The Delaware Valley University football team advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 NCAA Playoffs with a convincing 45-10 triumph at Wesley College in the round of 16 thanks to six forced turnovers by the defense and four touchdowns from senior Dan Allen.
With the win, the Aggies (11-1) avenge their week two, four-overtime, home setback to the Wolverines earlier this year and move on to the quarterfinals for the fourth time in program history. They will play North Central College (IL.) who defeated perennial powerhouse Mount Union College, 59-52.
After each team went three-and-out on their opening drives, DelVal began its second drive from near midfield. On third-and-three, Anthony Fontana found Allen deep down the sideline for a 44-yard gain to the Wesley six. Two plays later, Fontana lobbed one up to the corner of the end zone for Allen and he hauled in the game's opening touchdown 4:20 into regulation.
The Wolverines faced a third-and-10 on their next drive and quarterback Drew Fry looked for Corterris Simpson but the ball bounced off his hands and safety Donte Mason made a spectacular diving interception to get the ball back to the offense at the Wesley 36-yard line.
DelVal faced a fourth-and-long from the 21-yard line and Fontana had Allen open in the end zone off the pump-and-go play, but he overshot his tight end and the ball fell to the turf as the Wolverine offense took over.
Wesley drove into DelVal territory thanks to an impressive catch-and-run by Ruhann Peele that went for 33 yards, and a couple big run plays. The Aggies held them to a 31-yard field goal attempt, but Nick Bruhn's kick was shanked to the right and DelVal took over with the 7-0 lead still in hand and 2:40 left in the first.
Wesley's next drive went for 65 yards on 13 plays and ate up 6:26 of game time, but the Aggies red zone defense was stellar again. The Wolverines had a first-&-10 from the 12-yard line, but were held to a 25-yard field goal attempt and this time Bruhn's kick was good to make it a 7-3 game with 7:45 left in the first half.
DelVal went to the ground attack on its ensuing drive as Fontana ran for a 30-yard gain and an extra 15-yards after a late-hit penalty, and Mario Nigro followed with 12 yard carry for another first down at the Wesley 30-yard line. Two run plays later, and Ezekial Ennis took the jet sweep 25 yards for his first career rushing touchdown and a 14-3 Aggie lead with 5:30 still to play in the half.
DelVal forced Wesley to punt and took over from its own 20-yard line after a touchback. On the first play, Fry threw to Marcellus Pack and he fumbled the ball at the line of scrimmage, and senior linebacker Billy Walsh picked it up and ran it to the Wolverine's six-yard line. The Aggies tried a handoff to Nigro and two pass attempts, but failed to find pay dirt. Restaino came on for a 23-yard field goal attempt and converted to put DelVal on top, 17-3, at the half.
The Aggies forced Wesley to punt on the opening drive of the second half and took over from their own 20-yard line. On third-and-one from near midfield, head coach Duke Greco dialed up the trick play and it cashed in. Wide receiver Juwan Manigo took the snap, pitched the ball back to backup quarterback Daquann Bohannan and he hit a wide open Dan Allen streaking down the field for the seniors second touchdown reception of the day and a 24-3 Aggie lead early in the third quarter.
On the Wolverines ensuing possession, Fry looked to go down field and safety Blaine Netterman was there for his team-leading sixth interception of the season to get the ball back to the offense.
DelVal could not capitalize on that turnover, and it remained a 21-point game until late in the third stanza when Marcellus Pack took a first down carry up the middle and 88 yards for a Wesley touchdown to make it a 24-10 game.
The Aggies fired right back as Fontana hit Allen over the middle for a 28-yard gain just before the end of the third. Simmons ran the ball inside the Wolverines' 10-yard line and on third down, Fontana hit Allen on a slant for his third score of the day to make it 31-10.
On the ensuing kickoff, senior Timaun Williams poked the ball out of the return man's hands and Rashiek Harvard scooped it up and took it 25 yards the other way for another Aggie touchdown.
DelVal picked off two more passes the rest of the way and Allen ran for his second career rushing touchdown to secure the 45-10 road victory and send the Green and Gold visitor stands into a frenzy.
The Aggies finished with 388 yards of total offense and Fontana completed 18 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Simmons ran the ball 12 times for 68 yards and Nigro ran 11 times for 48 yards. Allen finished the day with six receptions for 128 yards and three touchdowns and the rushing score and Simmons caught five passes for 30 yards.
Defensively, DelVal held the freshman quarterback to just 12-of-23 passing for 121 yards and three interceptions and Jon Mullin threw one pass that was intercepted late in the game. Pack finished with 163 yards rushing on 15 carries including the 88-yard touchdown. Wesley finished with 228 yards rushing and 121 yards passing, but it was booked for 182 yards of penalties.
Dontae Mason led the defense with 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, one interception, and a pass break-up. Justin Harris, Jamir Prevard, and Netterman had the other interceptions and Prevard finished with seven tackles. Michael Nobile finished with three tackles and one TFL, and Anthony Tedesco had five tackles and one behind the line.
The Aggies will find out tomorrow if they are on the road or hosting North Central College, but the game will be played next Saturday, December 7 at noon local time.