Blue Hen News

Pritchard Named to FCS Punter of the Year Watch List

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Special teams. It's an area that is often overlooked, but always plays a big part in winning football games every fall. 

With Nick Pritchard as part of that unit, the University of Delaware football program feels pretty good about their chances.

Pritchard, who earned All-CAA First Team honors last year, was named to the FCS Punter of the Year Watch List, announced by the Augusta Sports Council on Friday.

The New Egypt, N.J. native returns for his final season with the Blue Hens after ranking first in the CAA and fourth all-time in program history with an average punt of 42.0 yards in 2018. 

Of his 58 punts, 17 of them went for 50 or more yards, while 16 were downed inside the 20. 

With an average of 41.3 over the past two years, Pritchard enters his senior season ranked second all-time in Delaware history in career punt average, behind only Eric Enderson (43.6). 

Pritchard and the Blue Hens open the 2019 season on Thursday, August 29that Delaware Stadium when they host the Hornets of Delaware State. Game time is set for 7 p.m


Hens’ QB Kehoe healthy and ready to go
Jul 23rd, 2019 · by Andy Walter Delaware State News

Pat Kehoe just shrugs off all the questions about injuries. They’re part of football, right?

So what if the Delaware quarterback had to lug around a heavy brace on his injured right knee for the last several games of the season?

And it wasn’t that big a deal when a possible concussion limited his practice time the week before the Blue Hens’ playoff game with James Madison.

“I wanted to be out there playing,” Kehoe said on Tuesday at CAA Football Media Day. “I really had no choice. In my mind, I was going to be out there. It wasn’t rough. It was exactly where I wanted to be.”

It’s that no-nonsense attitude that earned the big left-hander the starting job last preseason in something of a surprise move.

Now that he’s a returning starter — and really the only QB on the roster with significant playing experience — Kehoe is expected to be a steady performer for the Hens, who were picked to finish fifth in the CAA this fall.

A 6-foot-4, 235-pound fifth-year senior, Kehoe’s knee is healthy again, he’s lost 20 pounds and he’s ready to go.

“Last year at this time, I don’t think I was able to name a starting quarterback,” said coach Danny Rocco, who is starting his third season at UD. “I didn’t have a guy who I felt was ready to go. … Our situation this year is a lot different.

“Pat has a lot of experience. He’s played in a lot of big games — he’s won a lot of big games for us. (Backup) Nolan Henderson has proven that he’s capable of playing at a high level in this league. And he’s ready to play. So our options are better.”

Even though he’s only played a total of one season in his first three seasons at Delaware, Kehoe had the reputation of being a hard-working kid. His dad, Kevin, is a longtime successful high school basketball coach in Connecticut.
Junior QB Pat Kehoe, who started all 12 games for the Hens last fall, was much more mobile before injuring his knee midway through the season. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

Senior defensive lineman Cam Kitchen says becoming the Hens’ starting quarterback clearly hasn’t gone to Kehoe’s head. He jokingly points out that Kehoe just helped him move his girlfriend into her new apartment the other day.

“Pat is probably the best leader we have on our team,” said Kitchen. “He’s a great quarterback, a great leader, a great friend. … He’s a big key of why we’ve had success and he’s a big reason of why our team is where it is right now.

“One of our core values is, our best player is our hardest worker. And Pat is definitely that.”

“I still want to take the same approach — the job is still up in the air,” said Kehoe. “You’ve got to approach every day (like) you’ve got to earn your money. You’ve got to keep your job. I have a lot of young talent behind me.”

Clearly, Kehoe had some big games last season when the Hens went 7-5 and made the NCAA FBS Division I playoffs for the first time since 2010. One of his best days came in a 40-36 upset of No. 10 Towson when he threw for 305 yards with four touchdown passes.

“I thought he was calm and poised in big moments,” said Rocco.

But the knee injury began to take its toll. After throwing 17 TD passes in the Hens’ first eight games, Kehoe didn’t have any in the last four contests — three of which Delaware lost.

He had four interceptions in those games. That included a loss to Villanova in which he only played sparingly before suffering the head injury.

Kehoe wasn’t cleared to play against JMU until the day before. The Hens almost went into that playoff game with untested Anthony Paoletti as their only healthy QB.

Delaware managed just 185 total yards and a pair of field goals in the 20-6 loss to JMU.

“When you get to Week 13 in a season, nobody’s healthy,” said Kehoe. “You’ve got to do what you can do. It’s unfortunate the way things turned out the last stretch of the season. But everybody put their best foot forward. We tried to represent the University of Delaware the best way we could.”

On the other hand, Delaware has a new offensive coordinator in Jared Ambrose, who held the same job at Towson. Kehoe knows he’s got to make better decisions but a shorter passing game should help his completion percentage.

“I think I’m going to have a little bit more freedom at the line of scrimmage if I like something,” said Kehoe. “If I don’t like something I can change it. Ultimately I think it will get us in the right plays and help us be successful.”

Not surprisingly, the Hens’ win-loss record is the only number that Kehoe cares about.

“It’s not about me, I just want to win,” he said. “I want to compete for a national championship. Whatever gets us there is what I’m happy with.”

Extra points

Delaware offensive lineman Mario Farinella and punter Nick Pritchard were both named preseason all-CAA. Running back Dejoun Lee was an honorable-mention pick … Delmar High grad Shane Leatherbury, a senior receiver at Towson, was also named to the preseason all-conference squad. … James Madison, with 20 of 24 first-place votes, is the preseason favorite to win the CAA. The Dukes are followed by Towson, Elon, Maine and then Delaware. … Coach Rocco said he expects Nolan Henderson, the former Smyrna High standout, to see playing time even if Kehoe starts. “I’d be disappointed if we don’t have Nolan out there early and often,” said Coach Rocco.


Four Blue Hens Earn Preseason All-CAA Accolades; Delaware Picked Fifth in Poll
7/23/2019 8:40:00 AM

Full Preseason All-CAA Release

BALTIMORE, Md. – Coming off a season where Delaware football won seven games and returned to the FCS Playoffs for the first time since 2010, the Colonial Athletic Association recognized four Blue Hens on its Preseason All-Conference lists at CAA Media Day Tuesday morning.

Redshirt senior offensive lineman Mario Farinella and senior punter Nick Pritchard were named to the Preseason All-Conference Team, while junior running back DeJoun Lee and redshirt senior tight end/fullback Owen Tyler were honorable mentions.

Farinella started every game on the line for the Blue Hens in 2018, splitting time between right guard and center on an offense that averaged 24.4 points per game. The Bloomfield, N.J., native will anchor an experienced line that returns four starters for the 2019 campaign.

Pritchard led the CAA with an average of 42 yards per punt in 2018. The New Egypt, N.J., product helped flip the field for the Blue Hens with 10 kicks of 50 yards or more and 16 punts inside the opponent 20-yard line.

Lee had a breakout year in his first season in blue and gold, leading Delaware with 618 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per rush. The quick and elusive Lee also returned 24 kickoffs for a total of 545 yards, and should once again feature heavily in the Blue Hens offense.

In addition to playing a vital role as a blocking tight end, Tyler caught nine passes for 56 yards in 2018.

A poll of the league's coaches and media relations directors picked Delaware to finish fifth, behind four teams that also made the 2018 FCS Playoffs (James Madison, Towson, Maine, Elon).

The Blue Hens open the season on Thursday, August 29 by hosting Delaware State at 7 p.m. inside Delaware Stadium.

Players Mentioned:

#33 DeJoun Lee
5' 7"
185 lbs

#31 Nick Pritchard
5' 10"
210 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#21 Owen Tyler
6' 4"
240 lbs
Redshirt Senior


Blue Hens, Delaware State Ink Six-Year Deal Through 2030 Season 

The University of Delaware and Delaware State University have signed a 
six-year deal for a football series beginning in 2024. Included in the 
deal will be the first-ever trip to Dover for the Blue Hens, which will 
occur twice during the series. 

"We are excited to have the opportunity to bring our two state 
institutions together. Both of these Universities have outstanding 
people who make an impact across the state," said University of Delaware
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Services Chrissi Rawak said. "This series will be an opportunity for many folks in this state to show off their pride for their respective schools." 

""This football series agreement provides another opportunity for 
Delaware's major public Universities to engage while also bringing 
together state and local officials, alumni and fans of each school, 
constituents and our communities," said Delaware State Director of 
Athletics Dr. D. Scott Gines. "We are excited to be a part of this showcase for our great institutions and the First State." 

The Blue Hens and Hornets will square off in 2019 and 2020, which are 
separate from this six-year contract. The series will begin with 
back-to-back games in Dover in 2024 and 2025, followed by dates at 
Delaware Stadium in 2026, 2027 and 2029. The host of the sixth game of 
the contract will be determined by the first five meetings. 

Between the two schools, nearly 50 student-athletes that are Delaware natives will be suited up for the 2019 contest. 

"We are looking forward to this series with Delaware State and to 
celebrate our state's two major universities. This agreement will create
a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for the fans of both universities," 
Delaware head coach Danny Rocco said. 

"It's exciting for each school and the state that our football series 
will continue into the next decade and beyond," said Delaware State head
coach Rod Milstead. "I'm also pleased that at least 
two of the games are scheduled to be played in Dover, allowing fans in 
central and southern Delaware a better opportunity to attend." 

UD and Delaware State have met eight previous times, the last time coming in 2017.


2019 FCS vs. FBS: CAA Football

By CRAIG HALEY - 6/1/19
STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - With Maine and Villanova posting wins over FBS programs last season, CAA Football continued to be adept at knocking off the big boys of Division I college football.

The CAA has nine FBS wins in the last six seasons and 38 all-time.

Who's next?

As FCS programs seek to make their mark again this year, here's a look at the games involving CAA teams:

The Matchups (14) - Albany: Central Michigan (Aug. 29); Delaware: Pittsburgh (Sept. 28); Elon: Wake Forest (Sept. 21); James Madison: West Virginia (Aug. 31); Maine: Georgia Southern (Sept. 7) and Liberty (Oct. 19); New Hampshire: FIU (Sept. 14); Rhode Island: Ohio (Aug. 31) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 12); Richmond: Boston College (Sept. 7); Stony Brook: Utah State (Sept. 7); Towson: Florida (Sept. 28); William & Mary: Virginia (Sept. 6) and East Carolina (Sept. 21)

Glamour Games - James Madison at West Virginia (Aug. 31) and Towson at Florida (Sept. 28): Curt Cignetti's JMU debut comes in the Dukes' first game against a Big 12 opponent. However, the two programs met twice before West Virginia joined the conference. Towson isn't Florida's only FCS opponent as the Gators host Ohio Valley Conference member UT Martin three weeks earlier. Towson hasn't played the SEC member previously.

Upset Alert - Maine at Georgia Southern (Sept. 7) and Liberty (Oct. 19): The defending CAA champion, under new coach Nick Charlton, gets two shots to best an FBS opponent for the second consecutive season (Western Kentucky last year). Georgia Southern fell to New Hampshire in 2017 and Liberty is only in its second season on the FBS level. Maine is playing an FBS pair for the fifth straight year.

Notable - Villanova, which upset Temple last season, is the only CAA program that isn't playing an FBS opponent this year. … Under first-year coach Mike London, William & Mary will play two FBS opponents - Virginia and East Carolina - for the first time since facing North Carolina and Navy in 1991. The Tribe trail Virginia 29-6-1 and ECU 12-4-1 in their all-time series. … Rhode Island, which lost a 56-49 thriller to UConn last season, is playing two FBS opponents - Ohio and Virginia Tech - for the first time. … New Hampshire will play in the Sunshine State for the third time, taking on FIU. Way back when in coach Sean McDonnell's first season guiding UNH, the Wildcats lost 42-41 in overtime to South Florida. The 'Cats also won a 2010 playoff game at Bethune-Cookman. … With Elon's third matchup against Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons will become the Phoenix's most-common FBS opponent since joining Division I. … In their only previous meeting, Delaware lost to Pittsburgh 62-0 to open the 2014 season. … Richmond hasn't met Boston College since 1971 and trails 4-1 in the all-time series. … Albany's first-ever game against Central Michigan is the debut of new Chippewas coach Jim McElwain, an FBS head coach previously at Colorado State and Florida. … Not surprisingly, Stony Brook and Utah State are meeting for the first time.

Former University of Delaware linebacker shot to death in Baltimore
Kevin Tresolini, Delaware News Journal May 30, 2019 

Former University of Delaware starting linebacker David Mackall has been identified by Baltimore Police as the victim killed in a shooting Wednesday afternoon, The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday.

Mackall, 28 and a Baltimore native, was found by Baltimore Southwest District patrol officers after reports of a shooting on the 1900 block of Braddock Avenue in the Walbrook neighborhood.

He had been shot in the torso and head and died after being taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.

Homicide detectives are investigating the matter.

Dave Brock, who was head coach during Mackall's final two years at UD, was saddened to hear of his tragic death.

"You want so badly for the kids you coach to be successful and when something like this happens it just guts you," said Brock, now running backs coach with the Atlanta Falcons. "You just feel so badly for the loss of opportunity for him and for his family. It's just a really sad situation."

Mackall was the father of two young sons.

Mackall transferred to Delaware before the 2012 season from the University of Maryland, where he started at defensive end as a sophomore in 2011.

He missed his first season at Delaware with an injury. Mackall then played all 12 games and started the last 10 at outside linebacker in 2013 for the Blue Hens, and finished third on the team with 75 tackles as Delaware went 7-5.

Moved to middle linebacker, Mackall then started all 12 games while leading 6-6 Delaware with 84 tackles in 2014. Mackall also intercepted two passes in his UD career.

"That guy was a physical player who put his heart into the game,” said Pat Callaway, who played linebacker alongside Mackall both seasons. “He was the guy you wanted next to you. But the only thing more important to him than football was his family. He was a huge family guy.”

Callaway is now a college scout with the Tennessee Titans. 

"I think David grew a lot when he was there," Brock said of Mackall's time at Delaware, "and kind of found himself on and off the field. I thought he provided a lot of leadership for the younger players and was a really good teammate."

Before going to Maryland, Mackall had graduated from Baltimore’s Edmonson-Westside High School and then attended Fork Union Military Academy for a year.


Blue Hens piled up the most NFL opportunities in program history (7)

5/1/19 - bluehens.com By Scott Day

Let's look at the numbers:

1.1 million students play high school football around the country
2.8-percent of them have a chance to play Division I football
1.6-percent of those 1.1 million high school athletes have a chance to go pro
Delaware has the sixth-fewest people of any state in the US

Despite those odds, the University of Delaware football program has been able to establish quite a pipeline to the NFL

In fact, the Blue Hens piled up the most NFL opportunities in program history (7), led by Nasir Adderley who became Delaware's highest draft pick in over 10 years. It's also tied for the highest total among all FCS schools in the country this season. That comes just a year after Delaware had the second-most active NFL players (6) among all FCS schools in 2018. 

Adderley's selection made Delaware just the 10thFCS school since 2009 to have top-five round draft picks in back-to-back years.

"The simple fact is that if you can play, the NFL will find you, it's their job to find the best talent in the world and that's what they will do, no matter where you are playing," current Chicago Bear Bilal Nichols said. 

Nichols was selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft and is one of now 102 Blue Hens since 1935 to earn a shot with an NFL organization. 

"There's a tradition at Delaware that dates back way before I even played and that tradition pushes you to be the best you can be," former NFL MVP and Blue Hen Rich Gannon said. "Knowing that there's been a lot of guys who have come through Newark and had great success in the NFL, it only pushes everyone to work harder to earn their shot."

And that's exactly what Adderley, Troy Reeder (LA Rams), Joe Wallker (Chicago Bears camp), Tenny Adewusi (NY Giants camp), Vinny Papale (Oakland Raiders camp), Charles Scarff (Baltimore Ravens) and Noah Beh (Kansas City Chiefs camp) are looking for entering rookie mini-camps: a shot.

