were on their own 17 and had just 2:15 to work with.
Jassiem Lynch kept hope alive with a 19-yard reception on a fourth-and-12, but the Sals came up empty on their next fourth-down attempt a few plays later.
Salesianum is back in action at home on Thursday at 6 p.m. against Sussex Tech. William Penn is home against Wilmington Charter next Saturday at 2:30 p.m.