October 12, 2015

Stevenson Football - Late Turnover Snaps Mustangs Eight-Game Win Streak

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - The Stevenson football team forced five turnovers but it was a Mustang offensive fumble late in the fourth quarter that allowed Delaware Valley to escape with an 18-15 Middle Atlantic Conference victory Saturday afternoon at James Work Memorial Stadium.

The loss snapped the Mustangs (5-1, 4-1 MAC) eight-game win streak dating back to last season and was the team's first loss in program history when holding opponents to under 20 points. Stevenson has held nine-straight opponents to under 20 points.

Meanwhile, the defense, which entered the game with the nations lead 4.0 turnovers a game and a +15 turnover margin, forced a turnover for the 28th-straight game. It was fourth time out of six games this season the defense has forced at least four turnovers.

The Aggies (5-1, 4-1 MAC) fumbled the snap on the first play of the game and junior Travis Bonds recovered at the Delaware Valley 31-yard line for his first career fumble recovery. Delaware Valley started in the shotgun after entering the game running the ball on 67.4 percent of plays.

Behind the rush, the Mustangs went 25 yards to the six-yard line and converted on two third-downs before Shawn Miller picked off a pass by sophomore Jeff Farrah and went 100 yards for the score. Farrah, who totaled two picks on the day, has thrown five of his six interceptions on the road this season.

On the third drive by Delaware Valley, the Aggies rushed for 52 yards and ran a play in Stevenson territory for the first time in the game but could not convert on a third-and-three as senior Billy Lewis came up big with the breakup on the pass to James Norton.

On the ensuing Mustang possession, Farrah completed a 56-yard pass to junior Seth Jordan on the sixth play of the drive before Miller caught him from behind and forced a fumble that went out the back of the end zone.

But the Stevenson defense came up big as senior Brady Kempa tipped Danny Farley's pass in the air for juniorCory Pietrzyk to grab. Entering the game, the Mustangs defense has forced a turnover or three-and-out on three of the six possessions following a Stevenson offensive turnover.

Following a three-and-out by Stevenson, the Aggies used 7:23 on a 14-play, 54-yard drive but came up empty as the field goal unit failed to get the kick away after a low snap.

Starting from their own six-yard line, the Mustangs burned only 1:54 off the clock giving Delaware Valley one last offensive possession before the end of the half. The Aggies completed a 17-yard pass to put them into Stevenson territory but Farley threw his second interception of the day, which was picked off by junior Jimmy Lauer.

After going three-and-out on its first possession of the second half, Stevenson strung together a 12-play, 76-yard drive that included a 20-yard fourth down pass from Farrah to Jordan. The drive ended in a 22-yard field goal by junior Tim Sternfeld, cutting the Mustangs deficit to 7-3.

With the Aggies on the outskirts of red zone territory, senior Chris Coffie recorded his second career interception, returning it 80 yards for the score. It is the third defensive touchdown by the Mustangs this season.

Delaware Valley reclaimed the lead with a field goal early in the fourth quarter but Stevenson responded on its ensuing possession as Farrah hit senior Neil Harps in stride for a 40-yard touchdown pass. The Mustangs, who missed their earlier extra-point attempt, elected to go for two but Farrah's pass attempt was incomplete.

Holding onto a five-point lead, the Stevenson defense forced back-to-back three-and-outs, giving the offense possession with 6:03 remaining. The Mustangs picked up just four yards on the possession but a personal foul against the Aggies gave Stevenson an automatic first down with 3:32 left.

On second down from its own 28-yard line, Stevenson fumbled the ball and Delaware Valley recovered at the Mustangs 34-yard line with 2:36 left in regulation. The Aggies would capitalize on the turnover and score their 19th rushing touchdown of the season.

Delaware Valley entered the game ranked seventh in the nation, averaging 326.4 yards per game on the ground. The Aggies finished with 224 rushing yards for an average of 5.1 yards per carry.

The Mustangs had one last attempt but could only manage five yards on six plays with Delaware Valley picking off Farrah's Hail Mary pass attempt.

Stevenson finished with 358 total yards, including 240 in the air, compared to 330 for the Aggies. it is the first time in five all-time meetings the Mustangs have totaled more yards than Delaware Valley as the Aggies averaged 473.8 yards in the previous four games.

Following a bye week next week, Stevenson will return home on Saturday, October 24 when the Mustangs host Widener on Homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.