"All I wanted was a shot and now I have it," Walker said. "Being at Delaware is a family and you're pushed by your brothers in that locker room. We want to keep that tradition and when you walk down that hall and see all the names that reached the next level, it just makes you want to grind that much harder."

That tradition included seven former Blue Hens on active NFL rosters in 2018, the second-highest total among all FCS schools. In fact, Delaware has had a draft in six different years dating back to 2007. 

The legendary Hall of Famer Tubby Raymond had a famous saying to the Blue Hen faithful, "big things happen at little old Delaware."

The NFL has sure taken notice of Raymond's sentiments. 
Print Friendly Version
Players Mentioned

#92 Bilal Nichols
DL (Capt.)
6' 4"
290 lbs

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
200 lbs

#8 Tenny Adewusi
6' 1"
200 lbs

#65 Noah Beh
6' 6"
290 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#13 Vinny Papale
6' 1"
205 lbs

#9 Troy Reeder
6' 3"
245 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#85 Charles Scarff
6' 6"
270 lbs
Redshirt Senior


Five Blue Hens Ink Deals to Join NFL Organizations
4/27/2019 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – It all starts as a dream.

Those dreams of playing in the NFL became a reality for several members of the University of Delaware football program with five different Blue Hens signing deals to join NFL organizations following the completion of the 2019 draft.

Joe Walker (Chicago Bears), Troy Reeder (LA Rams), Vinny Papale (Oakland Raiders), Charles Scarff (Ravens) and Tenny Adewusi (Giants) all earned shots to prove themselves at the next level. 

They all joined Nasir Adderley, who was chosen in second on Friday, to give the Blue Hens six different signees all in one year, the second-highest total ever (seven in 1981 is the program record). 

Walker was one of the more dynamic athletes over the past four years for the Blue Hens, spending time at both the quarterback and wide receiver spots. He is one of only seven Division I players (FCS and FBS) over the past 25 years to have over 2,000 career passing yards, 1,000 career rushing yards and over 750 career receiving yards. After transitioning to wide receiver for his final season at Delaware, the Philadelphia, Pa. native earned Third Team All-CAA accolades and ranked in the top-15 nationally, averaging 19.8 yards per catch, while scoring four TDs and 670 yards receiving. 

Reeder earned All-American accolades after finishing one of the most decorated careers in Blue Hens defensive history. He was named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to FCS' top defensive player and piled up 131 tackles on the year, the fifth most in a single-season ever by a Delaware player. In just three seasons at Delaware, he piled up 283 tackles, good for 22ndall-time in program history. He was a three-time First Team All-CAA honoree. 

Papale had a career year in his final season at Delaware, hauling in 36 catches and six TDS, while amassing 618 yards. Nearly half (17) of his catches came on third down and he proved critical in the punt return game for the Blue Hens. He had two 100-yard performances on the year, including a eight-catch, 142-yard, two-TD game in a thrilling win over then-#10 Towson. 

Scarff had a breakout year in 2018, earning First Team All-CAA and Third-Team All-American accolades. He finished with a team-leading 43 catches for 498 yards and a team-leading seven TDs. The 43 receptions I the most by a Delaware tight end since Ben Patrick in 2006 and the second-most ever. His 11 career receiving TDs is also the second-highest total for a Blue Hen tight end. 

Adewusi is a physical specimen that was critical to Delaware's pass defense in 2018. He started 10 of the Blue Hens' 12 games and tallied a career-high 37 tackles, including one for a loss. He had the second-most pass break-ups on the defense with seven, along with a forced fumble. In 40 career games, he racked up two INTs and 15 pass breakups for the Blue Hens. 

Players Mentioned:

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
200 lbs

#8 Tenny Adewusi
6' 1"
200 lbs

#13 Vinny Papale
6' 1"
205 lbs

#9 Troy Reeder
6' 3"
245 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#85 Charles Scarff
6' 6"
270 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#3 Joe Walker
6' 3"
205 lbs
Redshirt Senior

Adderley Becomes Highest Blue Hen Drafted Since Flacco
4/26/2019 - bluehens.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – From Philadelphia to Newark to Los Angeles.

Nasir Adderley's dream has now become a reality as the former University of Delaware All-American was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Chargers. He becomes the highest Blue Hen drafted since Joe Flacco was selected 17thoverall in 2007.

"This is what you dream of as a kid. It's everything you work for. I can't put it into words how much this moment means to my family and I," Adderley said. "I can't wait to get to Los Angeles and go to work."

Adderley makes Delaware just the ninth FCS school in the past 10 years to have top-five round picks in the back-to-back years.

"We're incredibly excited for Nasir and his family to get this opportunity. This is a privilege that very few young men get and we're proud to see all the hard work Nasir put in pay off," head coach Danny Rocco said. "Nasir accomplished a lot during his four years here on campus and we can't wait to watch him on Sundays."

The Philadelphia, Pa. native was a four-year starter for the Blue Hens, becoming the first player in over 10 years to start every game of his career at Delaware. He racked up 264 total tackles to rank among the top-five in defensive backs in program history in that category. He also added 11 INTs and 24 pass deflections in his career. 

"I can't thank the University of Delaware, my teammates, my coaches and so many people that helped push me to where I am today," Adderley added. "I'm humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to represent the proud Blue Hen tradition in the NFL."

This past fall, Adderley finished with a career-high 87 tackles, which ranked in the top-20 nationally for defensive backs. He also had a team-high four INTs and seven pass break-ups, to go along with his one forced fumble and fumble recovery.

He was the only player in the country with over 160 tackles and nine INTs over the past two seasons. 

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
200 lbs


Former Blue Hen Football Player and son of Coach Tubby Raymond, Dave Raymond is the mascot guru who went from being the original Phillie Phanatic to helping create Gritty:

November 2, 2018 - 6:06 PM
by Frank Fitzpatrick - PHILLYNEWS.COM

Throughout the 16 years when they were inseparable, alter-egos bound beneath 25 pounds of green fur, the Phillie Phanatic frequently saved Dave Raymond. It happened whenever the man inside the mascot's costume felt like hiding from pawing kids or incessant demands, whenever he needed pause to lament a failing marriage or mourn his mother's passing.

"I lost my mother, my marriage fell apart three months later and I'm thinking, `My God, I've still got to run around in this costume and make all these appearances,' " Raymond recalled during a recent interview at his West Grove home. "But pretty soon I'd forget it. I had this beautiful distraction. I was the Phanatic."
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All these years later, though Raymond is 62 now and on the brink of Social Security eligibility, providing those "beautiful distractions" remains his business. In fact, 25 years after he stepped aside as the groundbreaking Phanatic, his career as a mascot guru is speeding along like the three-wheeler he once raced recklessly across Veterans Stadium's notorious turf.

Raymond Entertainment, the character-branding company he founded two decades ago and now runs out of his meticulously neat Chester County colonial, is busy developing and training mascots for sports teams and businesses. One of them, Gritty, the Flyers' wild-eyed monster, has become a national phenomenon. Next month, Raymond will travel to Whiting, Ind., a tiny lakeside town where the Mascot Hall of Fame, a concept he developed in 2005, will open in a new $19 million facility. And in the crowded field of motivational speaking, he's created a lucrative niche as the apostle of fun.

Occasionally, the youthful-looking, physically fit Raymond even climbs into a costume. At a recent pharmaceutical-industry trade show, he became "Gut Guy," an irritable bowel who promotes a lower-intestine drug.

"Mascots aren't just for sports anymore. This drug company I work with set up a photo booth where you could come pose for a picture with Gut Guy," said Raymond. "When Gut Guy took his break, they asked me to put on the costume. Doctors and clinicians were coming in and as they're posing for photos, they're giving out their email addresses, being handed pamphlets. They were being teed up to be sold, but they didn't mind it. They were having fun.

"The company said they'd never had that kind of engagement. They said they were going to get a second costume made and asked me to be one of the performers. Now I'm the on-site producer and I do a little performing."

While he's worn his share of costumes since abandoning his role as sport's best-known mascot, Raymond has focused more intently on creating and training characters. His Phillies days, when his salary rose from $25 a game to the low six figures, awakened the entrepreneur in him.

Recognizing the earnings potential in being an independent contractor, he retired after the Phillies' 1993 World Series appearance and asked the company that had created the Phanatic to build him a character called Sport.
Dave Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic whose mascot company not only devised the Flyers’ controversial Gritty but has recently made one for a giant pharmaceutical company, the Irritable Bowel. He is shown in his home office on Oct. 12, 2018, as he talks about mascots and Gritty’s success.

"They said they'd do it for free if I'd partner with them," he said. "Sport was successful going places to entertain. But my partners were supposed to get him access to children's TV. When that didn't happen, we parted ways. I bought some of their business and started Raymond Entertainment. Eventually we pivoted away from designing, building and delivering these characters to consulting."

The Phanatic's origins are familiar here. Hoping to attract more families to Phillies games, Bill Giles came up with the mascot idea in 1977. He asked Raymond, a onetime University of Delaware kicker and the son of that football program's coach, Tubby Raymond, to give up his role as a front-office go-fer to become the trumpet-nosed character.

"I'd been an intern since 1976 and Bill said he knew I'd be perfect because I was a wise-ass at parties," said Raymond. "I remember the first night I went out there [April 25, 1978]. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I thought people were going to kill me or set me on fire. Bill just said, `Go out and have fun. It won't work unless you're enjoying yourself.' Bill was brilliant. People were telling him he was crazy but he kept saying, `Ah, it's going to be fun.'"

Thanks to Raymond's improvisational skills and sense of humor, the Phanatic became the prototype for all the mascots that followed. He irreverently mocked and mimicked umpires, opposing players and even Los Angeles manager Tommy Lasorda, who famously went ballistic when the mascot pummeled an effigy of him. He could schmooze with toddlers, slyly put down drunks, perform acrobatic feats.

Soon the spirited ex-intern who always assumed he'd follow his father into football coaching was so popular and so busy that the job became all-consuming, ultimately contributing to the end of his first marriage. Then, in a scene worthy of a Hallmark holiday movie, an inspirational moment opened Raymond's eyes to the Phanatic's value.

"One day I was doing one of these Salvation Army bell-ringers downtown," said Raymond, a father of four who lives with his second wife in a development near Avon Grove High School in rural Chester County. "They loved me because donations increased. This day I was ticked off. It was Christmas and I had all these appearances lined up. Then there's a knock at my van's door."

It was a man whose son had that morning undergone surgery to remove a brain tumor. He told Raymond the tension had been so unbearable that he left the hospital and began walking aimlessly through Center City. That's when he saw the Phanatic.

"His son loved the Phanatic and he asked if I could visit him," said Raymond. "So I put on my costume and walked to the hospital. I went in the room and his mother started to cry. And the kid looked up and said his first words since the operation. There was something special about the Phanatic being able to do that. That's when I started to pay attention.

"Mascots deliver random acts of kindness wherever they go. I don't care if it's adults or children with maladies, they're all smiling. For those few minutes of interaction, people forget about everything. What I do is silliness. But there's a real magic going on that people don't see."

On this day, Raymond's interest was focused on the Mascots Hall of Fame, set to open in December. He popped open his office laptop and proudly showed visitors some of the interactive displays in the new facility.

The idea for a mascots hall, he said, grew out of a tongue-in-cheek 2003 March for Mascots Rights that Raymond staged in Philadelphia after the Pirates' Randall Simon struck one of Miller Park's racing sausages with his bat. The event generated so much publicity that Raymond sought a way to capitalize on it.

"So in 2005 we announced that we were going to induct the Phanatic, the San Diego Chicken and the Phoenix Suns' Gorilla," said Raymond. "Each year we'd induct a few more mascots and go to their field or court [to honor them]. Then four years ago we got a call from Whiting about building something there."

Why Whiting? Well, primarily because the small town where Standard Oil began was looking for something to attract visitors from Chicago (16 miles away) and fit into its waterfront-development plans.

Raymond didn't say if he'd put on a costume for the opening ceremonies, but no one, least of all him, would be surprised if he did …

"The older you get, the more you realize you should have fooled around a bit more during your life," he said. "I will never have that regret."


Defense Shines In Annual Blue-White Spring Game

4/20/2019 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – It was a picture-perfect Saturday at Delaware Stadium.

Much like the construction site in the background, the University of Delaware football team showed the progress being made on the way to a bright future in the annual Blue-White Spring Game. 

The defense (white team) came away with the win with a score of 52-41 off a point scoring system that highlight different point totals for certain achievements. 

"It's great to get out in front of our fans again and to bring so many people back to campus. You can feel the excitement and energy that everyone has for this University and this athletic department and it's just tremendous," head coach Danny Rocco said. "I thought our defense played really well and had a good day. We have a lot of guys who don't have a ton of game experience so these opportunities are crucial to continuing our progress to where we want to be as a football program."

At half, the Blue Hens gave out their annual Spring awards which included the weight room champions (Chuka Ezeuzohand Artis Hemmingway) as well as the most improved players (Andre Robinson and Drew Nickles). 

In addition, Coach Rocco named the captains for the 2019 season which included QB Pat Kehoe, OL Mario Farinella, DB Nijuel Hill and DL Cam Kitchen. 

"I think we've got a lot of talented guys on both sides of the ball and I like the work we all have put in this spring," Hill said. "We were fortunate enough to watch the guys before us lay the path and show us how it's done, what we have to do to achieve success and that's what we're doing, we're going to keep working and keep getting better."

As for the game action, Kehoe was 12-of-20 for 140 yards and 1 TD, while Thyrick Pitts was on the receiving end of that touchdown, finishing with three catches for 72 yards. 

DeJoun Lee and Robinson combined for 8 carries for 40 yards, while Gene Coleman had five catches for 41 yards on the afternoon. 

Defensively, Nickles led the way with six tackles on the day, while Kedrick Whitehead had four tackles, a TFL and an interception. Whitehead, Hill and Amonte Strothers all had INTs on the day for the white squad. 

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Players Mentioned

#77 Mario Farinella
6' 2"
300 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#91 Artis Hemmingway
6' 2"
260 lbs

#12 Pat Kehoe
6' 4"
240 lbs
Redshirt Junior

#99 Cam Kitchen
6' 2"
275 lbs

#51 Drew Nickles
6' 3"
220 lbs


Column: "The Best Is Yet To Come"

4/20/2019 By Andy Lohman - bluehens.com

As Delaware football head coach Danny Rocco addressed the crowd at halftime of the annual Blue-White Spring Game, he directed their attention to the construction site on the opposite side of Delaware Stadium.

"The best is yet to come," Rocco declared.

Just as the renovation of Delaware Stadium will bring the University of Delaware into a new era, Rocco is looking to continue the upward progression of the football team. He delivered consecutive seven-win seasons in his first two seasons at the helm, and last year brought Delaware back to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010.

The Blue Hens face a new challenge this season, having to replace a significant amount of experience, especially on the defensive side of the ball, with the graduation and departure of players like Troy Reeder and Nasir Adderley.

Despite those losses, Rocco and his staff feel good about the unit, which won Saturday's spring game 52-41 in a modified scoring system that pitted it against the offense. That confidence stems from a strong defensive line, the most experienced position group on the defense.

"It's the one area where we have a lot of guys back," Rocco said. "There's a lot of guys in our defensive front that have played over 250 plays last year…that is a strength and there is depth there."

Cam Kitchen, who was voted as a captain by his teammates, spearheads the battle in the trenches, coming off a 2018 season where he totaled 47 tackles, a sack and four quarterback hurries. The depth at the line has allowed the coaching staff to move players around to linebacker and secondary positions to maximize everybody's athleticism. Sophomore linebacker Drew Nickles, just one year of college football under his belt, stood out after playing in multiple positions this spring.

The secondary is the greenest group on the defense, making the leadership role of redshirt junior Nijuel Hill, also voted a team captain, even more important.

