BERLIN- For three quarters, the Berlin Junior Dolphins battled Wicomico to a 6-6 tie in the Salvation Army “Red Shield” Junior Youth Football League championship last week before falling 25-6 to the unbeaten Vikings in the title game.
In most close football games, a handful of big plays decide the outcome as was the case last week when the Berlin Dolphins fell to the Wicomico Vikings in the Salvation Army League championship game. The Dolphins played to Vikings, who came into the contest with a perfect record on the season, tough for three quarters before becoming undone on a couple of critical plays late in the game.
After taking the opening kickoff, Berlin went on a 55-yard, seven-play drive deep into Wicomico territory and punched it in on a one-yard run by Tayevon Mills. The extra point failed, but Berlin led 6-0 early in the game. Wicomico responded quickly, scoring on a 38-yard touchdown run on its ensuing possession to tie the game at 6-6. Wicomico’s attempt at an extra point and an early lead failed when Berlin’s Andrew Borradile stuffed the Vikings’ quarterback at the goal line.
The score remained tied at 6-6 at the half after Berlin made a courageous stand at the end of the second quarter. After getting pinned deep in its own territory, Berlin punted with 38 seconds remaining in the half and the Vikings returned it to the Dolphins’ one-yard line. The Berlin Dolphins defense did not panic, however, and stuffed the Vikings on two straight big tackles by middle linebacker Chase Sams as time expired to keep the score knotted at 6-6 at the intermission.
The score remained 6-6 during a knock down, drag out third quarter during which both teams repeatedly went three and out. After a Wicomico punt pinned Berlin at its own five-yard line, the Dolphins were forced to punt after three stalled running plays and a costly penalty. Wicomico blocked the low punt, setting up first and goal from the two-yard line and this time the Vikings were able to punch it in for their first lead of the game at 12-6 early in the fourth quarter.
On its next possession, Berlin had some success moving the football on the ground behind big runs by Mills and Borradile, but the drive was stalled on an unfortunate penalty and the Dolphins turned it over on downs. Wicomico then burst for a 35-yard back-breaking score to settle the issue once and for all with a 19-6 lead with just over four minutes remaining.
Berlin did not go quietly and was moving the ball late in the game before Wicomico got the ball back and busted an 82-yard touchdown run to end the scoring, and the game, at 25-6.