Dover, Del. (Nov. 3, 2018) --- Delaware State’s defense allowed just 167 yards and did not give up a point to key a 25-6 MEAC victory over Savannah State in gusty conditions at Alumni Stadium today. The Hornets have won back-to-back games for the first time since 2013 to improve to 2-7 overall and 2-4 in the MEAC. The Tigers fell to 2-6 and 1-4.
Savannah State’s total yardage was the fewest by a Hornet opponent since North Carolina Central gained just 134 in a 29-7 loss to DSU on Nov. 6, 2010. Delaware State’s defense also allowed season-lows in first downs (8), rushing yardage (112), pass yards (55) and yards per play (3.0).
The Hornets also held a 35:17-to-24:43 edge in time of possession.
In addition, the defense forced two turnovers for the second straight game and contributed to the scoring with a third quarter safety.
Savannah State scored its only points when defensive lineman Cam Brown intercepted a pass by Jack McDaniels and ran 30 yards to the endzone to cut the Hornets’ lead to 15-6 on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Tigers failed on a two-point attempt after the score.
Offensively, the Hornets rushed for 233 yards. Bryant Dallas (jr.) led all players with a career-high 84 yards on 13 carries (6.5 ypc). Michael Chris-Ike (fr.) added 56 yards and McDaniels ran for 49.
Delaware State drove 69 yards in nearly eight-and-a-half minutes, but could only salvage a field goal for the game’s first score. Jose Romo-Martinez capped off the drive with a 28-yard three-pointer with 1:01 left in the first quarter.
After a short Savannah State punt gave DSU the ball at the Tiger 38-yard line, the Hornets took advantage to pad their lead. McDaniels and Trey Gross (so.) hooked up on a 27-yard pass in the corner of the endzone on the fifth play of the possession for the first touchdown of the game. The extra point kick gave Delaware State a 10-0 lead at the 5:43 mark of the second quarter.
On the ensuing Savannah State possession, DSU safety Jahad Neibauer recorded his first interception of the season and ran 30 yards to the Tiger 17 to set up the Hornets’ next score. Delaware State advanced to the SSU three, but again had to settle for a 25-yard field by Romo-Martinez to open up a 13-0 lead with 2:11 to go before halftime.
The Hornets scored the only points of the third quarter when Neibauer sacked Savannah State quarterback D’vonn Gibbons in the endzone for a safety to give DSU a 15-0 lead.
After the Savannah State pick-six, the Hornets needed just five running plays to answer the score. Dallas had runs of 16, 9 and 10 yards to move the ball to the Tiger 29. McDaniels followed with a 19-yard run to the 10-yard line and Brycen Alleyne finished off the drive with a 10-yard scamper to the endzone. DSU led 22-6 after the extra point with 12:53 left to play.
Romo-Martinez closed out the scoring with his third field goal of the game, a 22-yarder, with 6:27 to go. His three field goals were the most by a Hornet since Rile Flickinger kicked four in two games during the 2009 season.
Devin Smith led Delaware State with nine tackles, eight solo, including one for an eight-yard loss. Neibauer recorded five solo tackles, in addition to the sack, safety and interception.
Savannah State defensive back Walter Yates III led all players with 12 tackles, 10 unassisted.
“This victory was a total team effort,” said Delaware State first-year head coach Rod Milstead. “We challenged ourselves to follow-up last week’s win (vs. NC Central) with a another strong effort to keep moving forward. There’s still two games to play and the goal is to keep improving to finish strong.”
STINGERS The last time the Hornets won back-to-back games was against Florida A&M and Howard in 2013 … the last time the DSU defense did not allow a point was a 24-0 victory at North Carolina A&T in 2007 … Romo-Martinez has hit seven of his last eight field goal attempts to stand at 8-for-11 this season … DSU will play its final road game of the season next Sat. (Nov.10) at Morgan State (1:05 p.m.) … The Hornets have not won three in a row since a four-game streak in 2012 … DSU will close out the season at home vs. Virginia University of Lynchburgh on Nov. 17.