"We have a talented player there. We have a good person there. We have a guy that really believes in the value of this team," Rocco said of his standout defensive back. "I'm encouraged with that and I'm encouraged with the talent of the other guys, [there's] just a lacking of experience."

"Obviously we're going to make mistakes as a young defensive group, but if we cover that up with enthusiasm and relentless pursuit, that's all we can really ask for," Hill said. "As you can see, we're not afraid for the challenge."

That enthusiasm was on display as the young secondary flew around the field making plays. Sophomore Kedrick Whitehead and redshirt freshman Amonte' Strothers each had interceptions and redshirt freshman Noah Plack had several big pass breakups. The score of the spring game may not factor into Delaware's 2019 record, but don't tell the defense it doesn't matter.

"Since we lost the last two years, we wanted to come out here and prove a point," Hill said.

While the offense didn't have its most prolific day Saturday, the players and coaches are still excited about the progress the team has made this spring, and its potential in the fall. First-year offensive coordinator Jared Ambrose is implementing an up-tempo system with a lot more run-pass options and multiple ways to attack defenses.

"I think Coach Ambrose's offense is really good, it suits our personnel very well," running back Andre Robinson said. "He knows his stuff. It uses our athletes; it gets us the ball in space. Can't really ask for much more than that as an athlete."

"There's a lot of flexibility and there's answers built within each play to counter what the defense does," quarterback Pat Kehoe, another captain, said.

Rocco took a moment at halftime to introduce the four team-voted captains to the crowd: Kehoe, Kitchen, Hill and offensive lineman Mario Farinella. With so many seniors graduating from last year's playoff team, it will be on this group to use their experience to guide the young Blue Hens.

"I think the thing you always look for is for them to continue to build on what they have already been able to establish and get people to follow," Rocco said. "They all have stories that they're able to take a step back and say, 'you know what, two years ago this is where I was, and then look where I am now.' So it creates that hope and that optimism for everybody in the program that if they just stay committed to what we're trying to get done, good things will happen."

"I just want to be a leader for this group," Kehoe said. "I've seen a lot of things in my time here and I want to pass that on to our younger guys and their development."

Print Friendly Version
Players Mentioned

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
200 lbs

#77 Mario Farinella
6' 2"
300 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#16 Nijuel Hill
5' 10"
185 lbs
Redshirt Sophomore

#12 Pat Kehoe
6' 4"
240 lbs
Redshirt Junior

#99 Cam Kitchen
6' 2"
275 lbs

#51 Drew Nickles
6' 3"
220 lbs

#29 Noah Plack
6' 2"
210 lbs

#9 Troy Reeder
6' 3"
245 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#39 Kedrick Whitehead
5' 11"
190 lbs

#10 Andre Robinson
5' 10"
225 lbs
Redshirt Junior


NFL scouts, coaches pack UD to test Blue Hen and other draft hopefuls at pro day

Mar 22nd, 2019 · by Delaware State News

Delaware defensive back Nasir Adderley has his vertical tested as NFL scouts look on. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

Delaware billed it as the biggest turnout for a pro day it’s ever had.

Over 70 scouts and coaches, including someone from all 32 NFL teams, were on hand for the session in Newark on Friday morning.

They were there to test 26 former local college football players — including 16 Blue Hens — ahead of the April 25-27 NFL Draft.

The big draw of the day was Delaware defensive back Nasir Adderley, who most experts consider a likely draft pick.

Delaware linebacker Troy Reeder and tight end Charles Scarff, as well as Wesley College receiver Alex Kemp (Caesar Rodney), also worked out for the pro personnel. Testing was done both in the Carpenter Center and in the Field House.

Blue Hen linebacker Troy Reeder sprints during testing for NFL scouts on Friday.

“This is what we’ve worked so hard for,” Reeder told BlueHens.com. “We just want an opportunity to show what we can do.

“It’s been proven that these pro organizations will find you and Delaware has shown that plenty over the years. We just want a shot.”

“For these group of guys, we’re all blessed to have this chance to show what we can do,” said Blue Hen receiver Joe Walker. “We’ve all worked together, side-by-side, for all these years and now we get an opportunity to put all of our work on display and it’s pretty special to be able to do that alongside guys who I consider my brothers.”

Fleetwood battles back

Smyrna High grad Brent Fleetwood won three of his first four matches at the NCAA Division I wrestling championships on Thursday and Friday.

A 125-pound senior for North Dakota State, Fleetwood was still alive in the wrestlebacks on Friday afternoon in the tournament being held in Pittsburgh.

Seeded No. 10 in the championship bracket, Fleetwood posted a 2-0 decision over Penn’s Carmen Ferrante before falling to Princeton’s No. 7-seeded Pat Glory, 10-0. 27-5

In the consolation bracket, Fleetwood (27-5) picked up wins over No. 25 Malik Heinselman of Ohio State, 10-0, and over No. 17 Devin Schroder of Purdue, 4-2. Fleetwood was next slated to face No. 4 Ronnie Bresser of Oregon State.

The other downstater in the NCAAs, Caesar Rodney High grad Zack Parker, lost both his matches. A 285-pound senior for Ohio University who was seeded No. 30, Parker fell to Minnesota freshman Gable Stevenson, the No. 3 seed, by an 18-3 technical fall.

Parker then lost to Purdue redshirt senior Jacob Aven in the wrestleback prelims by a 10-6 decision, marking the end of his Ohio career.

DelTech sweeps in baseball

Delaware Tech’s baseball team improved to 10-4-1 by sweeping doubleheaders against Connecticut-Avery Point (10-0 and 11-6) and Baltimore County-Dundalk (9-2 and 7-5).

Against UConn-Avery Point, freshman Jordan Haddaway (Delmar) picked up his fourth win of the season by striking out eight and allowing just three hits. In the second game, sophomore Evan Nibblett (Seaford) picked up the win in six innings, while sophomore Tyler Cunningham hit a three-run home run.

Against CCBC-Dundalk, sophomore Ben Hudson threw a complete game, while sophomore Luke Wilhelm and three hits and freshman Dylan Allen (Seaford) hit a homer. In the second game, sophomore pitcher Tommy Heffernan (Cape Henlopen) picked up the win by pitching four innings of relief, and freshman Collin Jensen hit a two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning.

DelTech falls in lacrosse

Delaware Tech’s men’s lacrosse team dropped a 16-6 decision to Mercer County on March 16.

Sophomore Connor Garrett (Dover) scored two goals, freshman Jared Mullen (Smyrna) had one goal and one assist, and freshman Dakota Kerr (Smyrna), sophomore Bobby Stevenson (Caesar Rodney), and freshman Devaughn Williams (Dover) had one goal apiece. Sophomore goalie Nathan Williams (Smyrna) had a season-high 15 saves.


• Dover High grad Kendall Small, a senior first baseman on the Wilmington University baseball squad, is tied for the team lead with 21 hits, has a team-high 18 runs and is second with 16 RBI for the Wildcats. He also has a team-best 13 walks.

• Former Caesar Rodney High lacrosse All-Stater Demetrius Stevenson, a freshman at Rutgers, may end up redshirting this season after undergoing off-season hip surgery.

• Shaina Reed, the former Polytech softball standout, is a senior at Western Carolina. She has 10 RBI and a pair of homeruns while also posting 21 strikeouts in 35.1 innings as a pitcher.

• Regan Green, who led Laurel High to a pair of softball state titles, is now a junior at Baylor after transferring from Mississippi State. She has 35 strikeouts in 36.1 innings.

• Appoquinimink High grad Myles Cale was one of the First State’s few ties to this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The sophomore was second on the team with 10.3 ppg for the Pirates, who lost to Wofford in the NCAA tourney on Thursday.

• Delaware Tech opened its golf schedule by hosting a four-team tournament at Baywood Greens. Freshman Ben Cooper shot an 87, freshman Cole Hatton shot a 94, sophomore Frank Myers shot a 97, and sophomore Ben Hudson shot a 107.


Blue Hens Open Spring Practice Today, Fandemonium and Spring Game Set for April 20
3/12/2019 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – Coming off a return to the FCS Playoffs, expectations are high for the University of Delaware football program entering Spring Ball.

The Blue Hens open up its spring season today at 2:45 and will have a total of 15 spring practices over the next few weeks.

Delaware will practice Tuesdays (2:45), Thursdays (2:45), Saturdays (10:30) and Sundays (10:30) up until spring break and start up again on April 9 when students return from break. All practices are open to the public.

A full spring practice schedule can be found here.

The spring schedule will be capped off with tenth annual Blue Hen Fandemonium, presented by Louviers Federal Credit Union, which will run in conjunction with the Annual Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 20th at 3:30 p.m.

Delaware fans of all ages are invited to come out and enjoy an action-packed day with Blue Hen Athletics & Recreation, including a full day of family entertainment and plenty of chances to root on the Blue Hens on the field!

The Anchor Buick GMC Fan Zone, open from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will feature numerous fun, free activities including inflatables, rides, music, games, face painting, giveaways and much more. To see our Fightin' Blue Hens in action, check out Delaware Softball as they take on UNCW at 12 p.m. and Delaware Men's Lacrosse take on Towson at 12 p.m. before the Spring Football Game at 3:30 p.m. 

For more information, visit www.BlueHens.com/Fandemonium.


Adderley Excited For NFL Combine Opportunity

bluehens.com  - 2/25/19

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As a kid growing up in Philadelphia, Nasir Adderley dreamed of these types of moments. 

This week, Adderley gets his chance to impress the top executives from all 32 teams at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

"I'm incredibly humbled to have this opportunity and I owe everything to my support system from my family, friends, teammates, coaches and so many that have pushed me to be the very best I can be," Adderley said. "I've worked incredibly hard to try and get to this moment and I'm excited to put my best effort forward."

Like many NFL draft hopefuls, Adderley has been training at a specialized center in Arizona since the fall semester ended in December. 

This week, Adderley will arrive in Indianapolis on Friday, March 1stfor several days of interviews before testing and media interviews begin on Sunday, March 3rd. The big day comes on Monday, March 4thwhen he takes to the field for the full combine tests, which will be shown live on the NFL Network. 

"I've got a great relationship with my agent and he's been preparing me as best as possible for what I'm going to face this week. We're still figuring out my exact schedule, but I'm excited to get there and get started," Adderley said. 

The Philadelphia, Pa. native was a four-year starter for the Blue Hens, becoming the first player in over 10 years to start every game of his career at Delaware. He racked up 264 total tackles to rank among the top-five in defensive backs in program history in that category. He also added 11 INTs and 24 pass deflections in his career. 

This past year, Adderley finished with a career-high 87 tackles, which ranked in the top-20 nationally for defensive backs. He also had a team-high four INTs and seven pass break-ups, to go along with his one forced fumble and fumble recovery.

He was the only player in the country with over 160 tackles and nine INTs over the past two seasons. 

In the hundreds of mock drafts out there, Adderley is projected to be picked from anywhere to late first round to early third round. 


AP Source: Ravens Trade Joe Flacco to Broncos
Feb 13th, 2019 · by Associated Press 

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to trade quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL draft and details unspecified, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because neither team announced the deal, which was first reported by ESPN. NFL rules prohibit teams from discussing trades until the start of the league year on March 13.

Former University of Delaware standout Joe Flacco, the MVP of the 2013 Super Bowl following a miraculous win at top-seeded Denver, became available in Baltimore with the emergence of rookie Lamar Jackson, the former Louisville star who led the Ravens into the playoffs after Flacco got hurt.

The Broncos again need an upgrade at QB after Case Keenum’s middling debut in Denver, where a 6-10 finish led general manager John Elway to turn to Vic Fangio, his fourth head coach in six seasons.

Now, he’s landed his seventh quarterback since Peyton Manning’s tearful retirement following Denver’s win in Super Bowl 50.

The others all bombed: draft picks Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly, trade acquisition Mark Sanchez and Keenum, who threw for 18 TDs and a career-high 15 interceptions last season to go with a career-high 34 sacks.

Flacco’s contract, which has three years and $63 million remaining, could be reworked in Denver. So could Keenum’s deal, which guarantees him $7 million this season, if the Broncos keep him as a backup, although they could save $11 million by jettisoning him.

Either way, Elway’s deal for Flacco continues his build-but-don’t-rebuild ethos. The Broncos have a solid core of young stars and a still superior defense led by Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. that Elway believes can keep up with the Chargers and Chiefs in the AFC West with the right quarterback leading the way.

Facilitating his deal for Flacco was the extra fourth-round pick he had at his disposal from the Demaryius Thomas trade to Houston last fall.

In Flacco, the Broncos are turning to a quarterback who broke their hearts six years ago.

Denver was the top seed after going 13-3 in Manning’s first season in Denver and the Broncos took an 11-game winning streak into their divisional round playoff game against Baltimore.

In the waning seconds of regulation, Flacco connected with Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard touchdown pass to force overtime in a game the Ravens won 38-35 in double overtime. Safety Rahim Moore went for the interception instead of the tackle and mistimed his leap, allowing Jones to catch the ball at the 20-yard line and trot into the end zone with the tying touchdown.

Flacco, who turned 34 last month, has played all 11 of his seasons with the Ravens after being selected 18th overall out of Delaware in the 2008 NFL draft. He started immediately as a rookie and was Super Bowl MVP after the 2012 season, guiding the Ravens to a victory over San Francisco in the championship game during a playoff run that included that “Mile High Miracle” in Denver.

Flacco was the starter last season until he injured his right hip in a loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 4. The Ravens had a bye the following week, and Jackson took over for the still-ailing Flacco on Nov. 18 against Cincinnati. Jackson produced wins over the Bengals, Raiders and Falcons before a 27-24 loss to Kansas City on Dec. 9.

Flacco was healthy enough to return the following week, but coach John Harbaugh said Jackson would be his starter in a matchup against Tampa Bay. Jackson retained the job, going 6-1 to get the Ravens into the postseason before coming up short in a first-round loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Ravens went 106-72 with Flacco as a starter, including the postseason. He is the Ravens career leader in attempts (5,670), completions (3,499), yards (38,245) and touchdowns (212). His 10 playoff victories since 2008 rank second behind Tom Brady among active quarterbacks.

Flacco and Harbaugh arrived in Baltimore together in 2008. They proceeded to reach the playoffs in each of the next five years. Flacco was the first starting quarterback since the 1970 merger to win a playoff game in each of his first five years. Russell Wilson duplicated the feat from 2012-16.

During Baltimore’s 2012 run to the Super Bowl, he threw 11 touchdown passes without an interception, his most notable being the 70-yarder to Jones in the double OT win.

The Broncos eventually recovered from that devastating defeat to win a Super Bowl in Manning’s final game. But they’ve gone just 20-28 since then while churning through quarterbacks, coaches and offensive coordinators.

The Broncos lost their final four games last season to finish 6-10, marking their first back-to-back losing seasons since the Nixon administration.

Afterward, Elway said Keenum was “probably a short-term fix,” something Keenum insisted last week didn’t bother him as he prepared for the upcoming season.


University of Delaware announces ticket plans for refurbished stadium
Kevin Tresolini, Delaware News Journal Published Feb. 7, 2019

First choice on seats in the refurbished West grandstand at Delaware Stadium will go to Blue Hens football fans who’ve donated the most to the project and who are long-time season-ticket buyers, the University of Delaware has announced.

Work has recently begun to install 1,100 club seats in the first eight rows of Delaware Stadium. Behind that, chairbacks will be placed in the middle three sections – C, D and E.

The makeover will reduce Delaware Stadium capacity from 22,000 to less than 21,000. Most of the stadium work will be done in time for Delaware’s Aug. 29 football opener against Delaware State.
The University of Delaware celebrates the start of the $60-million renovation of Delaware Stadium and the creation of the Whitney Athletic Center with a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2018.Buy Photo

The University of Delaware celebrates the start of the $60-million renovation of Delaware Stadium and the creation of the Whitney Athletic Center with a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2018. (Photo: Suchat Pederson, The News Journal)

“We want to reward loyalty. That was important to us,” Jordan Skolnick, UD senior associate athletic director for development, said of dispersing tickets in the redone area.

