September 1, 2015

Delaware Valley University - Football vs Montclair State Game preview

DOYLESTOWN (PA) – The Delaware Valley University football team will open its 2015 season on Saturday, September 5 when the Aggies host Montclair State University for a non-conference game.

It is also the Hall of Fame game for Delaware Valley, which will induct three former standout student-athletes at halftime: Rich Gear ’02 (football), Andrew Erby ’05 (football) and Bridget Golden ’05 (women’s basketball).

Delaware Valley received votes in the D3football.com preseason poll while also notching the 21st spot inLindy’s preseason magazine. The team is coming off a season that saw them win its first nine games, en route to a 9-2 season and a first-round appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs. It was the seventh consecutive year that the Aggies reached the postseason and the 11th time in the last 12 years.


However, the Aggies were hit hard by graduation and just nine starters (two offense, seven defense) are back for head coach Duke Greco’s second year. Among those who wrapped up their careers were the record-breaking offensive trio of wide receiver Rasheed Bailey, tailback Chris Smallwood and quarterback Aaron Wilmer. Bailey, an All-American who led Division III in three different receiving categories last year, is shining in camp with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. Smallwood was also an All-American in 2014 while Wilmer reached the rare 10,000-yard passing/1,000-yard rushing career plateau and spent time in camp with the CFL’s BC Lions.

The offense will have a new look without that trio, starting at quarterback where junior transfer Danny Farley (Boonton Township, NJ/DePaul Catholic) is expected to get the nod. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Farley played in two games for Division I FCS Rhode Island and was 4-for-6 for 18 yards while rushing for 30 yards. He started seven games for San Bernardino Valley College prior to Rhode Island and passed for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Junior wideouts Tyler Bing (Galloway, NJ/Absegami) and Michael Jensen (Woodbridge, NJ/Bishop George Ahr) will see more playing time in 2015. Bing notched 18 catches for 150 yards while also rushing the ball 28 times for 210 yards. Jensen hauled in 11 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown.

Tight end Stephen Greco (Shamong, NJ/Seneca) transferred in from Wesley College prior to last year and had a memorable Aggie debut against Montclair State as had three catches for 119 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown. He finished the ’14 campaign with 12 catches for 311 yards and two trips to the end zone.

Junior Robert Cleveland (Willingboro, NJ/Willingboro) moves into the top spot at tailback after serving as Smallwood’s backup last season. He carried the ball 25 times for 144 yards. Sophomore Armani Fuller-Williams (Philadelphia, PA/Mastery Charter) will also see time after netting 138 yards on 14 carries a season ago.

The offensive line, featuring, four new starters, will be anchored by senior Josh Wallace (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast). The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Wallace made a smooth transition from left tackle to left guard and earned first-team all-Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) and all-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) South honors for the second consecutive year.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior captains Rashaad Lighty (Pottstown, PA/Pottstown) andDanny Wynne (Hatfield, PA/North Penn) lead a veteran unit for new coordinator Ed Lynett (Lynett was a position coach on last year’s staff).

Lighty went back to his natural position of linebacker after a year on the defensive line, and produced a season that saw him earn all-MAC, all-ECAC and D3football.com all-East Region honors. Lighty notched 56 overall tackles and led the team in tackles for a loss (11) and sacks (8.5). He also had an interception that he returned 25 yards for a touchdown.

Wynne, a two-time all-MAC and all-ECAC honoree, paced the team in tackles for a second straight year as he recorded 109 stops in 2014. Wynne’s other numbers from last year included two forced fumbles, two blocked kicks, one sack and one interception.

Junior Aric Boyes (Parksville, NY/Tri-Valley) and senior Keith Jenkins (Philadelphia, PA/Prep Charter)head the front line at their end positions in the new 4-3 look. Boyes is coming off a season where he notched 43 tackles and four sacks. Jenkins had 32 stops and 3.5 sacks in ’14.

Seniors Matt Smith (Lansdale, PA/North Penn) and Ethan Snyder (Catawissa, PA/Southern Columbia) join Lighty at linebacker. Smith contributed 65 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions last year while Snyder had 68 tackles and a pair of sacks. Another senior, Bernard Avery (Philadelphia, PA/Roxborough), returns after missing the 2014 campaign with an injury. Avery recorded 76 tackles and three sacks in 2013.

Bobby Marterella (Levittown, PA/Neshaminy) was a starting wide receiver the last two years, but has moved to cornerback, a spot where he began his Aggie career in 2012.

MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY
The Red Hawks improved its record by four games as they went from 4-6 in 2013 to 8-2 last season. They captured a share of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship, but lost out on the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAAs on a tiebreaker. One of their two losses was a 30-20 home defeat to Delaware Valley in the season opener and the Aggies gained an at-large berth to the NCAAs while Montclair State was out of the postseason.

The Red Hawks return a talented senior trio on offense in quarterback Ryan Davies, running backDenziel Nieves and wide receiver Aaron Williams.

Davies completed 130 of 219 passes for 1,333 yards and six touchdowns. He threw for 167 yards and one score against Delaware Valley last season.

Nieves had a strong outing against the Aggies last year as he rushed for 162 yards and two trips to the end zone on just 16 carries. It helped propel him to a season where he produced 908 yards and 14 touchdowns on 185 touches.

Williams ended the 2014 campaign with 31 receptions for a team-best 477 yards and four touchdowns.

Defensively, the Red Hawks are led by senior safety and D3football.com All-American Eric Gargiulo.Gargiulo led all of Division III in 2014 with 10 interceptions, including a record-tying five against Southern Virginia. He also contributed 59 tackles on the year.

Gargiulo will be joined in the secondary by fellow senior Bill Shimko. Shimko had 65 tackles from his strong safety position last season.

Linebackers Michael Klimek and Michael Tenpenny are back for their senior campaigns. Klimek had 48 tackles and three interceptions in 2014 while Tenpenny recorded 64 tackles and 2.5 sacks.