DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Nationally-ranked Delaware Valley University won its 14th consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) game as the defending league champions registered a 41-10 home triumph over first-year program Alvernia University.
The Aggies, who are 20th in one Division III poll and 21st in another, improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. They will now prepare for a big showdown next Saturday, September 29 (1 p.m.) when they travel to Owings Mills, Maryland to take on Stevenson University. It will be a match-up of the last two MAC champions (Stevenson in 2016, DelVal in 2017) and the site of the last Aggie conference loss as Stevenson blanked DelVal, 19-0, in week seven of the 2016 campaign.
A sloppy first quarter saw the Aggies snap the ball over their quarterback's head three times, including two straight on their second drive of the game. That left DelVal with a third-and-45 and a two-yard run brought out the punting unit. However, on the punt, Alvernia (1-2, 0-2 MAC) was called for a personal foul with illegal hands to the face and it gave the Aggies an automatic first down. They took advantage of the opportunity and found the end zone seven plays later with a four-yard touchdown run by Donte Simmons. Nick Restaino added the extra-point for the 7-0 lead with 3:46 left in the first.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Golden Wolves' Daniel Scott returned the boot 66 yards to the DelVal 24. They moved the ball to the Aggie four before finally settling for a 24-yard field goal by Ben Strausser on the first play of the second quarter.
DelVal responded with a nine-play, 87-yard scoring drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Dashawn Darden to Shaveiz Stewart. Darden set up the score with his feet as he had a 53-yard scramble on a third-and-14. Restaino added the extra-point for a 14-3 score with 10 minutes left in the half.
Alvernia turned the ball over on the next possession as Timaun Williams intercepted a pass and returned it 10 yards to the Golden Wolves' 32-yard line. Following an eight-yard run by Quadir Strothers, Darden hit tight end Dan Allen for a 24-yard touchdown and a 21-3 advantage.
DelVal was driving for another score, but Darden had a pass intercepted by Moses Ulysse and he returned it 90 yards for the first defensive touchdown in Alvernia history. That made it 21-10 with just 93 seconds to go before the intermission.
A 36-yard kickoff return by Jarvai Flowers put the Aggies in business at the Golden Wolves' 44. They moved the ball to 27 before a penalty backed them up 10 yards with 4.9 seconds left. Darden scrambled around behind the line of scrimmage before throwing a Hail Mary pass into the end zone. Senior John Graham hauled in the toss just inside the back line for the touchdown and a 27-10 lead.
The second-half saw a pair of third-quarter touchdowns for the 41-10 final. The first came on a 15-yard pass from Darden to Marquis Ellis with 8:23 remaining. The second was a 37-yard, highlight-reel punt return for a touchdown by Stewart with exactly a minute remaining in the quarter.
DelVal finished with 369 yards of total offense while its defense held Alvernia to just 98 yards on 49 plays, including 14 yards on 32 runs. Darden was 13-for-19 for 146 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 80 yards on three attempts. Simmons picked up the first 100-yard game of his career with 107 yards and a score on 12 carries. Defensively, Christian Snowden and Anthony Tedesco led the way with eight tackles apiece with Snowden adding a sack. Michael Nobile had six tackles (4.5 for losses of 16 yards) and a sack.
For the Golden Wolves, Jake Dilcher was 6-for-14 for 84 yards while Malcolm Carey had 17 yards on 12 rushes. Tajon Whiten and Vincent Redmon had 12 and 11 tackles respectively while Daekwon Hall had nine stops and one sack.