October 8, 2015

Delaware Valley Football vs Stevenson preview

A MACfb.com File Photo
DOYLESTOWN (PA) – The second half of the 2015 football season will begin on Saturday, October 10 when Delaware Valley University hosts undefeated Stevenson University for Homecoming and Family Weekend. Kickoff at Robert A. Lipinski Field at James Work Memorial Stadium for the key Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) contest is set for 12:00 p.m.

Stevenson and Albright College are tied atop the MAC standings with 4-0 and 3-0 conference marks respectively. The Aggies and defending champion Widener University are one game behind with 3-1 league records.

DelVal improved to 4-1 overall with last Friday night’s 40-7 rout of FDU-Florham. After the Devils tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter, the Aggies ran off 33 unanswered points. They did so thanks to their running game as they racked up 535 yards and all six touchdowns on the ground. Meanwhile, the defense held FDU-Florham to 86 total yards on 48 plays and just six first downs.

DelVal is tops in the MAC and seventh in all of Division III in rushing with an average of 326.4 yards per game. The Aggies also lead the conference in total yardage (449.8 avg) and is third in scoring (25.6 avg).

The running game continues to be a balanced effort, highlighted by the trio of junior Robert Cleveland (Willingboro, NJ/Willingboro) and sophomores Devauntay Ellis (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) and Armani Fuller-Williams (Philadelphia, PA/Mastery Charter).

Cleveland had a career night at FDU-Florham as he carried the ball 16 times for 162 yards and the first two touchdowns of the game. It upped his season totals to 56 rushes for 357 yards (6.4 avg) and the two scores.

Ellis, a junior college transfer, is leading the team with 443 yards and five touchdowns on 41 attempts (10.8 avg). He nearly had a third straight 100-yard rushing game, but settled for 87 yards and two trips to the end zone on 10 carries.

Fuller-Williams also has five touchdowns on the year to go along with 325 yards on 42 carries (7.7 avg). He was three yards shy of the century mark at FDU-Florham and scored once on 17 attempts.

Freshman backup quarterback Dashawn Darden (Norristown, PA/Cardinal O’Hara) and junior wideoutTyler Bing (Galloway, NJ/Absegami) have combined for 40 carries, 397 yards and five touchdowns. Darden added a 61-yard touchdown last week and 84 total yards to give him 241 yards and two scores on 19 attempts (12.7 avg).

Bing has carried the ball 21 times for 156 yards (7.4 avg) and three trips to the end zone. He also has 11 catches for 121 yards to his credit.

Junior transfer quarterback Danny Farley (Boonton Township, NJ/DePaul Catholic) has started all five games and has completed 48 of 95 passes for 570 yards. He has yet to toss a touchdown pass. Farley attempted just six short passes in the poor weather conditions at FDU-Florham and completed two of them for 10 yards.

Defensively, the Aggies are allowing just 12 points per game to rank second in the MAC. They are the conference leaders in rushing defense (96.0 avg) and third in total yardage allowed (295.8 avg).

2014 all-MAC and all-region honoree Rashaad Lighty (Pottstown, PA/Pottstown) is number one in all of Division III with five forced fumbles in five games. The senior linebacker is also tops on the team with 4.5 sacks and tied for fifth in tackles with 28.

Seniors Matt Smith (Lansdale, PA/North Penn) and Danny Wynne (Hatfield, PA/North Penn) pace DelVal in tackles with 42 and 36 respectively. Smith, a linebacker, and Wynne, a safety and two-time all-MAC honoree, combined for eight stops at FDU-Florham.

Sophomore safety Shawn Miller (Laurel, DE/Laurel) and senior linebacker Ethan Snyder (Catawissa, PA/Southern Columbia) follow with 33 and 31 tackles respectively. Junior Aric Boyes (Parksville, NY/Tri-Valley) heads the line with 28 tackles to go along with one sack.


The Mustangs are in their fifth season of intercollegiate play and they have improved with each passing year. Last season, they finished 8-3, including a victory in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Southeast Bowl. Their losses were to Delaware Valley, Lycoming and Widener, teams that went a combined 29-5.

The 2015 campaign has seen Stevenson open the year with a 20-9, non-conference victory at North Carolina Wesleyan. The squad then recorded its first-ever win over “the big three” with a 38-14 thrashing of Lycoming. Victories over Lebanon Valley and Misericordia followed and the Mustangs then had to rally with 10 points in the fourth quarter to earn a 13-7 triumph over King’s last Saturday.

On the offensive side of the ball, Stevenson is averaging 23.2 points (seventh in the MAC) and 338.2 yards (sixth) per game. Its passing attack is third in the conference with an average of 194.6 yards per contest.

Heading the unit is sophomore quarterback Jeff Farrah, who has completed 74 of 138 passes for 941 yards and 11 touchdowns. Last week against King’s, he was just 15-for-29 for 137 yards, but 47 of the yards came on the game-winning touchdown toss with less than 11 minutes remaining.

That scoring pass went to sophomore wideout Devin Salisbury, who finished the contest with two catches for 56 yards. Salisbury is the Mustangs’ leading receiver with 14 grabs for 199 yards and three scores. Senior Neil Harps and junior Seth Jordan follow with 13 receptions apiece. The trio have combined for 459 yards and six touchdowns.

On the ground, freshman Kiandre Burrell has netted 410 yards and one trip to the end zone on 74 carries. He had a career-best 151 yards on 21 touches in the win over King’s.

Stevenson’s biggest strength has been on the defensive side of the ball as the Mustangs are number one in the MAC with just 11.4 points allowed per game. They are second in rushing (117.4 avg), passing (131.0 avg) and total yardage (248.4 avg). The unit has also been opportunistic as they have intercepted a conference-best 13 passes (returned for 177 yards and one touchdown) and are second in sacks with 20.

Senior inside linebacker Brady Kempa has a team-high 49 tackles to go along with two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He had 12 stops and one forced fumble against King’s.

Junior outside linebacker Cory Pietrzyk is right behind with 41 tackles and he leads the way in sacks with six. He also has two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery to his credit. Pietrzyk had four stops last week.

Two other players to watch are safeties Antonio Johnson and Billy Lewis as they each have four interceptions through the first five games. Johnson, a sophomore, has added 29 tackles while Lewis, a senior, has 16 stops. Lewis had two of his four picks in the King’s contest.