Uncharted territory

More news about: Shenandoah
Cedrick Delaney "can do anything on the football field" according to his official roster bio. 
Photo courtesy Shenandoah Athletics 

The second line of senior Cedrick Delaney's bio on the official Shenandoah University athletics website doesn't mention his position or his hometown. It doesn't list his height, weight or academic major.

It doesn't read like a fact, but ask anyone associated with the program, and they'll tell you how true it is.

"Can do anything on the football field," the line reads. Delaney has spent the last four seasons proving the truth of such a statement.

"He's been our best football player and biggest explosive weapon now for three or four years," fourth-year head coach Scott Yoder said.

In Shenandoah's 33-28 win against Guilford on Oct. 22, Delaney broke the program's all-time rushing record. His total now stands at 3,042 rushing yards entering this weekend, but that's hardly the only instance of Delaney's name in the record book. He's also third in rushing attempts (505), second in rushing touchdowns (25), first in yards per carry (6.02), second in yards per game (82.2) and first in all-purpose yards (4,714), among many others.

He also ranks second all-time in receptions (107) and third in receiving yards (1,098), and first in kick return average (27.33). As the bio stated, Delaney can do anything on the field.

"It doesn't matter whether we hand it to him, toss it to him, throw it to him or get him back there in the kick return," Yoder said. "We've got to get him enough touches to affect the game."

Even in games when he's bottled up, as he was this past Saturday against Catholic, the attention Delaney commands helps open up the passing game for sophomore quarterback Hayden Bauserman. Delaney was held to just 24 yards on 13 carries, but still scored on a pair of one-yard touchdown runs and added 39 receiving yards on five receptions in the Hornets' 45-34 win, their fourth straight victory.

Delaney and Bauserman, who has became the team's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns this season, have helped guide the Hornets to uncharted territory since the program joined the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in 2012. Shenandoah had posted sub-.500 records in each of the last four seasons, including three consecutive 4-6 campaigns, but enters November with a 6-2 record that includes a 4-1 mark in conference play.

"It's a great accomplishment, but the greatest accomplishment is winning the ODAC," Delaney said. "That's the main focus for me and for the whole team. ... It'd be great knowing I got the ring and being the all-time leading rusher coming out when I graduate."

Following Randolph-Macon's 18-10 win against Washington and Lee this past weekend, three teams now sit tied atop the conference standings with identical 4-1 records: perennial conference contender Washington and Lee, ever-improving Randolph-Macon, and Shenandoah, a football program that was reinstated 16 years ago.

Bauserman, who transferred to Shenandoah in the spring of 2015 from Division II Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia, stepped into the starting role immediately for the Hornets, which produced its fair share of ups and downs. In his second season, Bauserman has dramatically cut down his interceptions (15 in 2015; six so far in 2016) as he's improved his decision-making on the field.

"His good plays are just as good as last year, but his bad plays are nowhere near his bad plays last year," Yoder said.

Bauserman and Delaney are equally complimentary of each other -- Delaney called Bauserman the "best quarterback in the conference," while Bauserman called Delaney "one of the best football players" he's ever seen -- but both have a young and continually-improving offensive line to thank as well.

Saturday's lineup against Catholic featured three sophomore starters -- left tackle Adam Ibrahim, left guard Andrew Coffman and center Caleb Hutson -- alongside the all-junior right side of guard Jonathan Grammo and tackle Kindal Fluke. Like Bauserman last season, the line experienced some growing pains earlier in the season, but its continued improvement has coincided with the Hornets' four-game winning streak.

Shenandoah closes the regular season with a home game against Hampden-Sydney and a road game against Washington and Lee, the two programs that have won the last seven ODAC titles.

"In order to be the best, you've got to beat the best," Bauserman said. "At some point we were going to face them this season, and I don't think we'd want to face those two teams in any other position than at 6-2 with an opportunity to win the ODAC."

A lot will happen over the next two weeks for Shenandoah, but there's at least one thing you can count on -- Bauserman and Delaney will be heavily involved.

"We're going to get [Delaney] to play defense next week," Yoder said with a laugh.

Johns Hopkins nears eighth straight CC title

Jonathan Germano set new career highs with 443 passing yards and six touchdown passes in Johns Hopkins' 42-7 win over Ursinus this past Saturday. Quinn Donaldson and Brett Caggiano each caught two TDs, while Boone Lewis Jr. and Bradley Munday both caught one.

The Blue Jays improved to 8-0 overall this season and extended their winning streak against Centennial Conference opponents to 35 games. They've won 39 consecutive regular-season games, and with two more wins to close out the 2016 regular season, the Blue Jays would secure their fourth straight 10-0 season.

