Sunday, September 24, 2017

Special Teams Touchdowns Propel No. 9 Aggies to 27-7 Win

A game photo
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – No. 9/12 Delaware Valley scored on the game's opening kickoff and later added a punt return touchdown as it posted a 27-7 win over Stevenson in Middle Atlantic Conference football Saturday afternoon at Work Stadium.

Delaware Valley (4-0, 3-0 MAC) took a 7-0 lead 14 seconds into the game as LaQuille Nesbitt returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. Stevenson started its first drive of the game on its own 12 and reached the DelVal 32 before its drive stalled. The Aggies made it 13-0 when a 12-play, 81-yard drive was capped by the hosts converting on 4th and 7 with an 18-yard pass from Dashawn Darden to Dan Allen with 1:30 left in the first. Delaware Valley's PAT attempt was missed.

Stevenson (2-2, 2-1 MAC) got on the board 10 seconds into the second quarter as senior Preston Addo broke two tackles for a 41-yard touchdown reception from junior Dan Williams to make it 13-7. The Aggies countered with a five-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 61-yard Darden pass over the top to Aaron Nelson to make it 20-7 at the 12:44 mark.

The hosts increased their lead to 27-7 on the second special teams score of the day. Vinnie Nelson received a punt at midfleld and met two Stevenson defenders, however, Nelso was able to break free for a 53-yard punt return score at the 6:37 mark. Stevenson's next drive got down to the DelVal 24 after Williams hooked up with senior Devin Salisbury for a 24-yard completion on 3rd-and-22, but on the following play, Williams was fumbled and the Aggies recovered with 2:33 left. The Mustangs went in down 27-7.

Neither team scored in the third quarter even though Stevenson outgained Delaware Valley 69-14. Williams threw his first interception of the season with 6:42 remaining in the frame, giving the Aggies the ball at the Stevenson 25. Two plays later, the Mustang defense came up with a takeaway for the 48th straight game, with Kyle Pleet forcing a fumble and DJ Broxton recovering at the 25.

Stevenson engineered a 13-play, 53-yard drive that started with 11:32 left in the fourth on the Mustang 20 but stalled on fourth and long at the 27 when a pass into the end zone was batted down by a DelVal defender. The Mustangs took over at midfield with 4:32 left, but Williams' second interception of the day dashed faint hopes of a Stevenson comeback.

Williams finished 29-46 passing for 299 yards and a touchdown, with Addo catching seven balls for 118 yards. Salisbury had a team-high nine catches for 67 yards, while senior Dequan Ellison and junior Jainard Crawley-Lambert each had four grabs. Junior Isaiah Austin had eight rushes for 32 yards as Stevenson generated just 51 yards on the ground.

Defensively, senior Cory Pietrzyk led Stevenson with 10 tackles, including two tackles for a loss. Pleet finished with two tackles for a loss and six tackles in addition to the forced fumble, while senior Chuck Brown also had six stops and two tackles for a loss. Junior Brendan Flaherty added five stops.

Stevenson outgained Delaware Valley 350-311 on the afternoon, including 299-129 through the air. Neither team fared well on third down, with the Mustangs going 4-14 and DelVal converting two of its 11 third down attempts. The Aggies won the turnover battle with two interceptions and a fumble recovery, while Stevenson had just the one takeaway. The Mustangs won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for over 32 minutes.

Stevenson returns to action next Saturday when it hosts Misericordia in a noon contest at Mustang Stadium.

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