For four quarters, Delta (8-2) played a complete game.
For four quarters, the Eagles’ defense slowed down the Generals just enough for the offense to do its job.
At the end of those four quarters, Delta came out on top in a 49-18 victory over Fort Wayne Wayne (2-9) to advance to its first sectional title game since 2016.
“It’s been a dream season, and no one wants to see it end,” Delta head coach Chris Overholt said. “To have the team that we have that’s gone through the adversity at the beginning of the season and the coaching staff we’ve had has been really special.”
Despite Wayne’s record, the Generals stayed with the Eagles during the first half, and it looked as if either team could come out on top by the time the final horn sounded.
After each team’s first drive stalled, Delta started using the ground game early. Senior running back Evan Conley scored on an 11-yard touchdown run, capping a drive that featured just one pass attempt. Delta went up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter
It wouldn’t take long for the Generals to answer, however, as they used their own rushing attack on the next drive to set up a 36-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Aidan Meek to senior receiver Christian Flannigan. However, their two-point attempt was no good.
Two minutes later, the Eagles found themselves back in the red zone. A targeting penalty, followed by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Wayne allowed for an 8-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback and Ball State recruit Brady Hunt one play later.
Wayne scored the next two touchdowns, both from junior running back Shawn Collins. One of those was a 56-yarder to give the Generals an 18-14 lead, but Delta was the last to strike before halftime.
After working his team downfield, Hunt, in heavy pressure and rolling to the left, lobbed a jump ball for senior receiver Trevor Edgerton who came down with it for the score. The Eagles went into the locker room with a 21-18 lead at halftime.
“It wasn’t drawn up exactly like that, but you need to make plays, and I was lucky enough to make that play at the right time,” Hunt said.
The Generals did not find the endzone at all in the second half, while the Eagles added 28 more to seal the victory.
“At the beginning of the season, one of the goals we talked about was getting a sectional championship,” Hunt said. “You can’t get there without a step one and step two. Tonight, we took care of step two. Hopefully, next week, we can bring home the hardware.”
Delta will travel to Marion next Friday for the 4A Sectional 20 Championship. Kickoff is 7 p.m.