Durham, N.C. (Oct. 26, 2019) --- Delaware State’s bid for its first road win in more than five years ended with a stunning 30-23 loss to North Carolina Central in a wild Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference battle at O’Riddick-Kelly Stadium afternoon. The Eagles scored the winning touchdown on a 75-yard return by Brandon Codrington on the ensuing kickoff after the Hornets tied the score in the final minute of the contest.
Delaware State trailed 23-16 before obtaining the ball at its 48-yard line with 4:24 left in the fourth quarter. The Hornets used eight plays to march down the field and ended the drive on a fourth-down, two-yard touchdown pass from Tylik Bethea to Bizzett Woodley with 50 seconds left in regulation. Woodley was flagged for excessive celebration after the score, resulting in the Hornets kicking off from their 20-yard line after the extra point by Jose Romo-Martinez tied the score at 23.
Codrington fielded the DSU kickoff at the NCCU 25-yard line and avoided several would-be tacklers before breaking free for a touchdown with 38 seconds left to play.
There was still time for one more Delaware State possession. On the ensuing North Carolina Central kickoff, the Hornets fielded a squib kick at the DSU 48. The Hornets quickly drove 27 yards to the Eagles’ 25-yard line, but a pass by Bethea was intercepted on the final play of the game.
The interception was the second of the game for the Eagles and the fourth Delaware State turnover of the contest.
Delaware State scored first in the game when Romo-Martinez nailed a 45-yard field goal with 5:17 left in the opening quarter.
The Eagles evened the contest when Adrian Olivo kicked a 39-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
North Carolina Central took advantage of a DSU turnover to take its first lead of the game. Five plays after the Eagles recovered a fumble at the Hornets’ 41-yard line, Isaiah Totten scored a touchdown on a five-yard run to cap off a five-play drive. The extra point kick gave NCCU a 10-3 lead with 10:53 left in the second quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Delaware State’s Corahn Alleyne returned the ball 65 yards to the Eagles’ 24-yard line. Two plays later, Bethea hooked up with Woodley on a 28-yard touchdown pass for the Hornets’ first touchdown of the game. The score was 10-10 after the extra point by Romo-Martinez with 9:57 to go before halftime.
North Carolina Central responded when Davius Richard connected with Treveyon Pratt on a 74-yard touchdown catch and run on the ensuing Eagles’ possession. The extra point kick failed, giving NCCU a 16-10 lead with 8:57 left in the second quarter.
Romo-Martinez nailed his second of three field goals in the game, a 21-yarder, as time expired in the first half to cut the Eagles’ lead to 16-13.
NCCU stretched its lead to 23-13 on a touchdown pass of 20 yards from Richard to Ryan McDaniel in the third quarter.
The Hornets pulled to within 23-16 on a 24-yard field goal by Romo-Martinez with 13:35 left to play.
NC Central held a 308-296 advantage in total yards. Delaware State passed for 178 yards and rushed for 118 in the contest.
Bethea completed 16 of 29 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns with the two interceptions.
Bryant Dallas had a game-high 88 yards rushing on 21 carries in the game for DSU.
Delaware State linebacker Antquan Kinsey led the team with a career-best 10 tackles (five solo) to tie for game-high honors. Kinsey also forced a fumble, which was recovered by fellow linebacker Brook Parker, while defensive back Charles Peeler had his first career interception in the game for the Hornets.
DSU will play its final road game of the season next Saturday (Nov. 2) at Florida A&M. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla.
… Romo-Martinez tied his career high with three field goals. He also kicked three vs. Savannah State as a redshirt freshman in 2018.
…Woodley had a career-high two touchdown catches to tie Kwannah Kollie for the team lead with four this season.
… Bethea has surpassed the 1200 yard mark (1203) in passing yards this season.
… The Hornets have dropped 32 road games since a 13-10 overtime victory at Norfolk State on Oct. 11, 2014.