Delaware Stadium renovations set to begin

The 150 people who donated $10,000 or more to the project get first choice, he added. After that, it’ll depend on the number of years as a season-ticket buyer.

Last season, Delaware had approximately 1,500 season-ticket accounts that held about 6,000 tickets.

Bleacher seating remains in sections A, B, F and G in the West grandstand though it will be upgraded. A new pressbox up above will also be mounted.

UD is also switching the student seating area from the south end zone to the north so it’s closer to The Barn entertainment area that opened last season.

Delaware has four recruits for February Signing Day

The second phase of the $60-million project is the construction of the Whitney Athletic Center on the stadium’s west side. The 90,000-square-foot building will contain a wellness center, athletic training, sports medicine, nutrition, sports psychology and strength and conditioning facilities for UD student-athletes.

Club-seat holders will have access to a room that will be constructed behind the stands and connected to the second floor of the Whitney Athletic Center, with entrances through the bottoms of sections B and F. It will not be completed before next season.
A rendering of the renovated West grandstand at Delaware Stadium.

A rendering of the renovated West grandstand at Delaware Stadium. (Photo: UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE)

Stadium events before then, such as UD lacrosse games, commencement and June’s DFRC Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game, will only use the seating in the East grandstand.

The Whitney Center will also not open until the fall of 2020.

Delaware is hosting an open house on Feb. 21 at the Carpenter Center during which those interested in purchasing tickets may view their options. April 20 will be the deadline for making a deposit on desired seats. Deposits range from $25 to $100.

Parking choices may also be made then. Because of the construction, about 180 spots closest to the stadium are also being lost but there is still plenty of available parking, Skolnick said.
A rendering looking toward Delaware Stadium and the Whitney Athletic Center from the northwest corner.

A rendering looking toward Delaware Stadium and the Whitney Athletic Center from the northwest corner. (Photo: UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE)

In early May, Delaware will tell those who’ve made a deposit when they can actually choose their seats, which will be sometime from May 15-June 7.

A wide variety of season-ticket options are available priced from $99 to $210 per seat in the bleachers, $210 to $259 in chairbacks, $280 to $420 for the East boxes, $412 to $562 for club seats and $637 for loge seats.

Delaware has seven home games in 2019. The price-per-game has not increased in the non-premium seating areas from the 2018 season.

Because of the additional amenities and comfort, there is an increase in the premium areas. These include the three sections with chairbacks, the club seats and 24 loge seats, which are in open areas at the back end of the club sections.
Blue Hens Add Four to 2019 Recruiting Class

2/6/2019 bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The future of the University of Delaware football program continues to get brighter and brighter.

On Wednesday, the Blue Hens welcomed four more signees to the 2019 recruiting class with the additions of OL Ryan Last (West Hempstead, N.Y./The Taft School (Conn.)), WR Noel Miller (Rockville, Md./Thomas S. Wootten), WR Jourdan Townsend (Farrell, Pa./Farrell) and DB Daniel Walker Jr. (Washington, Pa./Washington). 

The quarter join the 13 previous signees who inked their NLIs in December. That group includes OL Bradly Anyanwu (Dover, Del./Dover), TE Will Bowen (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin), WR Ayinde Budd (Richmond, Va./Collegiate), K Ryan Coe (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette), DL Nick Coomer (Lititz, Pa./Warwick), DB Mekai Davis (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha), TE Levaughn Lewis (Stamford, Conn./King School), LB Chase McGowan (Stafford, Va./North Stafford), DL Akie Nance (Newark, N.J./Newark Collegiate Academy), QB Cade Pribula (York, Pa./Central York),TE/FB Mateo Vandamia (Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny), RB Quincy Watson (Norristown, Pa./Malvern Prep) and OL Owen Zechman (Middleburg, Pa./East Juniata). 

OL Ryan Last– 6'6", 290 lbs - (West Hempstead, N.Y./The Taft School (Conn.))

Last is a big body addition to the stable of talented offensive lineman for the Blue Hens. He played two years at West Hempstead before spending a prep season at the Taft School in Connecticut. At West Hempstead, he twice earned All-County and All-Conference honors, while also playing two years of lacrosse. At Taft, he helped his team take home the league title while serving as a captain. During that year, he earned All-League and All-New England accolades. He was also a member of the Athletes helping Athletes organization, which visited elementary schools to talk about sportsmanship and teamwork with children. 

WR Noel Miller - 6'1", 185 lbs – (Rockville, Md./Thomas S. Wootten)

A versatile playmaker on the outside for the Blue Hens, Miller played wherever his team needed him, earning All-County three straight seasons (2016, 2017, 2018). He finished his career hauling in 182 catches for 2,693 yards and 28 TDs, and that includes having to play QB for most of his senior year due to injuries. He earned All-Met accolades from the Washington Post in his final two seasons and received over 20 Division I offers. 

WR Jourdan Townsend– 5'11", 185 lbs - (Farrell, Pa./Farrell)

Athletic and dynamic addition to the outside for Delaware, who comes to Newark after a record-setting career at Farrell High School. Townsend leaves Farrell as the school's all-time leading receiver and scorer, finishing with 187 catches for 3,590 yards and 75 total TDs (58 receiving, 10 return, 7 rushing). He was District 10 Player of the Year as a senior and earned All-State honors during his final two seasons. As a senior, he helped Farrell go undefeated and take home the State Championship. He also was a member of the track team for three seasons. 

DB Daniel Walker Jr.- 6'2", 210 lbs- (Washington, Pa./Washington)

A hard-hitting defensive back from Western Pa, Walker is a big addition to the Blue Hens secondary. He was a dual threat for Washington, where he picked up 14 INTs in his final two seasons and racked up over 120 tackles. He was a two-time captain and two-time All-State honoree at Washington. Offensively, he hauled in 65 catches for 1,199 yards and 18 TDs in his final two seasons.

Print Friendly Version
Players Mentioned

Bradly Anyanwu
6' 3"
290 lbs

Will Bowen
6' 6"
230 lbs

Ayinde Budd
6' 5"
205 lbs

Nick Coomer
6' 4"
285 lbs

Mekai Davis
6' 0"
180 lbs

Levaughn Lewis
6' 3"
210 lbs

Chase McGowan
6' 1"
230 lbs

Akie Nance
6' 3"
275 lbs

Cade Pribula
6' 1"
200 lbs

Quincy Watson
5' 9"
180 lbs
Bears' Matt Nagy named NFL Coach of the Year
Feb 2, 2019 - ESPN.COM
Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

After leading the Chicago Bears to their first playoff bid since 2010, Matt Nagy has been named NFL Coach of the Year.

Nagy, who received the award at the NFL Honors event in Atlanta, is the most successful first-year head coach in team history. Hired to replace John Fox last January, Nagy led the Bears to the most victories (12) by any Bears coach in his first season since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

“First of all, when you meet someone, right away you kind of know, you feel that connection instantly,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said following the Bears’ playoff loss to Philadelphia. “Every single day that we’ve been together has been confirmation that he is the perfect head coach for this franchise. And it’s just going to get better and better as we go forward. We worked so well together, he’s very natural in this role and I think, we’re very, very fortunate to have him as our head coach.”

NFL Honors

• MVP Patrick Mahomes' best is yet to come with Chiefs
• Rams' Aaron Donald wins second straight Defensive Player of Year
• Colts' Andrew Luck completes comeback season with playoffs, award
• After leading Bears to playoffs, Matt Nagy named Coach of the Year
• Giants' Saquon Barkley lives up to the hype during rookie season
• Colts linebacker Darius Leonard: From unknown to rookie of year

Nagy’s first order of business was to scrap the Bears’ outdated offensive philosophies and install a version of the highly effective Andy Reid system -- the scheme Nagy learned while coaching under Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City. The results in Year 1 were better than expected. Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky flourished in Nagy’s offense, as his passer rating jumped from 77.5 to 95.4.

Beyond the Bears’ obvious on-field improvements, Nagy also revolutionized the culture inside Halas Hall. In the process, he accomplished the almost unthinkable: Nagy made the Bears cool again.

Almost all of Nagy’s creative ideas worked. The 40-year-old transformed the postgame locker room into "Club Dub" after victories, staged weekly offense vs. defense dance-offs and routinely kept defenses guessing by using trickery inside the red zone.

“I know Matt says it all the time, but I’m just impressed by how comfortable he is in his own skin,” Pace said. “Just be yourself. Just be you. He has a blueprint from Andy Reid and he respects him, but Matt is just himself. I think the players feel that. The staff feels that. Because if you do that every day, it comes off natural and organic and I think it’s very attractive.”
Delaware's Adderley impresses at Senior Bowl
The Associated Press - Jan 26, 2019, 6:58 PM

North safety Nasir Adderley, of Delaware, returns an interception during the second half of the Senior Bowl college football game. 

(STATS) - The consensus among NFL Draft analysts is Delaware free safety Nasir Adderley will be the first FCS player selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

His week at the 70th annual Reese's Senior Bowl helped strengthen his growing status.

Adderley impressed enough during the practices that he was named a game captain for the North team, which beat the South 34-24 Saturday at Ladd-Peoples Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

The Buffalo players saw too much of Adderley in college football's premier all-star game. He was in on five tackles, including a plastering of wide receiver Anthony Johnson, and intercepted quarterback Tyree Jackson in the fourth quarter.

"It's a tremendous opportunity, especially coming from where I come from," Adderley said. "I try to block out all the outside noise, just focus on what the coaches are telling me to do, and just try to get better each day."

The FCS level is historically strong with producing defensive backs. A chisled 6 feet, 195 pounds, Adderley played both cornerback and safety at Delaware, flashing elite range and physicality. He was the only player in the subdivision with over 160 tackles and nine interceptions over the past two seasons.

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah gives the first-team STATS FCS All-American a first-round grade. He wrote in his scouting report: "Adderley is a slightly undersized safety prospect with outstanding instincts, range and ball skills. He is a former cornerback and his movement skills reflect that background. He is very fluid in his backpedal and his combination of recognition and burst allow him to cover a lot of ground. He has no issues locating the ball in the air and possesses strong, dependable hands.

"Against the run, he is aggressive to the alley and boasts a high batting average as a tackler. He also offers value in the return game, where he displays vision, speed and toughness. Overall, Adderley is an ideal, pure free safety and should be a quality starter immediately in his rookie campaign."

Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders of the North was one of the week's more visible players - not just FCS - because his fiancée, Ayanna, gave birth to their daughter, Kambridge, while Saunders was in Mobile. He flew home to Chicago on Thursday for a quick visit and arrived back in Mobile Saturday morning.

The 6-foot, 320-pounder stood out to scouts with a blend of power and surprising agility on the defensive interior, showcased by a straight-on 9-yard sack of West Virginia quarterback Will Grier in the first quarter. "He's been awesome," Jeremiah said.

Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard (6-5, 322) of the South enjoyed a coming-out party as a fast-rising prospect and two-time first-team All-America wide receiver Keelan Doss (6-2, 207) of the North sizzled as well, catching four passes for 55 yards.

Other FCS players were: North, South Dakota State cornerback Jordan Brown (four tackles), Stetson tight end Donald Parham and Northern Colorado wide receiver Alex Wesley; and South, Jacksonville State offensive guard B.J. Autry, Elon offensive tackle Oli Udoh and James Madison cornerback Jimmy Moreland (three tackles). North Dakota State running back Bruce Anderson did not play because of a quadriceps injury.

The NFL Draft will be held from April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.


Blue Hen Safety Nasir Adderley grabs an Interception late in the Senior Bowl to improve his Draft prospects. 
From the Dallas Morning News:

The Cowboys are without a first-round pick this year because of the Amari Cooper trade, which has worked in Dallas' favor so far. But as long as Jerry Jones runs the team, it's impossible to rule anything out in terms of trades, meaning it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Cowboys fall in love with a prospect to the point that they're willing to trade up into the first round to select him.

If the Cowboys did trade up, Delaware safety Nasir Adderley would be an ideal target.
Adderley would be able to provide an immediate upgrade over Jeff Heath, who led all safeties in missed tackles against the run in 2018 for the Cowboys' defense.

Despite measuring at just 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Adderley plays above his weight class when defending the run, unafraid of taking on blocks and prone to delivering big hits on ballcarriers regardless of the size difference. The word "passive" simply isn't in Adderley's vocabulary.
On top of his ability to defend the run, Adderley also thrives in coverage, having spent a lot of time at cornerback in the past. 
Adderley is a unique safety who can thrive playing deep zone and man coverage. He has impressive burst and closing speed, which allow him to stick with speedier receivers in man coverage and showcase his range from the single-high safety position.
Coming into Senior Bowl week, many were skeptical of Adderley because of the fact he came from a small school where he largely faced inferior competition. However, he did an excellent job quieting those concerns throughout the week, proving he belonged with the prospects from bigger schools.

While it's still unlikely the Cowboys would commit to spending the resources necessary to trade up into the first round, Adderley would be an outstanding target if they did, as he and Xavier Woods would provide Dallas with one of the best young safety tandems in the NFL.
Blue Hens Finish In Final Top-25 Poll For First Time Since 2011:
1/7/19 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – Head Coach Danny Rocco and his coaching staff came to the University of Delaware in 2017 to usher in a new era of high expectations. 

The building blocks have been put in place after the Blue Hens reached the FCS Playoffs for the first time since 2010. Another accomplishment was put into place on Monday when Delaware finished in the final Top-25 polls of the year for the first time since 2011. 

After piling up seven wins in the fall, the Blue Hens finished #23 in the AFCA Coaches poll and #24 in the STATS FCS poll. 

Six different student-athletes were honored with All-American accolades after a season filled with highlights. Nasir Adderley and Mario Farinella both earned First Team honors, while Troy Reeder earned Second Team and Charles Scarff on Third Team. Collin Wallish was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, while DeJoun Lee was named to the HERO Sports Sophomore All-American squad. 

The 2018 season marked the first since 2010 and 2011 that Delaware won seven games in back-to-back seasons.

Through Games JAN. 7, 2019:

1 North Dakota State (156) 15-0 3900 1
2 Eastern Washington 12-3 3741 4
3 South Dakota State 10-3 3563 5
4 Maine 10-4 3299 12
5 Kennesaw State 11-2 3224 2
6 Weber State 10-3 3096 3
7 UC Davis 10-3 2939 7
8 Colgate 10-2 2836 9
9 James Madison 9-4 2532 6
10 Jacksonville State 9-4 2360 8
11 Princeton 10-0 2189 10
12 North Carolina A&T 10-2 2136 11
13 Wofford 9-4 2135 13
14 Nicholls 9-4 1951 14
15 Southeast Missouri State 9-4 1587 20
16 Stony Brook 7-5 1163 15
17 Montana State 8-5 1157 23
18 Dartmouth 9-1 981 18
19 Elon 6-5 909 17
20 Towson 7-5 803 16
21 Duquesne 9-4 699 NR
22 ETSU 8-4 686 22
23 UNI 7-6 676 NR
24 Delaware 7-5 670 21
25 San Diego 9-3 635 19

Others receiving votes: Indiana State (239) , UIW (187) , Alcorn State (147) , Lamar (133) , Furman (43) , Monmouth (25) , Idaho State (15) , Illinois State (14) , McNeese (14) , Eastern Kentucky (5) , Samford (4) , Montana (2) , Rhode Island (2) , Stetson (2) , Southern University (1)

Matt Nagy is NFL's Coach of the Year

By: Bryan Perez | January 4, 2019 Follow @BryanPerezNFL

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy completed one of the best one-year turnarounds in franchise history in 2018, flipping the Bears from a 5-11 laughing stock to the 12-win NFC North champions.

The Bears ended the regular season the No. 3 seed in the NFC and will host Sunday’s wild-card game against the Eagles in what will be a big stage for Nagy to continue his case to be this season’s coach of the year.

