DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Matt Cook rushed for 150 yards and four touchdowns and the Delaware Valley College defense held visiting King's College to just nine rushing yards as the eighth-ranked Aggies posted a 51-7 Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) victory Saturday at James Work Memorial Field.
With the win, Delaware Valley improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the MAC. The Aggies secure their second straight NCAA Division III playoff berth and at least a share of their third consecutive conference title next Saturday, November 6 when they travel to Albright College. King's fell to 0-8 and 0-5 in league competition.
Cook notched four scores for the second time in the last three weeks (324 yards and four TDs two weeks at Wilkes) and the third time in the senior's standout career. The total tied two others for the school record in a single game while his 14 rushing touchdowns on the year tied that mark as well.
Delaware Valley struck first as a short King's punt gave it possession at the Monarch 40. On the first play of the drive, Cook broke free for 34 yards to the King's six. After a five-yard run by Isaiah Hall moved the ball to the one, Cook scored a play later to cap a three-play, 40-yard drive. Jake Sobchak made good on the point-after as Delaware Valley took a 7-0 lead with 7:12 left in the opening quarter.
Later in the first quarter, the Aggies capitalized on a 26-yard punt return by Pete O'Hara that gave Delaware Valley the ball at the Monarch 40. Hall ignited the drive with a 30-yard run to the King's 10-yard line. Cook followed with a nine-yard run, but the Aggies were flagged for an illegal procedure penalty, moving the ball back to the King's six on the final play of the first quarter. The penalty made little difference, however, as Cook raced untouched into the end zone on the next play to extend the Aggie lead. Sobchak added the extra-point as Delaware Valley built a 14-0 lead with 14:57 left in the second quarter.
Two possessions later Delaware Valley again started with excellent field position following another short punt, assuming possession at the King's 44. Cook carried for four yards, and then added three more to set up third-and-three from the 35. Cook picked up the first down with a seven yard run to the Monarch 29, and the Aggies added another with a 13-yard run by Tyler Neal to the King's 16. After Neal carried for one yard, Hatty found Dan Heiland for 14 yards to the King's one. On the next play Cook hit pay dirt for his third touchdown of the game. Sobchack's extra-point gave the Aggies a 21-0 advantage with 5:34 remaining in the half.
King's looked to answer when the Monarchs drove to the Aggie 48. The drive stalled and King's was forced to punt. The Monarch special teams came up with a big turnover when Pete O'Hara fumbled and Andrew Yablonsky recovered for the Monarchs at the Aggie 19.
A one-yard rushing loss and an incomplete pass forced the Monarchs into a third-and-11 play. From there, Lavin hooked up with Jay Torres at the Aggie three-yard line. On the next play, Lavin again found Torres, this time on a slant play, just inside the goal line for a King's touchdown. Ryan Cain added the point-after kick as the Monarchs closed to 21-7 with 1:52 left in the opening half.
The momentum was short-lived however, as Delaware Valley struck quickly on its next possession. Beginning on its own 34 following the ensuing kickoff, a four-yard pass to Chris Ruiz was followed by a seven-yard completion to Heiland to the Delaware Valley 45. One play later, Hatty found Joe Gionfriddo all alone down the left sideline for a 55-yard touchdown pass. Sobchak added the extra-point as the Aggies took a 28-7 lead with 1:06 on the clock.
King's was unable to move the ball and the Aggies got the ball back at their own 47 with 35 seconds. Hatty hit Heiland for 26 yards to the King's 27 and found Rod Blango for five yards two plays later at the Monarch 22 with seven ticks to go. Sobchak connected on a 39-yard field goal to give Delaware Valley a 31-7 lead at the break.
On the first possession of the second half, King's was unable to move the ball and was forced to punt. The Monarchs caught a break when the Aggies were flagged for a roughing the kicker, giving the Monarch a second wind. Lavin found David Abdalla for 13 yards to midfield and a five-yard pass to Ofcharsky moved the ball to the Aggie 45. But on the next play, Aggie safety John Robinson picked off Lavin and raced 58 yards for a Delaware Valley touchdown. Sobchak's extra-point gave the Aggies a 38-7 lead with 10:34 remaining in the third quarter.
The Aggies took over at the Monarch 19 following a botched fake punt by the Monarchs. On the first play, Cook netted 10 yards to give the Aggies a first-and-goal. Two plays later, Cook burrowed up the middle and narrowly broke the plane of the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown of the contest. Sobchak was good on the conversion kick as the Delaware Valley lead swelled to 45-7 with 2:56 left in the third quarter.
King's drove to the Aggie 17, but the drive ended, though, when O'Hara intercepted Lavin at the one-yard line and returned the pickoff 33 yards to the Aggie 34. Delaware Valley then used a 10-play, 66-yard drive, capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Cory Almasy to Tyler Neal with 6:06 to play. Sobchack missed on the extra point as the Aggies extended the lead to 51-7.
Cook amassed his yardage in three quarters of play on just 17 carries, averaging 8.8 yards per-carry. Hatty completed nine of 19 passes for 138 yards and one touchdown. Heiland made three catches for 48 yards while Joe Gionfriddo caught two passes for 69 yards and one score.
Defensively, the Aggies entered the game ranked eighth in Division III in rushing, allowing an average of just 63.3 yards per contest on the ground. That average improved as King' managed nine net yards on 27 carries. Four players had six tackles apiece to place the squad. Dwayne Shaw had two of the team's four sacks.
For King's, Lavin was 19-of-40 for 195 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Abdalla made seven receptions for 53 yards while Ofcharsky added six catches for 76 yards. Torres chipped in with four receptions for 48 yards and one touchdown. Matt Spencer led King's rushing with 11 yards on six carries while Ofcharsky had nine yards on 10 attempts.
Yablonsky led King's with eight tackles while Ryan Kelly and Ryan Cordingly followed with seven and six stops respectively.