Delaware Valley keeps rolling

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Mike Jaskowski
Mike Jaskowski moved to defensive end this year and has six and a half sacks despite his linebacker size.
Delaware Valley athletics photo

No. 8 Delaware Valley remained undefeated in the Middle Atlantic Conference after a surprising 36-0 pasting of second-place Lycoming on Saturday.

The Aggies held Lycoming to 7 yards rushing on the day. Senior Warrior Josh Kleinfelter was limited to 27 yards, nearly 130 below his average. Kleinfelter came in to the contest averaging 165 yards per game, ranked fourth nationally in Division III.

“We played well against Lycoming and were able to be patient and not overpursue on defense,” said head coach Jim Clements.

Clements’ defense has been good all season, as the shutout over Lycoming was the second this season for the Aggies (they also shut out Washington & Jefferson) and they’ve only allowed 66 points in seven games.

“We’re happy about that, and it gives us some leverage in the run game,” Clements said.

According to the NCAA, Del Val is eighth in the nation in total defense, giving up only 209 yards per contest, and fourth in scoring defense at less than 10 points a game.

All-American linebacker Kyle Gesswein and Chris James are tied for the team lead in tackles with 41 each.

“We’ve been good on critical downs, not letting teams make it on third or fourth down, which is really helpful,” Clements said.

Gesswein also contributed on special teams as well, returned a punt block for a touchdown -- the first of his illustrious career for the Aggies.

But it’s not all defense in Doylestown, Pa.

Clements was quick to credit his offense for its performance this season as well, including senior quarterback Mark Hatty. In his first full season leading the Aggies, Hatty has 1,573 yards passing and 12 TD passes. On Saturday, Hatty threw for 271 yards and a touchdown as he managed the game beautifully against the Warriors.

“It all starts with the offensive line. They give Mark time and they keep people off balance,” Clements said.

One of Hatty’s favorite targets this year is senior wide receiver Dan Heiland. Heiland caught eight passes for 125 yards against Lycoming and has 38 catches this season. Heiland also reached a career milestone against the Warriors, making his 100th catch and he now has 102.

But with yet another senior in the backfield, Matt Cook, who has nearly 800 yards rushing, it’s nearly impossible for defenses to focus on one guy.

“We’re definitely not one-dimensional,” Clements said.

This week, DVC catches somewhat of a break, playing winless King’s at home, but Clements refuses to look ahead.

“King’s is probably the best team out there who hasn’t won (a game),” Clements said. “They’ve lost four by a touchdown or less. They have a new system and new coaches, and they’ll be fired up ready to go.”

No. 20 Alfred took the conference lead in the Empire 8 after taking down the previously unbeaten St. John Fisher Cardinals 42-31 at Merrill Field on Saturday.

Freshman Austin Dwyer led the Saxons with 162 yards on 27 carries, the first back to rush for more than 100 yards against Fisher. Tom Secky had an efficient day, going 21-for-27 for 211 yards and three touchdowns, two to senior receiver Ryan Thon, who had three total on the day, the third an option pass.

For the No. 23-ranked Cardinals, quarterback Tim Bailey threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns, but listening to the game it sounds like Alfred was firmly in control for most of the contest.

So now begins the yearly merry-go-round in the Empire 8, where no team is undefeated, but AU, St. John Fisher and Ithaca only have one loss in conference, and Springfield and Utica have two losses. It could turn into a real cluster(bleep) in the E8 again.

Montclair State remained at 14 on the D3football.com poll after a 31-3 win over Western Connecticut. Tom Fischer completed only 11 passes, but they went for 257 yards and four touchdowns as the RedHawks improved to 7-0 and 6-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

It’s the fourth time in program history the team has started 7-0; 1960, 1964 and 2001 were the others. Fischer was named NJAC offensive player of the week for his efforts.

If Delaware Valley and Montclair State win out and finish 9-1 and 10-0, respectively, I don’t think there’s any way the NCAA can move Mount Union into the Eastern bracket for the fourth year in a row.

So if you guys are “purists,” root for DVC and MSU for the rest of the year.

Staying in the NJAC, Cortland remained in second place in conference play with a 42-6 win over Morrisville. Sophomore Justin Autera continued his tremendous season, running for 141 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries. The three touchdowns give Autera 17 on the year (14 rushing and two receiving and a punt return), leading the nation in touchdowns and scoring and second in points per game.

Cortland’s senior quarterback Dan Pitcher tied a school record, throwing a touchdown pass in nine games in a row for the Red Dragons.