Johns Hopkins faces Franklin and Marshall (6-2, 5-2) on the road this Saturday before closing out the regular season with a home game against McDaniel (3-5, 3-4). The last time Johns Hopkins lost to a CC foe was Nov. 3, 2012 ... at Franklin and Marshall.

Maryville, Huntingdon set for key showdown

Luke Bailey tossed four touchdown passes, five different players rushed for scores, and Huntingdon's defense held Greensboro to just nine first downs in a lopsided 71-0 win this past weekend.

That kind of result surely caught the attention of Maryville, which defeated LaGrange 30-19 behind 233 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Elijah Chenier.

Maryville will host Huntingdon this coming Saturday in what could amount to the title game for the USA South. If the Hawks win, both teams would enter the final week of the regular season with identical 5-1 conference records. Of course, Huntingdon would own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

A Hawks win would also keep the door open for Averett (4-3, 3-1), which plays Huntingdon in the regular season finale. A lot can happen over the last two weeks, but rest assured, the Maryville-Huntingdon game will be a major factor.

Quick hits

Tre Frederick rushed for 212 yards, Seth Yurgel converted all three of his field-goal attempts, and Eric Long (13 tackles) spearheaded a superb defensive effort in Randolph-Macon's 18-10 win against Washington and Lee. ... Nick Savant rushed for 166 yards and five touchdowns, and Nick Palladino tossed a pair of touchdowns to Ryan Delaney as Muhlenberg routed Dickinson 72-7. ... Nick Crusco passed for 393 yards, Torey Brown rushed for a pair of one-yard TDs, and Danial Shelton tallied two of Susquehanna's four interceptions in a 20-10 victory over Franklin and Marshall. ... Kevin Saxton passed for 305 yards and three touchdowns and Eric Johnson sealed the game with a fourth-quarter interception -- Emory and Henry's fifth INT in the game -- in a 31-25 win against Hampden-Sydney. ... Brian Mann rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns, and Harvey Taylor rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown as Ferrum defeated Methodist 35-30. ... Danny Thompson passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns -- including 214 yards and three touchdowns, respectively, to Ty Abdul-Karim -- and Mike McKnight returned a blocked punt 27 yards for a score in Gettysburg's 52-21 win over Moravian. ... Sean Bowman rushed for 164 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead, 19-yard score late in the fourth quarter, as Averett upended N.C. Wesleyan 38-34. Deandre Gillis rushed for 211 yards and two TDs in the loss for the Battling Bishops. ... Malivai Barker rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the final minute, as Bridgewater edged Guilford 42-41. Hunter Causey ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns for the Quakers. ... Will Koester passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns, both to Bamasa Bailor, as McDaniel defeated Juniata 20-13 for its second straight win.

Top 25: Johns Hopkins leads the way again

For a sixth straight week, Johns Hopkins held the No. 9 spot in the D3football.com Top 25 poll.

Four other Mid-Atlantic teams received votes in this week's poll: Huntingdon, Maryville, Muhlenberg and Randolph-Macon.

Looking ahead

No. 9 Johns Hopkins (8-0, 7-0) at Franklin and Marshall (6-2, 5-2), noon, Saturday: The Blue Jays can clinch the conference title and automatic NCAA berth with a win Saturday. The Diplomats' loss this past weekend really hurt them, but they can still help Muhlenberg (7-1, 6-1).

Huntingdon (7-1, 4-1) at Maryville (7-1, 5-0), 1:30 p.m., Saturday: This is, essentially, the USA South conference title game. Maryville has the advantage in the standings and will host the game. Huntingdon won last season's meeting 38-14.

Other games of note: Hampden-Sydney (2-6, 2-3) at Shenandoah (6-2, 4-1), noon, Saturday; Guilford (4-4, 1-4) at Randolph-Macon (7-1, 4-1), 1 p.m., Saturday; Washington and Lee (5-3, 4-1) at Bridgewater (3-5, 2-3), 1 p.m., Saturday

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I'm always happy to hear from you, whether its questions, feedback or story ideas. Please reach out to me by email at andrew.lovell@d3sports.com and follow me on Twitter (@andrew_lovell).

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Andrew Lovell

Andrew Lovell is a writer based in Connecticut and a former online news editor for ESPN.com, as well as a former sports staff writer/editor for the New Britain Herald (Conn.). He has written feature stories for ESPN.com, currently contributes fantasy football content to RotoBaller.com, and has been a regular contributor to D3sports.com sites since 2007. Andrew has also written for a number of daily newspapers in New York, including the Poughkeepsie Journal, Ithaca Journal and Auburn Citizen. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2008 with B.A. in Sport Media and a minor in writing.

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