September 6, 2014

DelVal Football - Bailey, Wilmer shine as Delval opens with 30-20 win at Montclair State

Photo courtesy of DelVal Sports Information
MONTCLAIR (NJ) – The senior tandem of quarterback Aaron Wilmer (George Washington HS) and wide receiver Rasheed Bailey (Roxborugh HS) put themselves even more in the Delaware Valley College record books as the two scorched host Montclair State University in a 30-20, non-conference win.

It was the head coaching debut for 2002 Delaware Valley graduate Duke Greco after an 11-year run as an assistant at his alma mater, including the last eight as offensive coordinator. His offensive unit racked up 487 yards on the afternoon while the defense, under new coordinator Kory David notched four sacks on the day.

Wilmer completed 22 of 36 passes for 394 yards and two touchdowns. The yardage total was the second-highest in school history, trailing only Adam Knoblauch’s 423-yard passing effort against St. John Fisher in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. It also put him over the 7,300-yard mark for his career.

Half the completions went to Bailey who was matched up for most of the day against All-American cornerback C.J. Conway. Bailey’s 11 catches tied him with six other players for the most in a single game. Meanwhile, his 216 yards was the fifth-highest, single-game total in school history and moved him up ninth on the all-time list (1,647 yards).

Delaware Valley struck for paydirt on its second possession of the season as Wilmer used play action and found a wide open Stephen Greco (no relation to the head coach). The tight end then outran a defender for the final 35 yards for a 68-yard touchdown. Brandon Snyder added the extra-point for a 7-0 lead just 4:34 into the contest.

It remained 7-0 into the second quarter when Montclair State moved the ball to the Aggie 11-yard line where it had second-and-one. Delaware Valley stopped them shy of the first down marker on two straight carries to bring up fourth down. The Red Hawks decided to go for it with a Ryan Davies sneak, but he was stopped by a host of Aggies, led by Matt Smith and Keith Jenkins, to turn the ball over on downs.

Bailey made his sixth catch of the game, leaping high for the grab to start the ensuing drive. He then added a 43-yard reception down the left sideline to give Delaware Valley a first-and-goal from the nine-yard line. The Aggies stalled and Snyder came onto the field and booted a 19-yard field goal for a 10-0 advantage with 2:35left before intermission.

Romaine Evans then forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and Donyae Moody recovered it to give Delaware Valley the ball at the Montclair State 44-yard line. The Aggies got as far as the 10 and Snyder hit a 27-yard field with three ticks to go as Delaware Valley took a 13-0 lead into the break.

The Red Hawks got back in the game with the opening possession of the second half as a Denzel Nieves 45-yard touchdown run capped a five-play, 77-yard drive. The extra-point was no good but the touchdown made it a 13-6 ballgame with 12:42 left in the third quarter.

A Frank Law sack stopped another Montclair State drive, but the Red Hawks came right back and tied it with4:15 to go in the quarter as Nieves broke several tackles, en route to a 29-yard scoring run.

Delaware Valley responded as a 30-yard reception from Wilmer to Greco, an eight yard pass to Chris Smallwood and an 11-yard run by Robert Cleveland put the ball at the six. After a one-yard run by Smallwood, Wilmer called his own number and found the end zone 2:02 after the Red Hawks scored. Snyder’s extra-point made it a 20-13 contest.

Back came Montclair State as Davies hit Malcolm Robinson for a 42-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter. The teams traded punts with the Aggies taking over near midfield. They moved into field goal range and Snyder nailed a 37-yarder to put Delaware Valley back ahead at 23-20 with 8:09 remaining.

Montclair State was forced to punt thanks to a Rashaad Lighty sack on third down. Delaware Valley then went for the big strike and hit it as Bailey got behind the defense and Wilmer found him for the record-tying catch, a 52-yard scoring strike, and a 10-point advantage with 5:54 left in the game.

Smallwood netted 61 yards on 20 carries while he also caught six passes for 38 yards. Defensively for the Aggies, Law and Danny Wynne had eight tackles apiece while Lighty recorded seven tackles and two sacks.

Nieves had 16 carries for 162 yards and two scores for the Red Hawks. Davies completed 14 of 27 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown.