#12 Delaware Valley 55, FDU-Florham 14
MADISON (NJ) – It was a record-setting performance by Delaware Valley College as the 12th-ranked team in Division III racked up 734 yards of total offense in a 55-14 rout over Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) foe FDU-Florham to spoil the Devils' Homecoming.
The Aggies improved to 4-1 overall and they are one of four teams in the conference (Lycoming, Wilkes and Widener are the others) with a 2-0 mark in league competition. Delaware Valley and Wilkes will meet in Edwardsville, Pennsylvania next Saturday while Lycoming will host Widener. FDU-Florham fell to 3-2 and 0-2 with Saturday's setback.
The 734 yards broke the previous mark of 687 set against Juniata College in 2005 and it was registered on 74 plays for an incredible 9.9 average. Delaware Valley also set new team standards for passing yards (493), total first downs (37) and passing first downs (20). This was all done despite the first-team offense coming out of the ballgame midway through the third quarter.
Delaware Valley scored five of its six possessions in the first half to jump out to a 35-0 advantage. After forcing FDU-Florham into a three-and-out to start the game, the Aggies opened with an eight-play, 76-yard scoring drive on their first possession of the game. Quarterback Mark Hatty and Dan Heiland teamed up for three passes for 63 yards and tailback Matt Cook completed the drive with a one-yard dive into the end zone. Jake Sobchak's boot made it 7-0 just 4:01 into the contest.
The next drive saw Delaware Valley use eight plays to reach the end zone once again. This time, it covered 64 yards with the final 17 coming on a Hatty pass to Rod Blango. Blango caught the pass around the five-yard line and broke a tackle for the touchdown. Sobchak added the extra-point for a 14-0 advantage with 4:03 left in the opening quarter.
After a Devil punt and a touchback, the Aggies moved the ball 80 yards on 13 plays. They overcame three penalties on the drive and it was capped by Cook's one-yard plunge for a 21-0 advantage with 9:27 remaining in the second quarter.
Delaware Valley forced another punt, which was downed at the four-yard line. The Aggie offense went the distance again, as it needed just eight plays for the 96 yards. One of the plays was a 33-yard toss from Hatty to tight end on a third-and-five from the nine-yard line. The drive later culminated with a 29-yard scoring run by Tyler Neal. Sobchak's fourth extra-point of the game upped the advantage to 28-0 with exactly four minutes left in the half.
On its next possession, Delaware Valley turned the ball over on an interception, but it got the ball on a pick of its own as Ryan McCullough stepped in front of a pass and returned it 35 yards into FDU-Florham territory. Four plays later, Isaiah Hall caught a short toss from Hatty and went in untouched for a 35-0 lead just eight seconds before the intermission.
The Aggies got the ball to start the second half and turned the ball over on downs in Devil territory. They held for another three-and-out and then proceeded on a nine-play 70-yard drive for a 41-0 score. Hatty tossed his final pass of the day, a 32-yard touchdown strike to Joe Gionfriddo with 8:23 left in the third, to cap the possession.
That was it for the starters and they put up impressive numbers. Hatty finished 23-for-32 for 343 yards and three touchdowns. The yardage total tied the eighth-highest, single-game total in school history. Heiland hauled in nine passes for 156 yards, including eight catches for 142 yards in the first half alone. Gionfriddo had five receptions for 64 yards and one score. Cook carried the ball 16 times for 68 yards and two trips to the end zone.
Backup quarterback Cory Almasy entered the contest and the junior quickly made his mark with a five-play, 68-yard drive that had to overcome three penalties of 35 yards. Almasy went 3-for-3 for 85 yards including a 58-yard screen pass to Neal and a 36-yard scoring pass to freshman Lewis Vincent. It was the first touchdown for both Almasy and Vincent and it made it 48-0 late in the third.
FDU-Florham, which managed just 91 yards of total offense against the Aggie defensive starters in the first three quarters, hit the scoreboard twice in the fourth on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Cushman to Joe Tauriello and a four-yard touchdown pass from Mike Santos to Dan Hamilton. Delaware Valley had a score sandwiched in-between as Almasy and Vincent teamed up again, this time for a 46-yard touchdown on a first-and-20 play.
Almasy finished a perfect 6-for-6 for 150 yards and the two scores while Vincent had the two touchdowns catches for a total of 72 yards. Neal carried the ball five times for 54 yards and a score and also added 59 yards on two receptions.
Defensively, McCullough had three tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. Garrett Wooters recorded a sack to up his total to a team-best 5.5, while John Marcelline and John Robinson had five tackles apiece to pace the squad.
Three FDU-Florham quarterbacks combined to go 16-for-32 for 168 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Matt Porricelli made nine tackles and intercepted a pass for the defense.