According to NBC’s Peter King, he’s already proven enough. King named Nagy the best coach of 2018.

The Bears in the four years pre-Nagy: 5-11, 6-10, 3-13, 5-11. GM Ryan Pace hired Nagy in January from Kansas City, and he won more games than any first-year coach ever in franchise history (including George Halas with the pre-Bear 10-1-2 Decatur Staleys in 1920). Nagy did a smart thing in hiring a smart coach he didn’t know and empowering him—offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich—to help Mitchell Trubisky grow. We don’t know if Trubisky’s going to be really good, but Nagy did an excellent job of managing Trubisky and hiding his weaknesses.

It’s hard not to like Nagy’s chances to take home the hardware this year regardless of what happens in the playoffs. He’s completely changed the football culture in Chicago and has made the game fun again for one of the NFL’s charter franchises.

Most importantly, he won a lot of games and a division championship along the way.
The crazy story of Bears coach Matt Nagy's one-day NFL career as Eagles QB
By Reuben Frank January 05, 2019

It was Aug. 10, 2009, and the Eagles had a preseason game three days later against the Patriots and a shortage of quarterbacks.

Kevin Kolb, the second-year pro from Houston, was expected to play a lot against the Patriots, but he hurt his knee that day in practice at Lehigh University in Bethlehem.

That left Donovan McNabb and A.J. Feeley as the only healthy quarterbacks on the Eagles’ preseason roster.

So Andy Reid got creative.

He had a former college star quarterback in training camp as a summer coaching intern, and he signed him to a contract so he could practice the rest of the week and then play against the Patriots in the upcoming preseason game at the Linc.

His name was Matt Nagy and he had been a star quarterback at the University of Delaware, where one of his teammates was Brett Veach — then Reid’s coaching assistant and now the Chiefs’ general manager.

Nagy tried to pursue a playing career after he graduated from Delaware.

He had a workout with the Packers but didn’t get signed. Then he spent seven seasons bouncing in and out of the Arena League — with the New York Dragons, Carolina Cobras, Georgia Force and Columbus Destroyers.

Now, at 30 years old, he was finally going to get a chance to practice with the Eagles and play in an NFL preseason game.

Coach Reid brought me in and asked me if I had an agent, if I was in shape and if I knew the playbook. And so … they gave me that practice.

Nagy participated in the Eagles’ morning practice at Lehigh and threw the ball well alternating reps with McNabb and Feeley. He’s got a rocket arm.

The Eagles even held a Nagy press conference under a large tent to handle all the media requests for Nagy, and Nagy told reporters he was hopeful the one-week tryout might even lead to an improbable career.

There was only one small problem.

Even though the Arena Football League had folded, Nagy was still under contract with the AFL.

And NFL teams can’t sign players to contracts if they’re under contract with another team. Even in a defunct league.

League officials notified Eagles general manager Tom Heckert that the Eagles weren’t allowed to sign Nagy.

His contract was voided.

And that was the end of Nagy’s one-day NFL playing career.

“Tom Heckert tapped me on my shoulder and told me I gotta go back in and put the shorts on and get back to coaching,” Nagy said this week. “So I went from an ultimate high to a ultimate low, but that’s just how life goes and everything happens for a reason. … That was a roller-coaster of a day.”

Nagy was back in coaches’ gear for the afternoon practice that day at Lehigh.

But it all worked out.

Nagy climbed the coaching ladder under Reid with the Eagles and then the Chiefs and is now head coach of the Bears, who face the Eagles in a wild-card game Sunday at Soldier Field.

The Bears went 12-4 this season under Nagy, who is probably the favorite to win the Coach of the Year award.

But for one hot summer afternoon 9 ½ years ago, Nagy thought his dream of becoming an NFL quarterback was about to come true.

“I thought I was going to be a starter in the NFL for the next eight years,” he said. “But it never happened.”
Ex-Hen Nagy is living NFL dream
Jan 5th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

Matt Nagy didn’t let go of his NFL quarterback dreams without a fight.

The last time I talked to the former Delaware quarterback was in 2007 and he was getting ready to play in the Arena Bowl with the Columbus Destroyers.

Nagy had put up good numbers in his six-season AFL career. But he was also 29 with a family.

Still, Nagy wasn’t giving up on getting a shot in the NFL.

“Coming out of college (in 2001), I was really going after it,” Nagy said at the time. “I see the quarterbacks that are in the NFL right now and the guys that are getting looks and sometimes I wonder, ‘What am I doing wrong? Why haven’t I even had a chance to get into a camp?’

“It’s frustrating. There’s a lot of guys in the Arena League that are in similar shoes. I’ll have times when I’m really hungry and I want to get into that (NFL) camp. Then there’s other times when I just sit back and say, ‘If it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be.’

“I’m 29 years old now,” he added. “When you start getting into your low 30s you can forget about it. My window is slipping. Hopefully teams out there can see that I try to do my best as far as trying to be the best quarterback I can be. I’m looking for an opportunity.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, Nagy’s dream never panned out. At 29, it was just too much of a longshot.

But what happened instead to Nagy is far more incredible.

Today, the 40-year-old is the head coach of the 12-4 Chicago Bears, who host the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in the first round of the NFC playoffs. In the Bears’ long, storied history, only legendary George Hallas won as many as 10 games in his rookie coaching season with Chicago.

And Hallas did it in 1920.

Consider that, just 10 years ago, Nagy was still only a lowly coaching intern with the Eagles. Along with playing in the Arena League, he’d spent most of the time between 2001-09 coaching high school football in Pennsylvania and working in real estate in Lancaster, Pa.

Yet here he is, an NFL head coach — and apparently a pretty good one at that. A lot of people think he should be a shoo-in for the NFL Coach of the Year award.

Sometimes, dreams really do come true.

When he was first introduced as the Bears’ coach last January, Nagy thanked the Eagles for letting him get his foot in the NFL door.

“They gave a 29-year-old, washed-up Arena League player a chance to be a part of the National Football League,” he said at the time. “That was always my goal. I didn’t do it as a player, but I’m doing it as a coach.

“I’m living the dream,” Nagy added. “The dream came true.”

Callahan signs with Bucs

Joe Callahan is back in the NFL.

The former Wesley College standout quarterback signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week.

Callahan reportedly signed a reserve/futures contract, which gives him a spot on the Bucs’ 90-man preseason camp roster.

Tampa Bay will be Callahan’s fifth NFL stop, joining the Packers, Saints, Browns and Eagles on the QB’s resume. Callahan last played with the Eagles this past preseason, seeing action in all three contests with one start.

The 2015 Gagliardi Trophy winner completed 59.6 percent of his passes for 262 yards with Philadelphia.

Odds & ends

• A memorial service for former Laurel High standout football player Ron Waller will be held on Jan. 12 at the Laurel Fire House. Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m., followed by a Celebration of Life led by Jimmy Hoppa.

• Nagy isn’t the Bears’ only Delaware connection, of course. Former Blue Hen defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (Hodgson) is making a name for himself as a rookie for Chicago.

Nagy also hired ex-Delaware assistant coach Brian Ginn to his staff. The two shared and competed for the starting QB job for much of their Blue Hen careers.

• Dover’s Madison Brengle starts the year ranked 88th in the world. The 28-year-old is 5-6 all-time in the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 14.

In 2015, Brengle reached the round of 16 at the Aussie, the farthest she’s advanced in a Grand Slam event.

• Former Caesar Rodney High girls’ basketball standout Kylie Kornegay-Lucas signed with the University of Virgina after originally verbally committing to East Carolina. Kornegay-Lucas now plays for New Hope Academy in Maryland.

• Dover International Speedway is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The first race on the Monster Mile was on July 6, 1969.

Construction on the property, which was previously a farm and small airstrip, began in August, 1967.

• Before Christmas, Dover honored Sharon Garron, a longtime ticketing official who retired at the end of the year after 38 years with Dover Motorsports, Inc.

“We have a great team and I feel fortunate to have known and worked with them,” Garron said. “It has been a great run. It has been exciting to be a part of NASCAR and the growth of the track.”
Ex-Delaware QB Nagy made impressive climb from NFL intern to head coach
Kevin Tresolini, Delaware News Journal Published Jan. 3, 2019 

Ten years ago, Matt Nagy was dragging bags of footballs to the practice field at Lehigh University, site of Philadelphia Eagles training camp, on sweltering August days.

Sometimes, the former University of Delaware All-American quarterback would warm up the quarterbacks or wide receivers by throwing with them.

Often, he would fetch the footballs they left behind.

No task was too menial for Nagy, then an intern working for the Eagles. He was not that far removed from a career as one of the best quarterbacks in Arena League history, someone the Green Bay Packers gave a look in 2001.

He’d begun a career selling custom homes in the Lancaster area, with Nagy’s boss feeling the internship – despite taking him temporarily from his regular job -- would make him better at it.

Wentz should be back-up QB Sunday

The following year, 2010, Eagles coach Andy Reid went a step further. He offered Nagy a full-time, though entry-level, coaching position in which he’d be earning less than half of what he made selling homes.

Nagy snatched that opportunity.

Today, he is the coach of the Chicago Bears.

On Sunday, Nagy’s career comes full circle when his first Bears team hosts the Eagles in an NFC playoff at 4:40 p.m. (NBC) at Soldier Field.

The irony is as clear as the branches on the burgeoning Reid coaching tree.

The Eagles are coached by Doug Pederson, who 10 years ago was coaching high school football and whose own astonishing career climb was followed, in lock step, by Nagy’s.
Sept. 22, 1997: QB Matt Nagy took over for the injuredBuy Photo

Sept. 22, 1997: QB Matt Nagy took over for the injured Brian Ginn during the Blue Hen's victory against West Chester. (Photo: Fred Comegys/The News Journal)

Pederson, a long-time NFL backup, was an Eagles offensive quality control assistant in 2009-10 and quarterbacks coach in 2011-12. After Reid was fired by Philadelphia and hired by Kansas City, Pederson became Chiefs offensive coordinator from 2013-15 before being hired as Eagles head coach in 2016.

Tickets still available for Eagles-Bears

Right behind him came Nagy, as Eagles offensive quality control guy in 2011-12, Chiefs quarterbacks coach from 2013-15 and then Kansas City’s offensive coordinator in 2016-17.

Nagy had followed the example set by his former Blue Hens teammate Brett Veach, who went from Eagles intern to Reid’s personal assistant to scout, then also made the move to Kansas City. Veach is now the NFL’s youngest general manager at age 40 with the Chiefs.

“It makes it neat just because whether you talk about it schematically with the offenses or you talk about the relationships that Doug and I have had together working under coach [Reid], without a doubt it’s ironic,” Nagy said of facing the Eagles and Pederson in his first playoff as a head coach.

“And being from Pennsylvania my entire life and all of the Philadelphia Eagles fans and my phone was blowing up after our win in Minnesota,” Nagy said of Sunday’s 24-10 victory over the Vikings that put the Eagles in the playoffs. “I know it’s all in good fun and I know how passionate the Eagles fans are. It’ll be a fun day. Were both gonna compete our tails off as coaches but in the end it’ll be a great hug and handshake and respect after.’’

Pederson said that when Nagy became coach of the Bears earlier this year, he sought Pederson out for advice.

“To always have that bond, have that relationship, is special,” Pederson said. “I’ll be excited to see him Sunday.”

Eagles transformed themselves over final six weeks

On Wednesday, Nagy recalled sitting in a room with Pederson scouting quarterback prospects before the 2012 draft. Reid walked in and informed Pederson he needed to go watch the quarterback who had just finished his University of Arizona career. The Eagles drafted Nick Foles in the third round, 88th overall.

“ ‘You’re gonna go see this Nick Foles kid’ and that’s what happened and you could see where it went from here,” Nagy recalled.

After quarterbacking the Eagles to the Super Bowl title in place of the injured Carson Wentz last year, Foles is enjoying an encore performance.

Stepping in again, Foles threw for an Eagles record 471 yards against the Texans in week 16 and tied an NFL mark with 25 straight completions at Washington in week 17. Now he’s the Bears’ problem and Nagy knows it.

Foles, who was the backup quarterback in Kansas City two years ago, relished his time with Nagy there.

“As a coach, he’s unbelievable,” Foles said. “I admire him. I’m proud of him and it will be fun to compete against him.”

Foles isn’t surprised by Nagy’s quick success as a head coach. Neither is Greg Penecale, who played tight end and caught his passes at Delaware.

As a senior in 2000, Nagy sparked Delaware to the NCAA semifinals and a 12-2 record while passing for a UD record 3,436 yards, broken by Joe Flacco’s 4,263 in 2007, and 29 touchdowns, still the school mark.

“It’s been nice to see him have success,” said Penecale, “but I’m not surprised. Certain guys, it just comes naturally.

“Matt is a mad scientist at football. He knows what’s going on on both sides of the ball, and whether it’s offense or defense, he loves it. When we were playing, he knew what everybody was doing on both sides of the ball and he could back it up with that arm.”

In 2009, Nagy the intern nearly got the chance to exhibit that arm.

He was activated by the Eagles when an injury to Kevin Kolb left them with just Donovan McNabb and A.J. Feeley heading into a preseason game against the Patriots. He spent one practice as the No. 3 quarterback before the NFL voided the agreement and the Eagles iturned to Adam DiMichele, whom they’d cut in the spring.

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy watches the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Photo: The Associated Press)

“I went from the ultimate high to the ultimate low,” said Nagy, a graduate of Manheim Central (Pa.) High. “We were gonna have like 200, 300 people there. They already had, like, homemade jerseys to go and everything and then the NFL nixed it. I was crushed.”

He has more than made up for that disappointment since, developing a reputation as a clever offensive strategist while getting the most out of second-year Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Nagy will be a contender for NFL coach of the year when the award is announced the night before the Super Bowl for turning around a Bears team with four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North.

He even confessed that there are a few Delaware Wing-T wrinkles in his offense, though Nagy admitted – as did his Delaware coach Tubby Raymond – that the Wing-T was significantly overhauled from its run-oriented nature to take advantage of Nagy’s strong arm.

College football Hall-of-Famer Raymond, who died at 91 in December of 2017, also remains a coaching influence.

“I liked the Wing-T stuff,” Nagy said. “I didn’t really do a whole lot of it when I was at Delaware just because I was too slow, so we tried to throw the ball, but it is good stuff.

“I think with coach Raymond, he just gives you an ability to, again, let you play fast by not doing a whole lot, just being good at the techniques of stuff. That’s one of the biggest thing I take away from coach Raymond was we just did the same stuff over and over every day of the week.”

EX-BLUE HEN WR and Illinois Head Coach, Bill Cubit Joins Blue Hens’ Coaching Staff along With Coach Ambrose from Towson. 


NEWARK, Del. – When Head Coach Danny Rocco was asked about what he was looking for in his next members of his offensive staff, he laid out several categories, including a track record of success, experience and a knowledge and history of the University of Delaware.

That's exactly what Rocco gets with the hiring of Jared Ambrose (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks) and Bill Cubit (assistant head coach/running backs) to the Blue Hens' coaching staff. With the additions, assistant coach Alex Wood will shift over and mentor the wide receivers. 

Both coaches have previous histories with Delaware as Ambrose served as a graduate assistant for the Blue Hens in 2007 and 2008, while Cubit was an outstanding player for Delaware under legendary head coach Tubby Raymond in the early 1970s. 

"We're extremely excited to announce the hiring of both Jared Ambrose and Bill Cubit to our coaching staff here at the University of Delaware," Rocco said. "We recognized both of these coaches to be outstanding additions to our program. Both coaches met a long list of criteria that was put in place when we started our search."

Ambrose returns to Newark after spending the past 10 seasons as part of the staff at Towson University, including the past seven as the offensive coordinator. During his time with the Tigers, he was a part of three FCS Playoff appearances, including a run to the 2013 National Championship game. 

