WILMINGTON — Woodbridge High needed three yards to keep its season alive.
Instead Troy Haynes and Bragg Davis got the Blue Raiders 20 and its second-ever state tournament victory.
Davis caught a 20-yard pass from Haynes in the fourth quarter as the seventh-seeded Blue Raiders upset No. 2 Delaware Miltary Academy 12-7 in the Division II tournament at Baynard Stadium on Saturday night. Woodbridge (8-3) advanced to play at top seed St. Georges (10-1) next Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We’re a small school and we’re here to play with it,” Davis said. “It’s great because this is the fourth team ever to make the playoffs in Woodbridge history. It would be great to win past the semifinals because Woodbridge has never made the state championship. That’s the goal this year.”
Davis was a sophomore on the 2013 team that earned the school’s first playoff victory against Tower Hill. The Blue Raiders were knocked off in the semifinals that season by St. Georges.
Thanks to Davis’ touchdown over two DMA defenders, Woodbridge has a chance to avenge that loss this year.
Davis also had an interception in the game, but his biggest contribution came when the Blue Raiders were facing fourth-and-three at DMA’s 20 with 7:32 left. Woodbridge had already had its drive kept alive on a fourth-down via a defensive pass interference penalty.
Haynes, a freshman, did a play-action fake and turned to through to his right where Davis was running toward the corner of the end zone. The pass was high enough to clear the leaping Seahawk defenders and settle into Davis’ arms.
“I knew we had to make the play,” Haynes said. “I just read the safety and threw it up.”
“I just wanted a chance,” Davis said. “I was hoping he would throw it high enough because it was double coverage. Just hoping they wouldn’t tip it and I could make the play.”
Woodbridge coach Ed Manlove said he called for the shot to the end zone instead of the first down based on DMA’s defensive alignment.
“They were up so we decided we had to go for it,” Manlove said. “We practice that throw and he hit it just like we do in practice. It’s nothing new to do us. We executed the play.”
Delaware Military had two chances to take the lead in the final minutes.
The Seahawks drove into Woodbridge territory and worked the ball to the 30-yard line with 3:20 left. But DMA’s pass attempt was bobbled and ruled incomplete as the receiver fell to the ground.
Ju’Wan Massey helped the Blue Raiders in their attempt to kill the clock with a 25-yard run on the next drive. Woodbridge wasn’t able to get another first down though as DMA used its two timeouts and there was an injury timeout on third down to stop the clock.
DMA stuffed Woodbridge on fourth down to take over at its own 40 with 1:16 left. The Seahawks quickly found themselves facing another fourth down when Blaize Rayford led a host of Blue Raiders for the stop.
The Blue Raiders then were able to call two kneel-downs to end it.
Kirby Williams had the first touchdown for Woodbridge on rush from four yards out. DMA scored its lone touchdown on a 19-yard pass by Jacob Hudson to Jeffrey Gillis on fourth down in the second quarter.
The game stayed a defensive battle until Davis’ touchdown capped off a 15-play 70-yard drive. It means the Blue Raiders have new plans on Thanksgiving – practice.
“We’re going to go out to dinner on Thanksgiving because we get to have practice,” Manlove said. “That’s been my goal since I got here to have practice on Thanksgiving. We’ve finally got to do that two of the last three years. It’s a good feeling.”