Rowan is right behind Cortland in the NJAC at 5-1 after a 35-27 win over Brockport. Senior wide receiver Justin Long caught six passes for 113 yards and two scores and Tim Hagerty had 283 yards combined rushing and passing as the Profs kept pace with the Red Dragons.

Senior Ben Guiles had a career day for Lebanon Valley against King’s on Saturday. Guiles ran for 262 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries, the second-highest total in school history, just five behind Charlie Parker’s record. He shattered his personal best of 187 yards, set last year against Wilkes and he became the third leading rusher in school history with 2,318 career yards.

Albright’s Josan Holmes set a career mark in the Lions’ 35-27 victory over Widener. Holmes ran for 149 yards and four touchdowns to set the career touchdown mark at 34. He tied his own record from the 2008 South Atlantic ECAC bowl of four touchdowns in one game.

Brendan Curran had three touchdowns total for Widener in the loss.

Liberty League
St. Lawrence forced RPI to turn the ball over on downs six times as the Saints continued their magical run in the Liberty League, beating RPI 14-3. For the Saints, who remained undefeated in league play at 4-0, junior tailback Marcus Washington ran for 136 yards on 29 carries.

The Saints can clinch their first postseason berth since 1982 with a win or any Hobart loss in the final weeks of the season.

Speaking of Hobart, the Statesmen remained in second place in the LL after a 40-33 barn burner against the Merchant Marine Academy. Hobart junior Garth Muratori led the Statesmen with seven catches for 129 yards and three touchdowns, all coming from quarterback Doug Vella, who threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, freshman Devin Worthington had nine tackles, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Merchant Marine’s John-Leon Gosselin ran for 110 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.

Rochester trailed 15-3 at the beginning of the fourth quarter in their Liberty League battle with WPI, and it looked like yet another loss in this tough season for Scott Greene’s Yellowjackets, who came in winless.

But there was no quit, as Cainaan Webb returned an interception 20 yards to pull within 15-9. After the teams traded possessions, Rochester got the ball back with 8:47 left in the game and senior quarterback Braezen Subick ran for a three-yard score with 4:57 left, tying the game at 15, and the extra point gave Rochester the lead and the eventual victory.

Joe Falco ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries and 342 all-purpose yards as the Lions took down Buffalo State 48-29. Greg Burns had 13 tackles and an interception for The College of New Jersey.

Union had a tough day against non-conference opponent Salisbury and their triple-option offense, falling 52-21. The Dutchmen were held to minus-12 yards on the ground and allowed more than 500 yards on the ground to the Sea Gulls.

After a week away from the team to be with his family after his father passed away, quarterback Drew Connolly threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Receiver Justin Gallo had 13 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown.

Kean’s Jay Gwaltney ran for 201 yards on 32 carries, the third straight game of 200 or more for the senior, in a 29-2 win over William Paterson.

Gwaltney is the fourth player in school history to run for 1,000 yards in a season; he has 1,035 total on the year.

Kean held WPU to 45 yards on offense on the day.

Ithaca is that much closer to its 40th winning season in a row after a 23-14 win over Springfield on Saturday at Butterfield Stadium. The Bombers slowed the triple option offense, holding the Pride to 170 yards rushing. On the offensive side for IC, senior quarterback Rob Zappia threw for a career high 301 yards and Tom Vossler caught 12 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. The 12 catches were one short of an Ithaca record.

Games to watch
No. 14 Montclair State travels to Cortland State
for a NJAC battle, and the winner has the upper hand in the conference. If MSU can win this one, the road is a bit clearer to a possible No. 1 seed.

Union at RPI: The Shoes comes back around for the 60th annual contest between the two colleges only a few miles apart in the Capital Region. This time, the game is at the new East Campus Athletic Village for the first time. Could the home field advantage point to a victory for the Engineers? Can’t wait till Saturday to find out.  There’s a great record site for the rivalry.

Jason Bowen

Jason Bowen has 10 years of Division III coaching experience at Wesley, where he was also the Sports Information Director. He currently provides color analysis on broadcasts of Wesley games on WDEL Radio 1150AM and has served as a staff and freelance writer for the Delaware State News in Dover. He has been a contributor for D3football.com since 2006. By day he teaches high school biology. He is a 1992 graduate of and three-year letter winner at linebacker for Mansfield (Pa.) University.

2006-10 columnist: Adam Samrov
2011-14 columnist: Andrew Lovell

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