He has coached two CAA Offensive Players of the Year, including this past year when Tom Flacco took home the honor. Last year, Towson led the league in scoring (34.5 ppg) and total offense (465.0 ypg). In addition to Flacco, he also coached Terrance West, who saw time in the NFL and was the runner up for the Walter Payton Award in 2013. 

During Ambrose's previous stint with Delaware, he worked with the offense, which was led by All-American and Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco. His coaching career began with a three-year stint as a student assistant coach at NCAA II Shepherd, leading the team to a 29-5 record and three straight undefeated West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships.

"Coming back to Delaware has always been a goal for my wife and I. The first time we were here, we quickly understood that the community and fans bleed Delaware blue and gold," Ambrose said. "This is a humbling honor to work for such a historic program and two well-respected individuals in Coach Rocco and Chrissi Rawak. I can't wait to help bring national titles back to Newark."

Cubit returns to his stomping grounds, where he was a standout QB turned All-American split end for the Blue Hens, playing for Raymond in 1973 and 1974. In those two years, Cubit was a part of a team that went 20-6 and took home the Lambert Cup twice, two NCAA playoff appearances and a national championship runner-up in 1974. 

He brings a long history of coaching experience, including big success at nearby NCAA Division III Widener, where he led teams to a five-year record of 34-18-1, two conference titles and two NCAA appearances. 

"It is truly an honor and privilege to join this talented coaching staff. As a proud alumnus, I look forward to coaching at this prestigious University and working with these outstanding student-athletes at Delaware," Cubit said. "I'm incredibly grateful to Coach Rocco and Chrissi [Rawak] for this opportunity."

His journey then took him to an eight-year tenure at Western Michigan where he piled up 51 wins and three bowl games, while also being named MAC Coach of the Year honors in 2005. 

In total, Cubit brings 14 years of head coaching experience with a combined record of 90-72-1, including a stint at Big Ten member Illinois in 2015. 

Cubit also spent time as the offensive coordinator at Western Michigan, Illinois, Stanford, Missouri and Rutgers during his career. 

Blue Hens Sign 13 During Early Signing Period

NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware football program returned to the national scene this fall with a berth in the FCS Playoffs for the first time since 2010. 

The rise of the Blue Hens continued on Wednesday when one of the most talented recruiting classes in years signed NLIs to officially join the program. Head Coach Danny Rocco and his staff welcomed 13 signees from six different states. 

Joining the program were OL Bradly Anyanwu (Dover, Del./Dover), TE Will Bowen (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin), WR Ayinde Budd (Richmond, Va./Collegiate), K Ryan Coe (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette), DL Nick Coomer (Lititz, Pa./Warwick), DB Mekai Davis (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha), TE Levaughn Lewis (Stamford, Conn./King School), LB Chase McGowan (Stafford, Va./North Stafford), DL Akie Nance (Newark, N.J./Newark Collegiate Academy), QB Cade Pribula (York, Pa./Central York),TE/FB Mateo Vandamia (Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny), RB Quincy Watson (Norristown, Pa./Malvern Prep) and OL Owen Zechman (Middleburg, Pa./East Juniata). 

"This is always an exciting day and we're thrilled with this group of student-athletes that have signed with us today. It's a high character group of young men who will be great additions to not only our football program, but our university community," Rocco said. "We have a lot of history with most of these student-athletes and their families. For most of them, it started in the spring and continued through the summer with all of them visiting campus with seven of them taking part of our one-day evaluation camp. We have really good versatility in this group with a lot of these student-athletes playing multiple positions in high school. All of these guys were really within our footprint with six different states, seven from Pennsylvania, two from Virginia and one from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut. This is a quality group from top to bottom and all of them have a strong history of academics and we can't wait to have them join our program."

OL Bradly Anyanwu (Dover, Del./Dover) – 6'3", 300 lbs

Versatile big man that was a four-year starter on the offensive line at Dover High. He twice earned First Team All-State accolades as well as being an All-Conference selection. He also was a star on Dover's track & field team as well, throwing the shot put and earning State Championship honors in the event. Anywanwu was an honor student throughout his school career, carrying a near 3.5 GPA. He received interest from Delaware State, Georgetown and Morgan State. 

TE Will Bowen (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) – 6'6", 230 lbs

Three-year varsity starter at Lower Dauphin, who twice earned All-Conference accolades at both tight end and defensive end. During his junior year, he also earned All-State honors at defensive end. In addition to football, Bowen was a four-year starter on the basketball team as well, scoring over 1,000 points during his career and earning three All-Conference honors. An honor roll student all four years, Bowen also received interest from Maine, Monmouth, Albany, Buffalo, Bucknell, Army, Kent State, Fordham and Colgate.

WR Ayinde Budd (Richmond, Va./Collegiate) – 6'5", 205 lbs

A two-time team captain, two-time All-State performer and three-time All-Conference honoree, Budd brings an offensive weapon to the Blue Hens arsenal. Budd's athleticism was also on display on the basketball court as he was a four year starter for Collegiate. He also received interest from Boston College, Buffalo, Delaware State, Elon, JMU, Richmond, Virginia and Wake Forest. 

K Ryan Coe (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) – 6'3", 220 lbs

A strong legged addition to the special teams unit, Coe has a career-long field of 51 already to his name, which helped him earn two All-Conference accolades as well as All-Western PA first team honors as a senior. He was ranked as the top punter in PA and the second ranked kicker in the state. Coe was also a two-year starter on the school's baseball team during his high school career. An honor roll student at South Fayette, he received interest from Akron, Duquesne, Temple, Ole Miss and UCF. 

DL Nick Coomer (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) – 6'4", 285 lbs

A three-year starter and team captain, Coomer had quite a career at Warwick, helping his team to the second round of the state playoffs, while piling up 225 tackles during his career, including 15.5 sacks. He was a three-time All-League honoree and named the league's Defensive Lineman of the Year as a senior. In addition to his football accolades, Coomer was a district and league qualifier in the shot put. He also received interest from Boston College, Elon, Monmouth and New Hampshire. 

DB Mekai Davis (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) – 6'0", 180 lbs

An athletic, hard-hitting defensive back, Davis has been on the gridiron since he was five years old. A two-time all-conference honoree, Davis was a integral part of the DeMatha defense for the past three seasons as a starter. He also received interest from Rhode Island and Sacred Heart, among others. 

TE Levaughn Lewis (Stamford, Conn./King School) – 6'3", 215 lbs

A versatile athlete, Lewis was a three-time all-league performer at King School, shining at both the tight end and linebacker spots. He twice earned All-New England accolades and was the team's leading receiver during his senior season. Lewis also excelled in the classroom, earning high honor roll marks throughout his high school career. He received interest from Cornell, Stony Brook and Syracuse among others. 

LB Chase McGowan (Stafford, Va./North Stafford), 6'1", 230 lbs

Serving as team captain during his junior and senior seasons, McGowan backed it up with his play on the field, earning First Team All-Region and First Team All-District honors during both his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, he piled up over 75 tackles, 23 sacks, 15 TFLs and seven forced fumbles en route to First Team All-State accolades. McGowan received interest from Saint Francis, Lehigh, Richmond, Army, New Hampshire and Morgan State, among others.

DL Akie Nance (Newark, N.J./Newark Collegiate Academy) – 6'3", 275 lbs

A fast-rising defensive line prospect, Nance burst onto the scene as a starter during his sophomore year, both on the offensive and defensive line. He twice earned First Team All-Conference and All-County on the defensive side of the ball, while racking up over 50 tackles and seven sacks during his senior year. Nance is a cum laude student at Newark Collegiate Academy and received interest from Temple, Rutgers, Monmouth, Syracuse, Stony Brook, Cornell and Richmond, among others. 

QB Cade Pribula (York, Pa./Central York) – 6'1", 200 lbs

Pribula brings quite a pedigree from his high school career, where he set league records for most passing TDs (65) and yards (6,782) in a career. He was a three-time all-league honoree and finished his time at Central York by throwing for 2,866 yards and 31 TDs as a senior. He also rushed for over 1,000 yards and 17 TDs during his career. Pribula was also a star on the basketball court, starting three years at Central York. He earned Distinguised Honor Roll every semester of his high school career and received interest from Albany, Buffalo and Sacred Heart. 

TE/FB Mateo Vandamia (Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny) – 6'2", 225 lbs

A star on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, Vandamia helped his West Allegheny team to the WPIAL Class 5A state finals during his senior season. Offensively, he had 28 catches for 355 yards and five TDs to earn a spot on the Trib 25 All Star list. He led the team in both receptions and tackles (95). In his three years as a starter, he caught nearly 100 balls for 1,358 ayrds and 14 TDs. 

RB Quincy Watson (Norristown, Pa./Malvern Prep) – 5'9", 180 lbs

The Watson family legacy continues with Blue Hen football with Quincy, following his dad, Rowan's footsteps to Newark. Rowan was a member of the program from 1988-91 on the defensive side of the ball. Quincy brings with him a three-time all-league high school career. He helped his team to three straight Inter-Ac league titles, while piling up nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards in both his junior and senior seasons. He received interest from Brown, Bucknell, Colgate, Darmouth, Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Rhode Island, Robert Morris and Sacred Heart. 

OL Owen Zechman (Middleburg, Pa./East Juniata) – 6'4", 275 lbs

Zechman was a versatile athlete at East Juniata, starring on the football, wrestling and track teams during his high school career. On the gridiron, he earned all-conference and All Tri-Valley accolades for his play on the defensive side of the ball and as a tight end. Zechman will add athleticism and strength to the Blue Hens offensive line unit. 

Players Mentioned

Bradly Anyanwu
6' 3"
290 lbs

Will Bowen
6' 6"
230 lbs

Ayinde Budd
6' 5"
205 lbs

Nick Coomer
6' 4"
285 lbs

Mekai Davis
6' 0"
180 lbs

Levaughn Lewis
6' 3"
210 lbs

Chase McGowan
6' 1"
230 lbs

Akie Nance
6' 3"
275 lbs

Cade Pribula
6' 1"
200 lbs

Quincy Watson
5' 9"
180 lbs

Former Blue Hen Joe Purzycki tells his story in book
Dec 15th, 2018 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

The whole experiment almost blew up as soon as it started.

Joe Purzycki knew he was wasn’t a popular choice to be Delaware State’s head football coach in 1980.

But it wasn’t until he got to campus that it really sank in.

Seventeen scholarship players quit the team in Purzycki’s first two days in Dover. And there were student protests — some involving his own players.

Purzycki remembers going to DSU athletic director Nelson Towsend at the end of his second day and having a heart to heart.

“I said, ‘Nelson, I don’t know if this is going to work,’” the 71-year-old Purzycki recalls now. “It was kind of like sitting in front of your dad or your big brother while he tells you about life. It was just amazing.

“He said, ‘We are not letting a bunch of 18-year-old kids tell us what to do.’ He would say all the time, ‘Joe, you and I have bigger things to accomplish here.’”

Purzycki stayed, of course, and the outline of that story is well-known in Delaware.

The white coach stayed at the historically black school and led the Hornets for four seasons, turning them into a winner by the time he left to take a job at James Madison.

Now, though, the story of what took place at DSU in the early 1980s has been put into a book, “Mr. Townsend & The Polish Prince.” The book, which was recently released, was written by Mike Gastineau in collaboration with Purzycki.

One of the reasons the book was able to be written in detail is that Puryzcki kept a journal during his time at DelState, then known as Delaware State college.

“Mike Gastineau asked me, ‘Joe, why did you keep a journal?’” said Purzycki. “I said, ‘Mike, because what I was going through was so unusual that, I thought, while I was living it, that this is an amazing story. I’ve got to make sure I capture all this because most people don’t know what happened when I took the job. Most people don’t realize the adversity that we had to face — which was monumental.’”

Ultimately, Purzycki sees the story as one of redemption led by Townsend, who was trying to bring some respectability to a football program which had just two winning seasons in the last 25 seasons and was coming off an eye-opening 105-0 loss to Portland State.

Townsend, who was DSU’s athletic director from 1979-86, passed away in 2015.

“To me he was one of the most courageous men I’ve ever known and a really good man,” said Purzycki. “We were able to really put our differences aside and focus more on what he and I had in common, what we shared and what we believed in.”

Townsend and Purzycki were both met with open hostility at the time — from within the DelState community as well as from other teams.

Purzycki’s office was broken into and ransacked. The ‘Polish Prince’ was a derogative nickname given to the former Woodbridge and Caesar Rodney High head coach by the DSU school newspaper.

Purzycki said Gastineau interviewed 45 former players for the book. He said there were some stories even he hadn’t heard before.

Purzycki said one of the other candidates for the job, future Florida A&M coach Billy Joe, was with the DelState players in their dorm when Townsend told them who he had hired.

“They went crazy, there were riots in the dorm,” said Purzycki. “They were screaming at Nelson. I didn’t know any of that.

“I knew there were problems that night because Nelson told me. But hearing it from the players was very different.”

For his part, Purzycki said he understood the players’ frustration. At the time, there were only two black Division I head coaches in the country.

“It all made perfect sense to me,” said Purzycki. “But, by the third year, my color was insignificant.”

While working on the book, Purzycki said he enjoyed hearing how many of his former players’ lives turned out. He’s proud of the number of them who graduated — a tradition continued under his successor, Bill Collick.

Purzycki said he’s Facebook friends with about 50 former players.

“They’re thrilled that the story is out,” said Purzycki. “We were able to build a team and set aside the color of our skin. We were able to set aside what had initially been a hurdle for me and turn it into a positive,”

Purzycki always remembers the words of former assistant coach Jeff Cannon when he had to cut a player who was trying to turn the team against the coaching staff.

“I said, ‘Jeff, what did you say to him?’” said Purzycki. “He said, ‘Joe, I told him we are much better off if we focus more on what we have in common than that which divides us.’ ”

Purzycki, who’s been an executive in banking and credit cards since 1990, calls coaching at DelState “the most rewarding thing I ever did in my professional life.”

“You don’t know how strong you are until you’re really up against a lot of adversity,” he said. “They say the strongest steel is made in the greatest heat. I think that’s where I grew. I think I was in white-hot heat and that made me a stronger person.

“I have no regrets whatsoever. It’s why I always wanted to tell the story.”

Extra points

• Senior Aniah Patterson recently became just the second player in St. Thomas More girls’ basketball history to score 1,000 career points.

Aniah Patterson

“Since the first day Aniah walked into the STMA gym her freshman year, she showed she was a natural born leader. Her teammates always look to her for guidance and inspiration,” athletic director Tim Freud said in a press release.

• Despite missing three games due to injury, former Delaware standout running back Wes Hills broke the school record by running for 1,734 yards with 17 TDs on 246 carries for Slippery Rock this past fall. Slippery Rock went 11-3 and reached the NCAA Division II quarterfinals.

• Dover High’s unbeaten boys’ basketball team has just one home between now and Jan. 19. That lone home date is against William Penn on Jan. 4.

• With Delaware football head coach Danny Rocco in the market for a new offensive coordinator, it’s worth noting that his son, David, is the co-OC and quarterbacks coach at FCS Division I Western Illinois.

Adderley Earns AP All-American Honors
12/13/2018 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – Since his arrival on campus Nasir Adderley of the University of Delaware football program has been accomplishing things that hadn't been done in a long time.

That streak continued this week when he became the first Blue Hen since 2015 to earn an Associated Press All-American accolades when he was named to the Second Team.

"I'm incredibly humbled and grateful for this recognition. I've been blessed with a ton of support and teammates and coaches that have pushed me every day to be the best I could possibly be," Adderley said. 

This past year, the Philadelphia, Pa. native finished the year with a career-high 87 tackles, which ranked in the top-20 nationally for defensive backs. He also had a team-high four INTs and seven pass break-ups, to go along with his one forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Adderley is the only player in the country with over 160 tackles and nine INTs over the past two seasons. 

He will now focus on the Reese's Senior Bowl, in which he will make it two straight years that Delaware has been represented at the prestigious pre-NFL draft event. 


