Newark, Del. — Delaware rushed for 395 yards and five touchdowns, and benefitted from six Delaware State turnovers in a 56-14 win over the Hornets in the season opener for both teams at UD’s Tubby Raymond Field this evening. The Hens improved to 7-0 in the series between the state’s two Division I football programs since the teams met for the first time in the 2007 NCAA playoffs.
Delaware’s Wes Hills rushed for a career-high 212 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while Thomas Jefferson ran for 70 yards on 13 attempts and Jalen Randolph added 55 rushing yards and two scores on 11 tries.
Blue Hen quarterback Joe Walker completed six-of-nine passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 39 yards and a score. [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”B011DRJZH2″ locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]
Delaware State wide receiver Mason Rutherford, a transfer from San Bernardino JC (Cal.), caught six passes for a game-high 83 yards and a touchdown in his Hornet debut before leaving the game due on an injury on a punt return in the fourth quarter.
The Hornets used both newcomer Daniel Epperson (jr.) and Kobie Lain (so.) at the quarterback in the contest. Epperson, also a San Bernardino JC transfer, started the game. He completed 13 of 26 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns, but threw four interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.
“It’s tough to beat anybody when you can’t stop the run and commit six turnovers,” said Delaware State second-year head coach Kenny Carter. “Delaware had the two long drives early in the game, and then came the turnovers. We continued to battle throughout, and I believe we did some good things to build on this season.”
The six turnovers were the most by the Hornets since committing seven, including six interceptions, in a 42-6 loss at Hampton in 2011.
Randolph capped off a 10-play, 74-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to give Delaware the lead on the opening possession of the game.
After the Hornets, went three-and-out on their first possession, the Hens drove 48 yards on 11 plays in a more than six minute possession for their second touchdown. Walker capped off the drive with a one-yard score on a keeper.
Delaware added two second quarter touchdowns, on runs of 59 and 13 yards by Hills, to take a 28-0 lead at the half.
The Hornets trailed 42-0 before finally getting on the board.
Epperson and Rutherford connected on a six-yard touchdown pass to cap off a six-play, 75-yard drive midway through the third quarter.
Brycen Alleyne had a 22-yard run and the Hornets benefitted from two Delaware pass interference penalties during the drive. Wisdom Nzidee’s extra point kick cut UD’s lead to 42-7 with 7:18 left in the third quarter.
A 50-yard kickoff return by Alleyne following Delaware’s seventh touchdown set up the Hornets’ second scoring drive. Alleyne capped off the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Epperson in the fourth quarter. Epperson completed first down passes to Rutherford and Aris Scott during the march.
Alleyne had 194 all-purpose yards in the game, including 141 on five kickoff returns. He also returned a kickoff 47 yards in the game. The former Concord HS (Del.) star also had four catches for 26 yards and 27 rushing yards on eight carries.
The Hornets return to action on Sep. 10 for the home opener against Monmouth. The Hall-of-Fame Day contest is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.
Lain completed each of his two pass attempts for 31 yards … Scott had two receptions for 31 yards to surpass the 1,000 mark at DSU (1, 019) … freshman punter Fide Romo-Martinez averaged 40.7 yards on six kicks, with a long of 53 on his first collegiate boot … Hornet safety Logan Wescott led all players with 14 tackles, including eight solo stops … Delaware had just one turnover in the game when Hornet linebacker Kameron Rogers (jr.) recovered a fumble by Thomas Jefferson … the Hornets tallied just 35 net yards rushing in the contest, which included 23 yards lost as a result of Delaware sacks.
Courtesy: DSU Athletics