Saturday, October 7, 2017

DelVal Defense Strong in Big Win Over Albright

DelVal's Nick Wright Interception for a "Pick Six" (A Game of the Week Photo)
READING (PA) – It was labeled the “Battle Of The Unbeatens” and it quickly became a one-sided affair as seventh-ranked Delaware Valley University scored the first 34 points of the game and cruised to a 41-6, Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) triumph at No. 24 Albright College.

The win puts the Aggies at 6-0 overall, 5-0 and sole possession of first place in the MAC standings. They have three of their final four games at home, starting with next week’s Homecoming clash with King’s College. Albright slipped to 5-1 and 4-1. The Lions are now in a three-way tie for second place in the MAC with Stevenson University and Widener University. DelVal defeated Stevenson earlier in the year and it ends the regular-season at home against Widener.

The Aggies dominated all facets of the game and notched touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. They outgained Albright, 381-276, while allowing just 125 yards in the decisive first half. The offense did not turn the ball over while the defense forced three. The defense also notched four sacks on the day.

DelVal quieted the Homecoming Crowd by taking the opening kickoff and driving 75 yards on just five plays. The final 36 yards came on a sprint up the middle by Devauntay Ellis and into the end zone. One play earlier, Ellis had netted a tough five yards to convert a third-and-five. Colin Fasolka added the extra point for the 7-0 advantage just 1:47 into the contest.

After stopping Albright on its first possession, the Aggies took over at their 13-yard line. They converted three, third-down plays on their way to the Lion 26-yard line. Quarterback Dashawn Darden scrambled out of the pocket and threw to the end zone where Marquis Ellis went up to make a spectacular catch for the touchdown. It completed the 13-play drive that took more than six minutes off the clock. Fasolka’s point-after made it 14-0 with 3:10 left in the opening quarter.

Later in the half, the DelVal defense forced Albright to line up deep in its own territory for a punt. Preseason All-American Shawn Miller broke through up the middle and blocked the kick. Nick Wright scooped it up at the five-yard line and went into the end zone for the touchdown. Fasolka’s extra-point attempt clanked off the right upright, but the Aggies had the 20-0 advantage with 4:49 remaining before halftime.

The Lions drove deep into DelVal territory with less than a minute to go in the half. Facing a fourth-and-three from the six, they elected to go for it and tossed the ball to Kyle Dickerson for a run-pass option. No one was open, forcing Dickerson to run for the first down, but he was stopped two yards shy and the ball went back to the Aggies on downs.

On Albright’s opening drive of the second half, a screen pass was bobbled by the running back and Wright came up and picked it off. The senior linebacker returned it 58 yards for his second score of the game and third of the season (70-yard fumble return for a touchdown in season-opening win over Wesley). He is the first known defensive player in program history to score two touchdowns in a single game (one defense, one special teams). Fasolka’s boot made it 27-0.

The onslaught continued five minutes later as a seven-play, 74-yard drive was capped when Marquis Ellis caught a short pass, broke two tackles and scored from 28 yards out and a 34-0 advantage midway through the third. He now has six touchdowns on the year.

Albright threatened to score early in the fourth, but freshman Jamir Prevard notched his first collegiate interception at the one-yard line. The Lions avoided the shutout with 6:51 left as backup quarterback Jimmy Lahay hit Milton Cordero for a 13-yard touchdown.

DelVal got the final points of the day with 3:07 to go as quarterback Anthony Fontanta hit Juwan Manigo with a 10-yard touchdown pass. Fontana set the score up with a 63-yard run a few plays earlier.

Darden completed 11 of 21 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Marquis Ellis hauled in three passes for 62 yards and two scores while Dan Allen had two grabs for 62 yards. DeVauntay Ellis carried the ball 14 times for 70 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, Wright finished with six tackles, the interception return for a touchdown and block punt return for a score. Miller added seven tackles to go along with his blocked punt. Jarren McBryde added five stops and an interception in the win.

For Albright, quarterback Alec Vignola was 18-for-44 for 201 yards and was intercepted three times. He was the team’s leading rusher with just 24 yards. Kyle Dickerson caught seven passes for 87 yards. Nate Steffen led the defense with eight tackles.


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