James Madison University silences Hens’ playoff run
Nov 24th, 2018 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Delaware’s defense probably played tough enough to win a playoff game on Saturday.

Unfortunately, for the Blue Hens, so did James Madison’s.

And the Dukes’ offense was good enough to make the difference as No. 6 JMU finally put away No. 21 Delaware, 20-6, in the first round of the NCAA FCS Division I football playoffs on a cold, damp Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium.

Despite struggling mightily to move the ball at all in the first two quarters, the Hens (7-5) trailed the Dukes (9-3) by only a 12-6 margin early in the third quarter. But Delaware couldn’t get any closer as the program’s first playoff appearance since 2010 ended in one game.

“I was extremely proud of our defense,” said Blue Hens coach Danny Rocco. “Our defense fought hard for 60 minutes. We had a lot of seniors out there.

Delaware QB Pat Kehoe returned on Saturday after being cleared from concussion protocol. He completed 13-of-32 passes for 116 yards with a pair of interceptions. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

“They competed hard. It was very important to them and I thought, defensively, we gave our team a chance today.”

JMU, which has played in the last two FCS national championship games, finished with commanding advantages of 316-185 in total yards, 23-12 in first downs and 15 minutes in time of possession.

The Hens went three-and-out on each of their first six possessions — which included a safety on a sack in the end zone. With two minutes left in the first half, Delaware still didn’t have a first down or a pass completion and had amassed just eight yards.

But when the Hens scraped together an eight-play, 44-yard drive late in the second quarter, Jake Roth’s 48-yard field goal pulled Delaware within 12-3 at halftime.

When the Hens then put together a five-play, 52-yard march early in the third quarter, Frank Raggo’s 37-yard field goal closed the gap to just 12-6 with 9:10 remaining in the third quarter.

“I did feel like we were going to break through, I really did,” said Rocco.

JMU, though, answered with a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive to take control. Jake Brown’s eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben DiNucci (23-of-31, 223 yards) gave the Dukes their 20-6 advantage with 4:09 remaining in the third quarter.

Delaware had one more good scoring opportunity when senior linebacker Charles Bell scooped up a JMU fumble and returned it to the Dukes’ 34 with 1:31 left in the third quarter.

Blue Hens’ linebacker Charles Bell can’t quite get to James Madison Ben DiNucci on Saturday. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

A 13-yard gain on a reverse by freshman Austin Haverstrom got the Hens to the 21. The drive, however, stalled there.

Rocco thought about kicking another field goal on a fourth-and-14 but decided to go for it. The drive ended harmlessly with an incomplete pass.

“I don’t know what I might have changed as I look back at it,” said Rocco. “There are a couple decisions that maybe I’d make a little differently. But I didn’t really feel like we were going to get the ball in the end zone very often.

“Maybe I should have kicked a third field goal there but, at the end of the day, that wasn’t going to win the game for us. We had opportunities, we just never really moved into that moment when the opportunities presented themselves.”

JMU was averaged 190 rushing yards per game but was limited to just 93 by the Hens on Saturday. Delaware had a goal line stand, stopping the Dukes at the one-yard line in the second quarter.

Senior linebacker Troy Reeder finished his career with a game-high 16 tackles. While he was proud of the Hens’ defensive effort on Saturday, he said the goal was to win the game, not just keep it close.

“Obviously our defense was succeeding at certain points,” said Reeder. “We tried getting everyone on the same page and playing well at the same time and do whatever we could do to get a spark and win the game.”

Danny Rocco led the Hens to a 7-5 record and their first playoff berth in eight years in his third season as head coach. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

Early in the week, there was a lot of question about who Delaware would have at quarterback against JMU.

Starter Pat Kehoe was knocked out of last week’s game with Villanova and was still in concussion protocol. The Hens’ next two QBs, J.P. Caruso (shoulder) and Nolan Henderson (ankle), were both sidelined with injuries.

But Kehoe was able to take part in practice most of the week and was finally cleared to play on Saturday.

Unfortunately for the junior, the Dukes kept the pressure on him most of the afternoon. He completed only 13-of-32 passes for 116 yards with two interceptions and five sacks — including the one for a safety.

“JMU did a great job of staying in their rush lanes and applying the pressure,” said Kehoe, who was also playing with a partially torn knee ligament. “The guys on the perimeter did a good job of coverage and made it tough for our guys to get open.

“When we were able to, I’d like to think we did a decent job of moving the ball through the air a little bit. But, honestly, it wasn’t good enough today.”

While Delaware had reached the national title game in three of its last four FCS playoff appearances, there was no realistic chance of that happening this time. The Hens finished the season on a three-game losing streak.

Delaware seniors hope, however, that this was a good start in getting the program back on track.

“We beat the No. 5 team in the country, we beat the No. 10 team in the country and just gave JMU a run for their money,” said Reeder, who transferred from Penn State three years ago. “We made the postseason. Those are two big check marks.

“I think we took a big step forward this year. I’m really proud and happy that I came back and was able to be a part of that in some small way.”

Extra points

UD senior linebacker Buck Jones was ejected from the contest in the first half after being called for targeting on a hit on DiNucci. … The Hens had won six straight first-round playoff games since falling to Marshall and star receiver Randy Moss in 1986. … DeJoun Lee ran the ball 12 times but netted just 27 yards. Andre Robinson had 30 yards on six carries. …. Receiver Joe Walker was actually Delaware’s leading rusher after gaining 38 yards on a reverse. … Defensive lineman Caleb Ashworth (11) and Bell (10) also joined Reeder in reaching double digits in tackles.
Defensive Dominance Propels #6 JMU Past #21 Delaware in FCS First Round

HARRISONBURG, Va. – Sixth-ranked James Madison limited Delaware to a pair of field goals and 185 total yards en route to a 20-6 triumph in the first round of the 2018 NCAA FCS Playoffs on Saturday evening at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field.

The Dukes improve to 9-3 on the year after conceding the fewest points in a single playoff game in program history. The Blue Hens season ends at 7-5.


JMU allowed just 69 rushing yards, limiting Delaware to just 2.8 yards per carry. The Blue Hens converted just 2-of-14 on third down and the Dukes registered five sacks and 10 tackles for loss with a pair of interceptions.
The Dukes dominated the first half defensively, as UD gained just 52 yards of offense with two first downs, grabbing a 12-3 halftime lead.
In the second half, JMU forced two turnovers on downs and produced a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions to seal the win.
Jimmy Moreland posted a season-high 10 tackles with 2.5 for loss and a half sack. Landan Word and Dimitri Holloway each had eight stops and 1.5 tackles for loss.
John Daka tied his career high with 2.0 sacks, while Paris Black and Darrious Carter both added another.
Charles Tutt recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter and added a career-high three pass breakups, while Wayne Davis secured the win with a late-game interception, the second of his career.
Offensively, Ben DiNucci was 23-of-31 for 223 yards and a touchdown.
Three receivers tallied five catches in the win, as Kyndel Dean had a game-high 64 yards, while Riley Stapleton and Jake Brown each had 43 yards. Brown tacked on his second career touchdown catch in the third quarter and Stapleton's second grab was the 100th of his career.
Trai Sharp led the game with 42 rushing yards, DiNucci had 29 and Marcus Marshall ran for 28 yards and a score.


1:48 (1st): JMU opened the scoring with an Ethan Ratke 23-yard field goal
10:31 (2nd): The Dukes extended the lead to 5-0 after John Daka sacked Pat Kehoe in the end zone, registering JMU's first safety since Sept. 16, 2017 against Norfolk State.
1:58 (2nd): Returning from injury, Marcus Marshall bulldozed his way in from four yards out, making it 12-0 in favor of JMU
:27 (2nd): Delaware trimmed the JMU lead to 12-3 at the break with a Jake Roth 48-yard field goal.
9:10 (3rd): Frank Raggo drained a 37-yard field goal to make it a one-score game, bringing UD to within 12-6.
4:09 (3rd): JMU answered with a 13-play, 75-yard drive spanning over five minutes to make it a two-touchdown lead. Ben DiNucci capped off the drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jake Brown. The Dukes converted the two-point try, as DiNucci hooked up with Dylan Stapleton.


JMU dominated the time of possession, possessing the ball for 37:04, compared to UD's 22:56.
The Dukes held Delaware to only six yards in the first quarters and the Hens did not achieve a first down until their seventh offensive drive.
JMU had 23 first downs, compared to 12 for the visitors.
Ethan Ratke's first-quarter field goal was the 15th of his season, tying him for the JMU single-season record with three other players.
UD's Pat Kehoe was 13-of-32 for 116 yards and two interceptions. Vinny Papale had 44 receiving yards and Charles Scarff added 36. Troy Reeder paced the UD defense with a game-high 16 tackles.

image 39


JMU is now 9-4 all-time at home in the playoffs, including six-straight wins at Bridgeforth.
Improved to 5-0 vs. CAA teams in the postseason and 2-0 against Delaware in the playoffs
The six points allowed was the fewest JMU has given up in a playoff game, besting the seven points allowed in the 2017 Second Round against Stony Brook and in the 2016 Quarterfinals versus Sam Houston State.

JMU advances to next weekend's FCS Second Round, where it faces No. 8 seed Colgate. That game will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. in Hamilton, N.Y., and will be streamed on ESPN3.

Final Results
Team Statistics
Total Yards 185 316
Pass Yards 116 223
Rushing Yards 69 93
Penalty Yards 5-49 11-95
1st Downs 12 23
3rd Downs 2-14 7-16
4th Downs 0-2 0-1
TOP 22:56 37:04
Scoring Summary
1st Quarter
01:48 - JMU - Ethan Ratke 23 yd field goal 13 plays, 46 yards, TOP 5:44
0 3
2nd Quarter
10:31 - JMU - John Daka 6 yd safety
0 5
01:58 - JMU - Marcus Marshall 4 yd run (Ethan Ratke kick), 3 plays, 18 yards, TOP 1:21
0 12
00:27 - DELAWARE - Roth 48 yd field goal 8 plays, 44 yards, TOP 1:31
3 12
3rd Quarter
09:10 - DELAWARE - Raggo 37 yd field goal 5 plays, 52 yards, TOP 2:22
6 12
04:09 - JMU - Jake Brown 8 yd pass from Ben DiNucci (Dylan Stapleton pass) 13 plays, 75 yards, TOP 5:01
6 20

Invincible in his own right, Vinny Papale stars in senior season for Delaware
Kevin Tresolini, Delaware News Journal 
Nov. 21, 2018

Vinny Papale arrived at the University of Delaware with a familiar football name.

He will leave having cemented his own legacy by way of a memorable senior season.

Getting there was often taxing, as Papale’s freshman and sophomore seasons were cut short by injuries, and he was still recovering his junior year.

Well before that, Papale said, came the difficulty of proving he’d earned everything he accomplished in sports. Bearing that family name was sometimes a burden.

“Everyone always watching you,” Papale said, “and there was just always this thing that people thought I always got what I got just because I was Vince Papale’s son.” 

But as the Blue Hens embark on their first postseason voyage in eight years this week, their 2018 success was greatly influenced by Papale’s contributions at wide receiver.

Papale’s 33 catches have netted 574 yards and six touchdowns for Delaware (7-4). The Blue Hens visit James Madison (8-3) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the NCAA FCS Tournament’s first round.

The 6-1, 205-pound Papale’s ability to make difficult catches in traffic and in clutch situations have been common in Blue Hen highlights.

“He just makes me so goddamn proud I want to cry,” his dad, "The Invincible" Vince Papale, said.
Vince (left) and Vinny Papale at the Super Bowl.Buy Photo

Vince (left) and Vinny Papale at the Super Bowl. (Photo: Kevin Tresolini, The News Journal)

Vince Papale, now 72, made headlines in 1976 when he earned a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles roster at age 30, though he hadn’t played college football.

Papale had earlier made the World Football League’s Philadelphia Bell after playing semi-pro. He spent three years with the Eagles as a special teamer and wide receiver.

His story later inspired the 2006 Disney film “Invincible,” which introduced Papale to a whole new generation.

The word that’s so linked to Vince Papale is an even better description for his son, the father insists.


Veteran defense must live up to reputation at JMU

Rocco hopeful for QB's return

Delaware Stadium makeover to get under way

“Couple of the words that I put up when I define invincibility are resiliency and perseverance, the ability to come back,” said Vince Papale, who is a motivational speaker. “That quality of never quitting. You just keep driving. That’s a quality that’s been ingrained in him.”

Vinny’s mother, Janet, also fit that description. She was a national-level gymnast who got hurt and then became a record-setting diver at Penn State.

“I tell (Vinny), ‘I’m in awe of you, because you never felt sorry for yourself. You never had this woe-is-me kinda thing,” said Vince Papale, who was joined at Saturday’s Villanova game by his former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil and teammate Ron Jaworski.

At Delaware, Vinny Papale suffered a stress fracture in his fibula in his freshman preseason camp that then became a season-ending break in October. He played in five games with one start and had one 28-yard reception.
Delaware receiver Vinny Papale pulls in a touchdown pass in the third quarter against Towson at Delaware Stadium.Buy Photo

Delaware receiver Vinny Papale pulls in a touchdown pass in the third quarter against Towson at Delaware Stadium. (Photo: WILLIAM BRETZGER, The News Journal)

As a sophomore in 2016, Papale started Delaware’s first six games, catching three passes for 42 yards. But he tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee at William and Mary on Oct. 15.

It was suggested he red-shirt in 2017, but Papale wanted to play. First-year coach Danny Rocco also wanted him to play.

“I didn’t feel like I was the football player that I had the potential of being, what I had envisioned,” Papale said of those first two years. “I definitely was down in the dumps at some points, especially with a new coach coming in, me being injured coming off surgery. I was like, 'How is he gonna know who I am and how is he gonna know what I can do?'”

Rocco assured Papale he had faith in him.

“He believed in me from the very beginning, which to me sort of just gave me that life again,” said Papale, who said that was “something I can never really repay him for.”

Delaware tight end Charles Scarff is upended after a catch in the second quarter of the Blue Hens' 42-21 loss at Delaware Stadium Saturday. WILLIAM BRETZGER, The News Journal

Papale had 15 catches for 178 yards last year, while still not 100 percent physically, as Delaware continued to struggle getting its passing game to soar.

Pat Kehoe’s insertion into the starting quarterback spot this year revitalized Delaware’s aerial attack and helped Papale reach his potential.

“I always knew what I could bring to the table, the ability that I have,” said Papale, who now has NFL ambitions of his own. “Just to see everything unfold the way it has this year, it’s sort of hard to describe having the season that I’m having. It’s definitely fun and it feels everything that has happened in the past just sort of was worth it almost.”

Papale, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, missed the last half of his senior season at Bishop Eustace High after breaking his collarbone. He was a wideout, cornerback and returner and was able to return for his final game just to punt (he was also a lacrosse standout).

After his senior season, he was selected for a USA Football under-19 team that played other national squads the following February. Papale was at Texas Stadium in Arlington, wearing his USA jersey, when he signed his Delaware letter of intent.

“He has a very special story if you know anything about him,” said Delaware fifth-year senior safety Malcolm Brown. “As a person and as a player, he’s gone through a lot here but he’s emerged as one of the best receivers in this conference. He’s very difficult to stop, makes every contested catch. He’s one of the most consistent guys I’ve ever seen.

“I love watching him play every week. He’s a guy you know you can count on and those are the best guys to have on your team.’’

Transforming UD Athletics - Renovation of Delaware Stadium and creation of the Whitney Athletic Center:
Article by Athletics Department Staff Architectural 
November 17, 2018

The moment is now for the University of Delaware Athletics Department.

Renovation of Delaware Stadium and creation of the Whitney Athletic Center will begin at the conclusion of the 2018 football season. The projects are the focus of the $60 million Build Our Home fundraising initiative for athletics, which is one of the priorities of Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware.

