Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Top Ten Aggies Look To Challenge of a Friday Night Game at FDU-Florham

A Game of the Week photo
DOYLESTOWN (PA) – The Delaware Valley University football team, ranked in the top 10 in both Division III national polls, will look to remain undefeated at the halfway point of the season as the Aggies travel to FDU-Florham on Friday night, September 29. Kickoff at Robert T. Shields Field for the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.

DelVal enters the game with a 4-0 overall record and a 3-0 mark in the conference following last Saturday’s 27-7 victory over defending MAC champion Stevenson University. The Aggie defense continued to dominate as they allowed just one scoring drive. The offense put up two scores while the special teams provided two touchdowns (one kickoff return, one punt return) as well.

Defensively, DelVal is limiting opponents to just 10.8 points and 260 yards (71.3 avg rushing, 188.7 avg passing) per game. The unit has forced 11 turnovers on the year while notched 12 sacks.

Senior linebacker Nicholas DiGati (Townsend, DE/Middletown) leads the team in tackles with 38. Fellow senior and linebacker TJ Waters (Philadelphia, PA/West Catholic) follows with 26 stops.

Senior safety and preseason All-American Shawn Miller (Laurel, DE/Laurel) has 25 tackles and one interception to his credit. The pick was returned 31 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the win at Wilkes University two weeks ago.

The Aggies are also getting great production from seniors linebackers Michael Ockimey and Nick Wright (Hatfield, PA/North Penn), along with junior end Christian Snowden (Williamstown, NJ/St. Joseph Hammonton).

Ockimey has 20 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Wright’s totals include 22 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Snowden is tied for lead in Division III with three fumble recoveries. He also has 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Offensively, DelVal is averaging 29.8 points and 337.3 yards (194.0 avg rushing, 143.3 avg. passing) per game. The unit has only turned the ball over four times through the first four outings.

Junior quarterback Dashawn Darden (Norristown, PA/Cardinal O’Hara) has completed 58 of 103 passes for 566 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception. He is also a threat to run with 215 yards and two scores on 46 rushes.

Two-time all-MAC first-team tailback Devauntay Ellis (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) has carried the ball 71 times for 417 yards and three touchdowns. He had 94 yards on 18 touches against Stevenson.

Junior wideout Marquis Ellis (Owings Mills, MD/Franklin) was held out of the end zone for the first time this season against Stevenson. He has 14 catches for 166 yards and three touchdowns on the year.

Sophomores Dan Allen (Philadelphia, PA/Penn Wood) and Aaron Nelson (Hampstead, MD/North Carroll) have caught two touchdown passes apiece with each hauling in one against Stevenson. Allen, a tight end, has nine catches for 105 yards while Nelson, a wideout, has five catches for 122 yards.

The Devils opened the 2017 campaign with a 38-24, non-conference victory at The College of New Jersey. They have lost three conference games in a row since then, including last Saturday’s 24-14 setback at Lebanon Valley College.

The game with Lebanon Valley was tied at 14-14 late in the third quarter, until the Flying Dutchmen scored 10 points in a seven-minute span for the victory.

Offensively, FDU-Florham is averaging 18.3 points and 344.3 yards 293.3 avg passing, 51.0 avg rushing) per game. Heading the unit is junior quarterback Dagger Green, who has completed 113 of 185 passes for 1,158 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. All five scores came in the win over The College of New Jersey as he was 40-for-58 for 593 yards in that contest.

Green’s favorite targets are sophomore Michael Panzarino and senior Malik Pressley. Panzarino has 27 catches for 303 yards and three touchdowns. Pressley, the 2015 MAC Offensive Player of the Year who returned to FDU-Florham after a year at Mount Union, has 19 grabs for 295 yards and three scores.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Devils are permitting 37.3 points and 414.3 yards (255.8 avg passing, 158.5 avg rushing) per contest.

Junior linebacker Isaiah Turner has a team-high 50 tackles while sophomore linebacker Mihajlo Simakoski follows with 33 tops. Junior end Robert Planter has two of the team’s four sacks.

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