Newark, Del. (Sep. 7, 2013) --- For the second year in a row, Delaware State racked up big yardage but fell way short on the scoreboard to the University of Delaware. The Hens defeated the Hornets 42-21 for their fifth win in five meetings between the state’s two Division I football programs before 19,316 fans at UD’s Tubby Raymond Field.
DSU outgained Delaware 456-to-440 and held the advantage in first downs (25-21) and time of possession (36:10-to-23:50); but was plagued by several big plays by the Hens , three turnovers and two missed field goals.
“We did some nice things for a season opener but made too many mistakes to beat an outstanding Delaware team,” said Hornet third-year head coach Kermit Blount, who fell to 0-3 against the Hens. “This was a good test for our young players. If we can build on some of the good things we did today and correct some of our execution mistakes, there’s a lot to look forward to this season.”
Delaware quarterback Trent Hurley was selected as the game’s Most Outstanding Player after completing 24-of-31 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns.
Delaware State quarterback Cory Murphy (sr.; Santa Clara, Cal.) connected on 30-of-45 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns in his Hornets debut. He also led the team with 44 yards rushing on 10 attempts.
DSU's Milton Williams (jr.; Washington, D.C.) led all players with 10 catches and 112 receiving yards. Hornet wideout Malik Golson (r-fr.; Dover, Del.) hauled in nine passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns in his first game.
After each team was forced to punt on its opening possession of the game, Delaware used a big play to draw first blood.
Hurley connected with Michael Johnson on a 55-yard touchdown pass for the game’s first score. Sean Baner’s extra point gave Delaware a 7-0 lead with 9:19 left in the first quarter.
The Hornets responded with two first downs, one on a 22-yard pass from Murphy to Milton Williams, to the UD 44. Two pass later, Murphy and Williams connected on an 11-yard pass play, but Williams fumbled the ball on the tackle and the Hens recovered at the Delaware 28.
UD took advantage of the turnover with a long scoring drive to open up a two-touchdown lead. Hurley hit Rob Jones on a five-yard touchdown pass to cap off the 12-play, 72-yard drive. Baner’s PAT kick gave the Hens a 14-0 lead with two minutes left in the opening quarter.
The Hornets answered with an impressive touchdown drive of their own on the next possession to cut the Hens’ lead in half. The 11-play, 75-yard drive was capped off by a four-yard touchdown pass from Murphy to Malik Golson with 11:32 left in the second quarter. It was Murphy’s first touchdown pass and Golson’s first TD catch with the Hornets. The five-minute-28-second drive featured five first downs, including two on third-down plays. Murphy was 5-for-5 for 46 yards during the drive, including a 19-yard pass to Nagee Jackson to the Delaware three yard line. Mitchell Ward’s extra point kick after the touchdown pulled the Hornets to within 14-7 with 11:32 left in the second quarter.
Delaware’s Michael Johnson returned the ensuing DSU kickoff 40 yards to midfield.
Three plays later, Hurley connected with Jones for a 33-yard touchdown pass to give the Hens a 21-7 lead with 10:33 left in the second quarter.
After a three-and out by the Hornets on their next possession, Jones struck again on a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown to stretch Delaware’s lead to 28-7 with 9:03 left before halftime.
Delaware State picked up one first down on its next possession, but was forced to punt.
Delaware chewed up 83 yards on seven plays, capped off by a nine-yard touchdown run by Julian Laing, to give the Hens a 35-7 halftime lead.
The Hornets scored the only points of the third quarter on the second Murphy to Golson touchdown pass of the game. The 14-play, 81-yard drive was highlighted by first down passes by Murphy of 11 and 17 yards to Joe Ceravolo. The seven-yard scoring pass to Golson came on a fourth down play.
Delaware State trailed 42-14 when the Hornets scored the final touchdown of the game on the strangest play of the contest. DSU back-up quarterback Esayah Obado was intercepted by Delaware’s Travis Hawkins at the UD five yard line. On the return, Hawkins fumbled the ball on a hit by DSU’s Milton Williams. Obado recovered the ball and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown with 2:11 remaining in the game.
It marked the third time that the Hornets have scored a touchdown on a Delaware turnover in the series. The score also gave DSU a series high for points against the Hens.
Linebacker Ernest Adjei led the Hornets with nine tackles (two unassisted). He also had two pass break ups. Safety Joe Boyd had eight tackles (four solo), including a backfield stop, for the Hornets.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Hornets. DSU will visit nationally ranked Towson (2-0) next Saturday (Sep. 14). Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md.
The Hornets will also visit defending FCS champ North Dakota State (Sep. 21) and Savannah State in the MEAC opener on Sep. 28 before playing home on Oct. 5 against Bethune-Cookman.
The Hornets played without running back Malcolm Williams, their leading rusher with 437 yards last season, who sat out the contest due to turf toe … Delaware State’s Mitchell Ward has connected on 34 consecutive extra-point kicks.