Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Delaware Valley University Press Release - Football at Lycoming Preview

A file photo
DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Coming off the 24-19, season-opening win over No. 11 Wesley College, the 12th-ranked Delaware Valley University football team will being Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) play at Lycoming College on Saturday, September 7. Kickoff at David Person Field is slated for 1 p.m.

The Aggies, who have reached the postseason (NCAA, ECAC or Centennial-MAC Bowl Series) in 13 of the last 14 years, moved up eight spots in the latest poll following their  big win over the Wolverines for the second straight year (21-14 in 2016 when DelVal was ranked 25th and Wesley was 7th). DelVal used a pair of long scoring passes, eight points on defense and three forced turnovers for the victory.

Saturday’s contest is the opener of a tough, three-game start to the MAC slate for the Aggies as they have dropped two straight contest in Williamsport. A Friday night game at Wilkes University is reminiscent to two years ago when lost to the Colonels on the road. DelVal then returns home on Saturday, October 23 to battle defending conference champion Stevenson University. 


The defense, with nine starters back from last season including six who were all-MAC honorees, came up with big plays all evening against Wesley. Leading the charge was senior linebackerNick Wright (Hatfield, PA/North Penn) who was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Wright racked up 10 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, a safety, and a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He was an all-MAC honorable mention pick last year.

Senior safety and preseason All-American Shawn Miller (Laurel, DE/Laurel) also had 10 tackles on the evening. He led DelVal with five interceptions in 2016 and was an all-conference and all-region honoree.

Senior linebacker Nicholas DiGati (Townsend, DE/Middletown) opened the 2017 campaign with seven tackles and a forced fumble against Wesley. He was a first-team all-MAC selection last year after pacing the squad with 81 stops.

Offensively, six starters return for the Aggies, including junior quarterback Dashawn Darden (Norristown, PA/Cardinal O’Hara). Darden has started the last 17 games of his collegiate career, including last week against Wesley when he completed 14 of 24 passes for 142 yards and a pair of 30-plus yard touchdowns. Last season, Darden, an honorable mention pick, threw for 1,850 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for 501 yards and eight scores.

Senior Devauntay Ellis (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) is a two-time, all-conference first-team honoree at tailback. He split time at the position last year and racked up 627 yards and eight touchdowns on 109 carries. Ellis began 2017 with 81 yards on 15 carries against a stout Wesley run defense. 


The Warriors, who were 3-7 a season ago, suffered a 7-6 loss at Susquehanna University on Saturday, September 2. The offense managed just 229 yards while the defense permitted 425. The team’s lone points came from a pair of field goals by Jamie Fisher.

Lycoming is still trying to settle on a quarterback as seniors Collin Wright and Chase Williams combined to go 10-for-23 for 117 yards. They also combined for 49 rushing yards in the loss.

Junior wideout Nick Costello caught 34 passes for 625 yards and five touchdowns a season ago. He had five grabs for 73 yards at Susquehanna. Sophomore Dante Gipson led the team in rushing on Saturday with 28 yards on nine carries.

Defensively, juniors D.J. Boyd and Joe Pinzka combined for 21 tackles from their secondary positions at Susquehanna. The Warriors also got a strong effort from sophomore linebackerSam Pawlikowski as he had six stops, one interception and a fumble recovery.