Lake celebrates homecoming with wild football win

After Lake Forest kicker Austin Aguilar’s game-winning field goal attempt was blocked the senior picked up the ball at the 11-yard line and returned it for a controversial touchdown giving the Spartans an improbable 19-14 homecoming win over the visiting Delmar Wildcats. (Special to The Journal/Bill Mitchell)

After Lake Forest kicker Austin Aguilar’s game-winning field goal attempt was blocked the senior picked up the ball at the 11-yard line and returned it for a controversial touchdown giving the Spartans an improbable 19-14 homecoming win over the visiting Delmar Wildcats. (Special to The Journal/Bill Mitchell)

FELTON – Included among the late Yogi Berra’s famous quotes was, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

That quote was definitely relevant when describing the ending to Lake Forest’s homecoming football game against Delmar Saturday at James H. Blades Stadium.

With one second remaining on the clock the Spartans, trailing the Wildcats 14-13, attempted a game-winning 18-yard field goal.

Delmar’s defense blocked the attempt and began to celebrate what appeared to be its first victory of the season.

What the Wildcats failed to realize and what Lake kicker Austin Aguilar and the referees did was that the play was not over because the ball failed to cross the line of scrimmage coming to rest around the 11-yard line.

Aquilar picked up the ball and ran into the end zone and began waving the ball high into the air in order to get the referees attention.

Then, with the Wildcats in a pile celebrating what they thought was a victory and 10 of the 11 Spartans dejectedly walking off the field, the refs noticed Aquilar and signaled a touchdown giving Lake an improbable 19-14 victory.

Aguilar’s football watching history was the reason why he decided to retrieve the ball and run into the end zone.

“I had seen teams block a punt or kick and run it back the other way so I figured I could do the same thing,” said the Lake Forest senior kicker. “I thought no one, even my own teammates, were paying attention to me until I saw the referee’s hands go up (to signal a touchdown).”

Lake Head Coach Fred Johnson wasn’t surprised his kicker and holder knew the ball may still be alive after the block.

“If any player knew the ball might still be alive it would be those two,” said Johnson in reference to his kicker and holder, Jordan Simpson. “Those kids are very intelligent so I’m not surprised that Austin and Jordan felt the ball was still alive.”

Johnson went on to say that Aguilar has been instrumental in both of the Spartans’ previous two wins of the season.

“Austin has been a valuable asset for us with his kicking,” said Johnson after his Spartans improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the Henlopen South. “He has made some crucial kicks for us already this season.

“Last week, he kicked a field goal to help us beat Woodbridge (9-7) and his extra point helped us beat St. Mark’s (14-13). He is definitely playing an important role on this team.”

Lake’s improbable winning drive began on its own 36-yard line after Delmar came within less than an inch of gaining a first down, which would have likely allowed the Wildcats to run out the clock.

During the Spartans’ game-winning drive was a 19-yard first down pass from quarterback Noah Feaque-Johnson to Ben Moore and a pass interference call that put the ball at the Delmar 15.

After failing to get into the end zone with running plays, Feaque-Johnson spiked the ball stopping the clock with one second left in the game and setup an ending that sent Lake’s homecoming fans home happy.

“I guess it was just meant for us to win this game,” said Coach Johnson. “We are just happy to be 2-0 in what I call the wacky South.

“Hopefully, the ball can continue bouncing our way and we can keep winning every week.”

Delmar jumped out to a 6-0 first quarter lead on a six-yard run by DeJour Brown.

The Spartans took their first lead of the game with 9:52 remaining in the first half on a 19-yard run by Benjamin Moore and an extra point kick by Aquilar.

Delmar went up 14-7 late in the third quarter via a 26-yard run by Isaac Austin and a successful two-point conversion run by Brooks Parker.

Lake pulled to within one at 14-13 on a Trevon Milton three-yard dive into the end zone with 9:34 left in the game.

Johnson, after a Delmar penalty moved the extra-point try to the one and half yard live, made the decision to try to take the lead with a two-point attempt, which Delmar stopped just short of the goal line.

“My mindset was that I knew we could get one yard,” he said. “I was definitely second guessing myself after we failed, but I still feel we should have got the two points. If I had to do it over again, I would have still gone for the two points.”

The Spartans will put their 2-0 South record on the line when they host Laurel Friday before going on a two-game road trip against Glasgow the following Friday and Seaford Oct. 30.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.
[fbcomments url="" width="375" count="off" num="3"]