Saturday, November 4, 2017

Delaware Valley University Goes Big Against Misericordia University

A File Photo
DALLAS (PA) – Devauntay Ellis rushed for 231 yards and five touchdowns as fifth-ranked Delaware Valley University remained undefeated and clinched a share of the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) championship with a 51-7 victory at Misericordia University.

The Aggies improved to 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the MAC as they earned a piece of the conference crown for the seventh time since 2004 and the first since 2011. It also set up the big home showdown with Widener University next Saturday, November 11 (1 p.m.).

Widener upped their conference record to 7-1 (7-2 overall) with a 27-6 home win over King’s College. A DelVal victory over the Pride would give the Aggies the outright MAC championship and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs. It would be DelVal’s seventh trip to the national tournament and the first since getting an at-large berth in 2014.

A Widener victory would result in the two teams sharing the MAC crown, but the Pride would get the automatic berth due to the head-to-head win. The Aggies would then have to wait to Sunday’s NCAA Selection Show to see if they receive one of the five at-large bids to the 32-team tournament. Next Saturday will also be Senior Day for DelVal and the Keystone Cup, which is handed out annually to the winner of the rivalry game, will also be on the line.

Ellis heads into the Widener game with 368 yards and eight touchdowns in his last five quarters of play. The senior played just the first 39 minutes at Misericordia (1-8, 1-7 MAC) and netted the fifth-highest, single-game rushing total in program history with his 231 yards. The five scores was the second highest for that category, missing the record by just one. His output came on just 19 carries and he also moved into fifth place on the all-time list with 2,426 yards.

After stopping Misericordia on its first possession, the Aggies went a seven-play, 66-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 25-yard touchdown run by Ellis. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Ellis found the end zone again, this time from two yards out. It culminated an 11-play, 75-yard drive and Colin Fasolka’s extra-point made it a 14-0 contest.

The Cougars had field position throughout the second quarter, but the DelVal defense stood tall each time, including an interception by Jalen Mayes. Following Mayes’ pick, the Aggies marched 86 yards on 11 plays. Ellis bounced off a few tacklers for his third score of the game, a nine-yard run and a 21-0 lead with 2:38 left in the opening half.

DelVal was flagged for a pair of 15-yard penalties on the final play of the first half and they were assessed on the second-half kickoff. Misericordia line up at the Aggie 35 and tried an onsides kick, but Jamir Prevard recovered it for DelVal at its own 24. Ellis took the first handoff, got to the outside and was gone for a 76-yard touchdown sprint. Fasolka’s point-after upped the advantage to 28-0.

A safety by Prevard made it 30-0 before the Cougars got on the board with a 40-yard touchdown by Mark Rainey midway through the third quarter. It was just the second touchdown allowed by the Aggies’ first-team defense since a week four win over Stevenson and the other score (King’s) was set up by a muffed punt inside the 10-yard line.

DelVal immediately responded and it was Ellis once again. On his final carry of the afternoon, he burst through the line, broke two tackles and went 37 yards for the touchdown and a 37-7 lead with 6:07 left in the third.

Ryan Wharton then made his only two carries of the day count in a big way. He went 38 yards for a touchdown late in the third and then added a 60-yard score early in the fourth for a 51-7 advantage.  

DelVal finished the day with 482 rushing yards on 45 attempts (10.7 avg). The Aggies added 74 passing yards for a 556-yard performance. Quarterback Dashawn Darden completed just 7 of 17 passes for 58 yards, but he ran the ball nine times for 58 yards.

Defensively, DelVal entered the contest fifth in scoring (8.8 points per game) and sixth in total defense (226.4 yards per game) and it allowed just seven points and 226 yards (130 rushing, 96 passing) to the Cougars. Christian Snowden led the attack with 10 tackles while Nicholas DiGati and Jalil Burrell had eight and seven stops respectively.

For Misericordia, Aaron Barry was 15-for-31 for 96 yards and two interceptions. Rainey had 58 yards and one touchdown on 10 rushes. Noah Bard had seven tackles in the loss. 

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