MADISON (NJ) – Delaware Valley University's vaunted rushing attack was not slowed down by brutal weather conditions as the unit netted 535 yards and all six touchdowns on the ground, en route to a 40-7 victory at Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) foe FDU-Florham.
The win was the third straight for the Aggies as they improved to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference. They now have eight day to prepare for undefeated Stevenson University (4-0, 3-0 heading into tomorrow's game) when they host them for Homecoming on Saturday, October 10. The loss on Friday evening dropped the Devils to 2-2 and 1-2.
The 535 rushing yards was just 16 shy of tying the school record that DelVal set in 2012 against Misericordia University. The yardage total came on 69 carries for an average 7.8 yards per carry. The offense held the ball for nearly 39 minutes (38:53) and notched 25 first downs.
The tailback trio of Robert Cleveland, Armani Fuller-Williams and Devauntay Davis each went over 80 yards rushing and were joined by quarterback Dashawn Darden in that category. Cleveland, a junior, carried the ball 16 times for a career-best 162 yards and two touchdowns while Fuller-Williams, a sophomore, netted 97 yards and one score on 17 carries. Ellis, a sophomore, added 87 yards and two trips to the end zone on 10 touches while Darden, a freshman, had 84 yards and one touchdown on four attempts.
Meanwhile, the Aggie defense won the battle with an FDU-Florham offense that came into the contest averaging a conference-best 30.3 points as well as 386 yards per game. The unit held the Devils to 87 total yards on 48 plays and just seven first downs.
DelVal needed just three plays, all on the ground, to hit the scoreboard. After runs by Ellis and Fuller Williams moved the ball from the Aggie 35 to the FDU-Florham 47, Cleveland got the next call. The junior went off right tackle, cut to the middle and went untouched to the end zone. Nick Restaino added the extra-point for a 7-0 lead just 72 seconds into the contest.
DelVal stopped the Devils on their first drive, but a strong punt trapped the Aggies at their own two-yard line. On the first play, Ellis was stripped of the ball and Jaleel Tyson was there to scoop it up and return it five yards for a touchdown. The extra-point tied the game at 7-7 with 10:51 left in the opening quarter.
It was all DelVal from there, starting late in the first quarter when the Aggies embarked on a 10-play, 72-yard scoring drive that was capped by Cleveland's four-yard scamper into the end zone. A low snap on the point-after attempt forced a run that failed, leaving the score at 13-7 with 2:41 left in the first.
The Aggies took over on the FDU-Florham 43-yard line late in the first half. Seven plays later, they were in the end zone, this time on a six-yard run by Fuller-Williams. Restaino added the extra-point for a 20-7 DelVal lead with 3:08 on the clock.
Ellis then netted back-to-back touchdowns in the second half. He first took a toss on a third-and-two from midfield, broke one tackle, leaped over another and went the distance. He then reached paydirt again just 51 seconds into the final quarter with a four-yard score. Darden capped the game's scoring with a 69-yard touchdown run with 11:01 remaining.
Defensively for the Aggies, Danny Wynne had five tackles while Luke Boonstra, Aric Boyes and Rashaad Lighty had four apiece. Boonstra added a sack while Jordan Livingston had an interception.
For FDU-Florham, Joseph McCain and Nick LaVecchia combined to go 7-for-22 for 41 yards. Malik Pressley caught four passes for 25 yards while Anthony Ognibene rushed eight times for 22 yards.