Saturday, October 28, 2017

Delaware Valley's Defense Shuts Out Lebanon Valley

A File Photo
DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Devauntay Ellis rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half, while the Delaware Valley University defense allowed just 130 yards as the fifth-ranked Aggies remained undefeated with a 35-0 shutout over visiting Lebanon Valley College in a Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) game.

The Aggies improved to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in league play. They are alone in first place, one game ahead of Widener University (6-2, 6-1) with two games remaining. DelVal travels to Misericordia University (1-7, 1-6) next Saturday and can clinch a share of the conference crown with a win. A win and a Widener loss at home to King’s College would give the Aggies the outright title and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA playoffs. If both teams win or lose next Saturday, they will meet for the MAC championship and national tournament berth in the regular-season finale in Doylestown on November 11.

DelVal scored 28 points in the first half and never looked back against the Flying Dutchmen (4-4, 4-3). The offense notched 433 total yards (279 rushing, 154 passing) and held the ball for nearly 35 minutes (34:41). Meanwhile the Aggie defense, ranked sixth in Division III in scoring (10.0 avg), posted their first shutout of the season. They held Lebanon Valley to 10 yards on 14 plays in the first half and the Flying Dutchmen didn’t get a first down until the first drive of the second half. Lebanon Valley finished with 79 yards in the air and 51 on the ground on a combined 51 plays (2.5 avg).

DelVal wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as it needed just 2:50 to go 75 yards on seven plays. The Aggies faced a fourth-and-one at their own 34 and elected to go for it as quarterback Dashawn Darden netted three yards on a sneak. Three plays later, they faced a third-and-two from their 45 when Ellis got the call. The senior ran over one defender, lost one of his shoes while breaking a pair of tackles, stayed on his feet and scored on a 55-yard, highlight-reel carry. Colin Fasolka added the extra-point for the 7-0 advantage.

Later in the quarter, a 52-yard punt by Adam Domovich trapped DelVal back at its own five-yard line. The Aggies then proceeded to go on a 14-play, 95-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes off the clock and was capped when Ellis went over the top from a yard out. Thirteen of the 14 plays were on the ground and they converted a third down and a fourth down on the drive. Fasolka’s boot made it 14-0 just two plays into the second quarter.

Lebanon Valley went three-and-out on its next drive and a short punt gave DelVal the ball at the Flying Dutchmen 46. The Aggies drove the ball to the two and Darden called his own number for the touchdown and a 21-0 lead with eight minutes left in the half.

An interception by DelVal’s Jarren McBryde gave the Aggies the ball at the Lebanon Valley 43-yard line with three minutes left before the intermission. A trick play resulted in a 23-yard pass from wide receiver Khalil Steward to tailback Khalil Roane and it put the ball in the red zone. Ellis finished the drive off with a fivr-yard scoring run with 28 seconds to go for the 28-0 lead.

DelVal’s final points came with 13:19 left in the game as Darden hit tight end Dan Allen for an 11-yard touchdown strike to cap a four-play, 59-yard drive. The Flying Dutchmen never got closer than the Aggie 36-yard line the rest of the way.

Ellis did his damage on just 19 carries (7.2 avg). He upped his career rushing yardage total to 2,195 (sixth all time in school history) and his touchdown total to 23 (tied for eighth place). Darden completed 12 of 19 passes for 122 yards and one score while rushing for 51 yards and one trip to the end zone. Roane carried the ball nine times for 69 yards and was the top receiver with four catches for 44 yards out of the backfield.

Defensively, linebacker Nicholas DiGati finished with eight tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage. Christian Snowden had six stops (four for losses) and the game’s lone sack while McBryde had five tackles and one interception.

For Lebanon Valley, Steve Salerno netted 45 yards on 13 carries, Starting quarterback Tyler Sterner was just 5-for-12 for 63 yards and one interception. Tim Schumacher led the defense with nine tackles.

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