DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Delaware Valley University scored 14 points in the fourth quarter as the nationally-ranked Aggies rallied for a 23-16, Homecoming triumph over Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) foe Lycoming College.
DelVal, ranked 17th in one Division III poll and 22nd in another, improved to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the MAC. It was the team's 16th consecutive win in league play (five shy of the program record), a streak that dates back to the 2016 campaign. The Aggies are tied for first in the conference with Misericordia University, but the two teams do not meet this year with the new, 11-team conference format.
After notching nine points over its first two drives of the game, DelVal went scoreless for its next seven possessions and trailed 16-9 when it took over at its own 25-yard line late in the third quarter. The Aggies moved the ball to the Lycoming 42 where it faced a third-and-five on the first play of the fourth. A 14-yard pass from Dashawn Darden to John Graham moved the sticks and the two later combined for another third-down conversion.
DelVal then had a third-and-10 from the 13 when Darden hit Juwan Manigo at the 10, and Manigo, behind a big block by fellow receiver Shaviez Stewart, found the end zone. Nick Restaino added the extra-point for a 16-16 score with 12:12 to go.
The Warriors (3-3, 2-2 MAC) picked up two first downs before having to punt and the kicked sailed into the end zone for a touchback. The Aggies advanced the ball to the Lycoming 32 over their first six plays and had a second-and-nine when Darden eluded pressure and hit a wide-open John Davis behind the secondary in the end zone for the touchdown. Restaino's point-after gave DelVal a 23-16 lead with 6:39 left on the clock.
The Warriors reached the Aggie 46, but a bad snap on first down forced quarterback Elijah Shemory to pick up the loose ball and he was then sacked by Michael Nobile for a 10-yard loss. Lycoming got the 10 yards back on the next two plays, but elected to punt with 1:38 to go and two timeouts. The timeouts were used and DelVal had a third-and-three from its own 33 when Darden called his own number and picked up six yards to seal the victory.
The Aggies took the opening kickoff of the game and drove 67 yards on 12 plays before settling for a 25-yard field goal by Restaino. Lycoming went three-and-out and DelVal put together a six-play, 74-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 41-yard streak to the outside by Quadir Strothers. Restaino missed the extra-point, but the Aggies were up 9-0 just 10 minutes into the game.
The Warriors responded with a 10-play, 59-yard drive that took up the final 5:09 of the first quarter. On the final play of the quarter, Shemory snuck in from a yard out for the touchdown. In the second, Lycoming had a short field to work with thanks to a punt deep in Aggie territory and a personal foul on the home team. Working from the DelVal 30, the Warriors moved the ball to the 1 where they faced a fourth-and-one. The Aggie defense stopped Keith Batkowski short of the goal line, but were called for a face mask and an automatic first down for Lycoming. Batkowski got into the end zone on the next play, but a missed extra-point left the Warriors with a 13-9 lead with 9:44 to go before halftime.
Lycoming had the lone three points of the third as Jamie Fisher connected on a 42-yard field goal with 2:02 to go in the quarter. DelVal rallied from there to remain tied for first in the MAC.
The Aggies netted 238 of their 419 total yards on the ground while the defense held the Warirors to 220 yards, including just 14 rushing yards on 29 attempts. Darden ran 21 times for 104 yards while also going 18-for-30 for 181 yards and two scores in the air. Strothers had 72 yards and a touchdown on six carries while Stewart caught eight passes for 53 yards.
Defensively, Nobile, a freshman, had seven tackles (4.5 for losses of 25 yards) and two sacks. Vincent DiLeo and Anthony Tedesco added seven stops apiece while Blaine Netterman and Billy Walsh each had a sack.
For Lycoming, Shemory was 14-for-26 for 185 yards. Brock Zollicoffer caught three passes for 66 yards and was the leading rusher with 19 yards on two carries. Joe Pinzka notched nine tackles and a forced fumble while Ryan Cocciadiferro had seven stops and a fumble recovery.