September 6, 2018

Delaware Valley University Football at UMass Dartmouth Preview

DOYLESTOWN (PA) – The Delaware Valley University football team, ranked 23rd in the latest D3football.com poll, will look to bounce back from its season-opening defeat when it travels to the University of Massachusetts for a non-conference game on Saturday, September 8. Kickoff at Cressy Field is slated for noon.

The Aggies, who posted a 12-1 record, captured the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) championship and reached the NCAA Division III quarterfinals last year, saw their 13-game regular-season winning streak come to an end last Friday night with a 34-10 loss at No. 9 Wesley College. DelVal trailed by just three, 13-10, at the intermission before the Wolverines scored 21 unanswered points in the second half. 

DELAWARE VALLEY UNIVERSITY 

2017 MAC and Maxwell Football Club Tri-State Coach of the Year Duke Greco, who is 39-8 in his four-plus years at the helm of his alma mater, has just nine starters (five offense, two defense, two specialty) back from last year’s run to the quarterfinals.


Among the returnees is senior and two-time all-MAC quarterback Dashawn Darden (Norristown, PA/Cardinal O’Hara). Darden took over the starting quarterback duties midway through his freshman season and has not looked back. In fact, he is in the Aggie all-time top 10 in both passing (fifth - 5,106 yards) and rushing (10th - 1,836 yards). Last year, Darden completed 163 of 295 passes for 2,408 yards and 27 touchdowns while also rushing for 704 yards and nine scores.

Darden was 18-for-34 for 152 yards at Wesley. He also ran for 37 yards and notched the team’s lone touchdown of the game.

Junior Aaron Nelson (Hampstead, MD/North Caroll) was Darden’s top target at Wesley as he caught six passes for 65 yards. Last year, he notched 14 receptions for 317 yards and four trips to the end zone.

The DelVal rushing attack has a new look to it with the graduation of 2017 MAC Offensive Player of the Year Devauntay Ellis. However, the tandem of sophomore Donte Simmons (Bristol, PA/Bristol) and junior Quadir Strothers (Philadelphia, PA/Prep Charter) combined for 109 yards on 19 carries at Wesley. Simmons ran 11 times for 61 yards while adding another 25 yards on three receptions. Strothers added 48 yards on eight rushing attempts.

The Aggie defense, with many new faces, did force a pair of turnovers at Wesley last Friday night. The lone returning starters are a pair of all-MAC honorees in first-teamer Christian Snowden (Williamstown, NJ/St, Joseph Hammonton) and second-teamer Vincent DiLeo (Philadelphia, PA/Bishop McDevitt).

Snowden, now a senior, made five stops last week from his end position. He racked up 57 tackles, five sacks and three fumble recoveries a season ago

DiLeo, who is back at outside linebacker after starting at the other end position, was credited with three tackles and half a sack against Wesley. He finished the 2017 season with 30 tackles and a team-best 8.5 sacks.

The freshmen tandem of twin brothers Michael and Anthony Nobile (Brick, NJ/Brick Memorial) had impressive collegiate debuts up front at Wesley. Michael Nobile led the team with 15 tackles (4.5 for losses) while also adding two forced fumbles and half a sack. Anthony Nobile finished the night with six stops (1.5 for losses). 

Junior Ryan Barrett (Willow Grove, PA/Archbishop Wood) and sophomore Anthony Tedesco (Ocean, NJ/Ocean Township) made their first collegiate starts at linebacker last week and they had seven tackles apiece.

UMASS DARTMOUTH

The Corsairs, who went 4-6 a season, got off on the right foot in 2018 as they notched a 49-21 victory at Alfred State last Saturday. They scored the first 42 points of the game and cruised from there. The offense notched 465 total yards while the defense held Alfred State to just 82 yards in the first half and forced three turnovers on the day.

Sophomore quarterback Andrew Gingras paced the UMass Dartmouth offense as he completed 17 of 25 passes for 185 yards and four touchdowns. He threw for 866 yards and seven scores last season.

Two of Gingras’ scoring strikes went to fellow sophomore DJ Machado as he caught four passes for 64 yards on the afternoon. Yet another sophomore, Leroy Brown, also had four gabs and they went for 45 yards and one trip to the end zone. Brown has experience from the year before as well as he notched 24 receptions for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

The Corsair ground attacked was led by freshman Steffan Gravely as he carried the ball 12 times for 84 yards and one touchdown in his first collegiate game. 

Defensively, sophomore safety Jacob Burkhead paced the unit with 10 tackles, including seven solo stops. He was among the team leaders a season ago as he had 65 tackles.

Junior Tony Slaughter had seven tackles and the team’s lone interception from his linebacker position at Alfred State.