ANNVILLE (PA) – Delaware Valley University quarterback Dashawn Darden threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score while the defense notched six sacks and three turnovers as the visiting Aggies routed Lebanon Valley College, 52-7, to remain tied for first in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC).
After losing the season opener at eighth-ranked Wesley College, DelVal, ranked as high as 17th in national polls, have won six straight, including all five of its conference contests. In fact, the Aggies have now been victorious in 17 consecutive MAC games (four shy of the school record), a streak that dates back to the 2016 season and includes last year's undefeated run to the league championship.
At 5-0, DelVal is tied with Misericordia University (also 6-1 overall) as the Cougars added another chapter to their magical season by scoring two touchdowns in the final 61 seconds to stun FDU-Florham. The two teams do not meet on the gridiron this season due to the conference's 11-team, eight-game unbalanced schedule.
The Aggies scored 28 points in the first half and never looked back against the Flying Dutchmen (0-7, 0-6). Darden was part of three of the touchdowns, including when he had a nine-yard scamper into the end zone with 3:32 remaining in the opening quarter for the first points of the day. On the first play of the second quarter, Darden found wideout Shaveiz Stewart for a 16-yard score and a 14-0 advantage.
LebVal drove to the DelVal 15-yard line when Kenyonn Jones notched a strip sack and the fumble was recovered by Christian Snowden at the 25. Darden had 55 rushing yards on the 75-yard scoring drive and Mario Nigro capped it with a 14-yard touchdown for a 21-0 lead with 7:01 to go before halftime.
The Aggies had a late drive in the half as they took over at their own 31-yard line with just 32 ticks left. Quadir Strothers rushed for 21 yards on the first play and Darden connected with Stewart for 16 more yards as DelVal called time with 12 seconds to go. Darden then hit John Graham for a 22-yard touchdown just eight ticks later for a 28-0 score.
The Flying Dutchmen got their lone points of the afternoon less than six minutes into second half as Kody Kegarise teamed with Zeke Wassell for a 16-yard touchdown pass. DelVal answered five minutes later as Darden hit tight end Dan Allen in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play from the two.
In the fourth, Nick Restaino, who was perfect on all seven of his extra-point attempts on the day, booted home a 25-yard field goal. Backup quarterback Anthony Fontana added a 55-yard touchdown run with 7:34 to go. Fifty seconds later, safety Timaun Williams forced a fumble and returned it 40 yards for the final points of the day.
The Aggies netted 545 yards of total offense, including 304 yards on 34 rushing attempts (8.9 avg). Darden was 17-for-22 for 233 yards and the three scores in the air while the senior added 73 yards on eight attempts. Strothers rushed for 90 yards on eight carries while Nigro had 54 yards and a score on 12 carries. Juwan Manigo hauled in five passes for 100 yards while Stewart had had four grabs for 21 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the freshmen twin tandem of Anthony and Michael Nobile combined for 11 tackles and three sacks. Michael Nobile, who entered the game ranked second in the country in tackles for loss and 38th in sacks, had two stops behind the line of scrimmage including one sack. Anthony Tedesco had a team-high eight tackles while Williams finished with five tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Jones had two sacks and a forced fumble in the win.
For LebVal, Kegarise completed 12 of 25 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown. Wassell had four catches for 80 yards and the score. Anthony Jenkins led the defense with 11 tackles.
DelVal will host MAC foe Albright College (0-7, 0-6) for Senior Day and Military Service Day on Saturday, October 27 (12 p.m.).