Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Delaware Valley Football vs King's Game Preview

A File Photo
DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Undefeated and sixth-ranked Delaware Valley University will look to win its 11thstraight game dating back to last year when the Aggies host King’s College for Homecoming on Saturday, October 14. Kickoff at Robert A. Lipinski Field at James Work Memorial Stadium for the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) contest is slated for 12:30 p.m.

DelVal improved to 6-0 overall, 5-0 and sole possession of first place in the MAC with last week’s 41-6 dismantling of previous undefeated and 24th-ranked Albright College. The Aggies went on the road for the big match-up and scored the first 35 points of the game. They notched touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams and kept the Lions off the scoreboard until the final six minutes.

DelVal has three of its final four regular-season games at home, starting with its meeting with King’s this week. The Aggies enter the contest ranked sixth in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll and ninth in the poll,

Offensively, DelVal is averaging 36.7 points and 376.3 yards per contest. It is a balanced attack with 1971.8 yards per game on the ground and 178.5 yards per game through the air. They have committed just six turnovers through the first six contests.

Junior quarterback Dashawn Darden (Norristown, PA/Cardinal O’Hara) has completed 85 of 144 passes for 1,030 yards, 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He has also rushed for 276 yards and two trips to paydirt.

Two-time all-MAC first-team tailback Devauntay Ellis (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) has carried the ball 101 times for 567 yards (5.6 avg) and five touchdowns. The senior got things started for the Aggies at Albright as he scored on a 36-yard run on the team’s first possession of the game.

Junior wideout Marquis Ellis (Owings Mills, MD/Franklin) caught a pair of touchdown passes at Albright to give six scores on the year. He leads a balanced unit with 20 catches for 258 yards.

Sophomore tight end Dan Allen (Philadelphia, PA/Penn Wood) has developed into a big threat on offense. He has caught 14 passes for 273 yards (19.5 avg) and two touchdowns.

Defensively, DelVal is ranked fourth in all of Division III as the unit has allowed just 9.3 points per game. The Aggies are also 10th in pass efficiency defense (89.31 rating), 13th in rushing defense (70.5 yards per game) and 15th in total defense (241.5 yards per game). They have also scored three touchdowns this year to tie for fifth in the country.

Senior linebacker Nick Wright (Hatfield, PA/North Penn) has two of the defensive scores and, in fact, is the team’s third leading scorer with 20 points. He has a fumble return for a touchdown, an interception return for a score and a safety on defense and a blocked punt return for a touchdown on special teams.

Wright was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week and earned a spot on the Team Of The Week for the second time this season as he had six tackles, a 58-yard interception return for a score and the blocked punt return touchdown at Albright. For the year, Wright has 30 tackles, three interceptions and three sacks.

Fellow senior and linebacker Nicholas DiGati (Townsend, DE/Middletown) leads the team in tackles with 44 (21 solo). He also has one forced fumble to his credit.

Senior safety and preseason All-American Shawn Miller (Laurel, DE/Laurel) has 33 tackles and one interception (for a touchdown). He earned MAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance at Albright as he blocked the punt that Wright returned for a score to make it a 20-0 game at the time.

The Monarchs are 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the MAC following last Saturday’s 63-37 victory at Misericordia University. They set single-game records for points and total yards (655) in the contest.

King’s offense averages 36.3 points and 474.2 yards (164.7 avg rushing, 309.5 avg passing) per game. Heading the unit is senior quarterback Zach Whitehead. He has completed 141 of 235 passes for 1,845 yards, 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Whitehead also leads the team with 10 rushing scores.

Fellow senior Tyler Marroni is Whitehead’s favorite target. Marroni was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Week after catching 10 passes for 234 yards (three shy of the school record) and three touchdowns. That upped his season totals to 41 receptions for 727 yards and five trips to the end zone.

Junior Jordan Downes heads the Monarch ground attack as he has carried the ball 89 times for 453 yards and four touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, King’s allows 36.5 points and 401.5 yards (111.2 avg rushing, 290.3 avg passing) per contest.

Linebackers Mando Sallavanti and Bruce Damon lead the squad in tackles with 44 and 38 respectively. Sallavanti, a freshman, also has two forced fumbles to his credit while Damon, a senior, has 1.5 sacks.

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