The Whitney Athletic Center, which will be completed by the summer of 2020, will provide academic support and athletic training and well-being facilities for student-athletes. The center will be named for UD alumnus and Board of Trustees member Kenneth C. Whitney, Class of 1980, and his wife, Elizabeth K. Whitney, in recognition of their cornerstone gift of $10 million.

“The Whitney Athletic Center will play an essential role in helping ensure the success of our student-athletes, both in competition and in the classroom,” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “Ken and Liz Whitney have demonstrated their deep commitment to our students through their generous gift, and we appreciate everyone who has followed their lead in supporting this project.”

The Whitneys said a strong athletics program is integral to the unique student experience offered by UD.

“We are proud to support the Blue Hens of today and tomorrow through the building of a new athletic center,” Ken Whitney said. “We are excited in knowing the multiple ways this facility will enhance the student-athlete experience at the University for years to come, as we strongly believe in the positive impact athletics can have across an entire university community and beyond.”

Last November, when the Delaware First campaign was launched publicly, the project was 80 percent toward its goal. The project is now over 95 percent of the way toward its fundraising goal, leaving $3 million still to raise. 

“Now that we’re in the final stretch of fundraising, we need the UD community to help us over the finish line,” Assanis said. “Our student-athletes depend on our support, and I am confident that we will succeed in reaching our goal.”

Chrissi Rawak, director of Athletics and Recreation Services, said, “We are grateful for the commitment shown by our donors to this project. As we work every day to be a national model for student success, seeking comprehensive excellence in all we do, this facility will serve as the lifeblood for those efforts, positively impacting our student-athletes and fans for years to come.”

Rawak also said, “This is a transformational moment that would not have been possible without the leadership of this University and we are extremely appreciative of our Board of Trustees and President Assanis for their ongoing support.”

The Athletic Department will release ticket and parking information for current and new football season ticket members in January. The completion of the west side stands and the press box is set for the fall of 2019. The Whitney Athletic Center will be completed by the summer of 2020.
Building Our Home

The plan to rebuild and reinvest in athletic facilities is intended to enhance the experience of the entire Blue Hens community and includes several phases. During this first phase, fans, students and student-athletes will see the following changes:

Renovating the west side of Delaware Stadium.

Chair backs for all seats in the middle three sections (C, D, E).

Upgraded restrooms and concessions.

Stadium Club space with bar, food and exclusive club seating.

Enhanced press box, including game-day production spaces and coaches’ booths.

Construction of a new athletic center for all UD student-athletes that will extend along the stadium’s western facade to include:

Student Success Center

Integrated space for academic support, career preparation and leadership development.

Tutoring, mentoring, academic advising and study areas.

Academic lounge to build community and foster inter-team bonding.

Multipurpose rooms for guest lectures and press conferences.

Health & Well-Being Center:

10,000-square-foot strength and conditioning space to accommodate multiple teams simultaneously.

Enhanced athletic training space with satellite area for physical therapy partnership.

Grab-and-go healthy food options selected by a UD nutritionist.

Sports psychology areas to provide mental health resources through private consultations, team workshops and athlete educational sessions.

Hydrotherapy tubs for rejuvenation and therapeutic needs.

A key addition to the athletics campus will be the new 10,000-square-foot strength and conditioning space to meet the needs of every Blue Hen student-athlete. Inside, more than 100 can lift weights simultaneously, eliminating the present need for separate shifts to allow everyone use of the facilities. The new space will also house a much larger training room, which will get rid of long lines that stretch into the hallway during midday practices.

In addition, the center will have an X-ray machine, hydrotherapy tubs, computer stations and more academic resource space. It will also house offices for health and wellness (strength and conditioning, athletic training, sports medicine, nutrition and sports psychology), as well as student success (academic support, leadership development and career preparation), and include common areas so that all UD student-athletes can spend more time together across teams. Perhaps most importantly, the new athletic center will bring together the entire athletic community and save student athletes a considerable amount of travel time by centralizing all resources in a single, state-of-the-art facility.

To maximize use of these new resources, the athletic department will make the new hydrotherapy tubs available to UD’s Physical Therapy Clinic, the nation’s No. 1 ranked program, and the stadium’s club level will be available to rent for private events such as weddings and banquets.

Ground-floor kitchen space will be used to teach student-athletes healthy cooking techniques (using food grown at the nearby College of Agriculture and Natural Resources) when they are not being used to prepare food for the concession stands on game days.

HOK has been contracted as the architect, while EDiS/Barton Malow will be the construction firm completing this phase.

This portion of the project is the first of several phases which will enhance the Dave Nelson Athletics Complex as a whole. Following the completion of fundraising, for Phase 1, focus will shift to future phases of Build Our Home, which will include the Delaware Field House and seating on the east side and in the endzones of Delaware Stadium.
About Delaware First

Delaware First will strengthen the Blue Hen nation and raise funds to support student scholarships, endowed professorships, graduate fellowships, research, facilities and experiential learning opportunities across UD.

The Campaign will also help establish several potential programs to enhance graduate education, initiatives around innovation and entrepreneurship, partnerships through the Biden Institute and the construction of several new buildings around campus, including the biopharmaceutical building on STAR campus, as well as UD athletic facilities, among other strategic projects.

To stay updated on the campaign or learn how to get involved, visit www.udel.edu/delawarefirst
Blue Hens are back in the playoffs, will face JMU
Nov 18th, 2018 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK – The Delaware football team is back in the playoffs.

The Blue Hens (7-4) will make their first appearance since 2010 when they travel to James Madison (8-3) next Saturday for a 3 p.m. first-round NCAA FCS Division I game against the Dukes as part of the 24-team bracket that was announced this afternoon.

The NCAA doesn’t match up teams from the same conference in the opening round except when those teams didn’t face each other during the regular season. Delaware didn’t face the Dukes this season in their Colonial Athletic Association schedule this year.

A record six CAA squads made the 24-team playoff field this year with regular-season champion Maine the only one earning one of the eight first-round byes.

JMU has been considered the league’s top team the last two seasons, reaching the national championship game two years in a row.

The Hens finished in a three-way tie for third place in the Colonial Athletic Association. Delaware, Stony Brook and Towson all went 5-3 in conference, 7-4 overall and all went 1-1 against each other.

Delaware was ranked No. 10 by the NCAA playoff committee in its one mid-season poll. But that was before the Hens lost their last two games, to Stony Brook and Villanova.

The Hens last played in the NCAA playoffs in 2010 when they lost to Eastern Washington, 20-19, in the FCS national championship game. Delaware has reached the national title game in three of its last four playoff appearances.
Playoff Brackets here:
Blue Hens pounded by Villanova 42-21
Nov 17th, 2018 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

Blue Hen safety Nasir Adderley, who had a game-high 11 tackles, celebrates a play with teammate Justis Henley on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

NEWARK — For the first time in three months, Villanova looked like the football team that toppled Temple in its season opener.

And it came just in time for the Wildcats to handle Delaware.

Of course.

In what is becoming an all-too familiar nightmare for Blue Hen fans, Villanova rose to the challenge and Delaware didn’t as the Wildcats dumped the No. 17 Hens, 42-21, in the regular-season finale before a crowd of 18,752 at Delaware Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

For Villanova (2-6 CAA, 5-6 overall), it was its seventh-straight win in the series — the longest for either team in the 52-game rivalry — and its 11th victory over Delaware (5-3 CAA, 7-4 overall) in the last 12 meetings.

The only lingering question is whether the Hens’ resume is good enough to get them in the NCAA FCS Division I playoffs for the first time since 2010. The 24-team bracket is slated to be revealed today starting at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

What was pretty clear on Saturday afternoon, though, was the fact that Delaware got out-played again by the Wildcats.

“Defensively I never felt like we were able to get stops when we needed to get stops,” said Blue Hens coach Danny Rocco. “And, for all the things that may have happened out there today, that’s probably the most disappointing — even disturbing thing — for me. We just were unable to get off the field when we had to get off the field.

“I’m very disappointed,” he added. “I’m very humbled by the result.”

Villanova out-gained the Hens 459 yards to 344. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that senior quarterback Zach Bednarczyk (12-for-22 for 269 yards, 1 TD) was back on the field after missing three of four games with an injury in mid-season.

Delaware receiver Joe Walker looks back at Villanova defender Nowoola Awapetu as he crosses thee goal line on a 43-yard TD catch. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

Coach Mark Ferrante said Villanova had 21 of its original 22 starters on Saturday — the most its had since the third week of the season.

“Especially after the Temple game, I had high hopes for our offense,” said Bednarczyk. “But things didn’t go according to plan. I think we showed what we were capable of all year.”

“The quarterback’s the guy that makes that offense go,” said Hens’ senior linebacker Charles Bell. “And probably one of the best games he played was against us today.”

On the other hand, Delaware lost its starting QB, Pat Kehoe, to a concussion less than 10 minutes into the contest. Rocco also revealed that Kehoe has been playing with a partially torn knee ligament for the past couple weeks.

The Hens then went with former Smyrna High standout Nolan Henderson. But the redshirt freshman, who was seeing his first real collegiate action, left the game after taking a hard hit the second quarter.

Delaware did have some success with senior J.P. Caruso in the second quarter before Henderson returned and played the whole second half. He completed 12-of-22 passes for 152 yards with a touchdown and also gained 58 yards on 10 carries.

But Henderson, who was sacked four times, also lost 22 yards as well as a fumble.

Freshman Nolan Henderson, the former Smyrna High standout, saw his first significant college action on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

“I thought he responded admirably,” said Rocco. “To be quite frank, he gave us a chance. That’s why I’m disappointed in our defense.”

Henderson’s highlight came when he fired a 43-yard strike to receiver Joe Walker for a TD with 2:56 left in the third quarter. The touchdown pulled Delaware within 28-21.

The Wildcats, however, responded with a 75-yard scoring drive that took just eight plays and 3:40. It pushed Villanova’s advantage to 35-21 with 14:16 remaining.

“I just tried to go in there and make plays, be myself and try not to think too much,” said Henderson. “At first I felt a little out of sorts. But I feel like I settled down a little bit and got to what makes me, me.

“Throwing that ball (to Walker) and making it a one-score game, I felt like it rejuvenated our sideline. It felt like it gave us enough momentum to get back in the game. But we didn’t make enough plays at the end.”

The day actually got off to a good start when DeJoun Lee broke off a 38-yard scoring run to give the Hens a quick 7-0 lead. Lee, who started in place of the injured Kani Kane, finished with 98 yards and two TDs on 14 carries.

But Villanova’s Aaron Forbes was even better, running for 138 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. The senior totaled 278 rushing yards in his last two games against Delaware.

Now all the Hens can do is wait until the NCAA playoff bracket is revealed to see if their season is over or not.

Rocco said again on Saturday that he thinks there are 7-4 teams from the CAA who will make the field. Regular-season champion Maine and James Madison,,both 8-3, are locks.

Stony Brook, Delaware and Towson are all 7-4 and all went 1-1 against each other.

“A team in this league that’s 5-3 (in the CAA) or 7-4 is worthy of strong consideration,” said Rocco. “And if the (overall) pool is not real strong, then I don’t know how you turn away multiple teams from our league that are 7-4.”

Extra points

The Hens have posted back-to-back seven-win seasons for the first time since 2011. … Delaware turned the ball over four times in the game to none for the Wildcats. … Kane did see action as a blocker but didn’t carry the ball on Saturday. … Walker finished with 108 yards on five receptions. … Safety Nasir Adderley collected a team-high 11 tackles. … Charles Scarff has 40 catches this season, the most for a Delaware tight end since current Baltimore Raven Nick Boyle had 42 in 2013.
Nova Football Tallies Seventh Straight Win Over Delaware
Wildcats Record 459 Yards of Total Offense In The Win
11/17/18 - https://villanova.com/

NEWARK, DEL. – Senior running back Aaron Forbes (Newburgh, N.Y.) ran for 138 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, senior quarterback Zach Bednarczyk (Wallington, N.J.) threw for 269 yards and a score and junior linebacker Drew Wiley (Pennington, N.J.) had eight tackles, two sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery and Villanova (5-6, 2-6 CAA) won the Battle of the Blue Trophy for the seventh straight year with a 42-21 win over Delaware (7-4, 5-3) in a game played at Delaware Stadium. This is the 12th time in the last 13 years that the Wildcats have won their annual rivalry game versus the Blue Hens, and the 11th time Villanova has won the Battle of the Blue game since the moniker was adopted in 2007

After Delaware scored on the opening drive to take a 7-0 lead, Villanova ran off 21 unanswered points to take a 21-7 halftime lead. The Wildcat touchdowns included a six-yard run by Bednarczyk, a one-yard run by Forbes and a one-yard run by senior Matt Gudzak (Toms River, N.J.).

The Blue Hens cut the Villanova lead to 21-14 at the 8:56 mark of the third quarter when Dejoun Lee scored on a two-yard run. Villanova answered on its next possession when Forbes ran in from three yards out to put Villanova up 28-14 after a seven play, 70-yard drive. The key play of the drive was a 39-yard pass from Bednarczyk to Changa Hodge that set-up a first and goal at the three-yard line.

Delaware closed out the third quarter scoring when Joe Walker caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Nolan Henderson to pull the Blue Hens within seven at 28-21.

With momentum starting to swing to Delaware, the Wildcat senior trio of Bednarczyk, Forbes and senior tight end Ryan Bell (Basking Fridge, N.J.) took control of the game. Following a 31-yard reception by Bell that moved Villanova to the Delaware 27-yard line, Forbes caught a 17-yard pass from Bednarczyk that gave the 'Cats a first and goal at the 10-yard line. Two plays later Bednarczyk hit Bell with an 8-yard scoring strike and Villanova led 35-21 with 14:16 to play.

Each team traded punts before Villanova put the game away with 6:13 on the clock. Facing a third and five from its own 43-yard line, Delaware lost the ball on a bad snap and Wiley recovered at the Delaware 30-yard line. Three plays later Forbes had his third touchdown of the game when he scored on an 11-yard run with 4:42 remaining.

Villanova tallied 459 yards of total offense in the win, including 269 yards passing and 190 yards on the ground. Bell finished with four catches for 54 yards and a score, while senior Jarrett McClenton (Bensalem, Pa.) had two receptions for 94 yards, including an 81-yard catch that set-up his team's first touchdown. The 81-yard reception was the fifth longest pass play in school history.

The Wildcat defense tallied seven quarterback sacks and forced four Blue Hen turnovers with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
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5-game win streak is snapped at Stony Brook 17-3
Nov 10th, 2018 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

STONY BROOK, N.Y. — It felt almost like a playoff game.

The temperature was in the 40s, the wind was howling and for almost 30 minutes the defenses of nationally-ranked Delaware and Stony Brook dominated the other.

But the No. 11 Blue Hens’ offense never did come to life and the No. 12 Seawolves found the end zone a couple times in the second half as Stony Brook silenced Delaware, 17-3, in a blustery Colonial Athletic Association football showdown at LaVelle Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Hens (5-2 CAA, 7-3 overall), whose NCAA FCS Division I playoff hopes may now rest on beating Villanova next Saturday in their regular-season finale.

Delaware, which hosts the rival Wildcats on Saturday at noon, has lost six straight to Villanova and 11 of the last 12 meetings.

“Like I said in the locker room after the game, we’ve got a one-game season,” said Hens’ coach Danny Rocco. “That is what it is. We’ve got to be able to rebound here this week moving forward.

“I think eight wins is definitive (for making the playoffs). I’ve felt that from the very beginning.”

Blue Hen linebacker Ray Jones reacts to a defensive stop in Saturday’s game at Stony Brook. Delaware sports information/Jordan Burgess

On a day when the Hens were outgained 400 yards to 197, they did have four red-zone opportunities. But none of their drives finished inside the Seawolves’ 11 and when Frank Raggo made only a fourth-quarter field goal out of three attempts, Delaware didn’t have much to show for its opportunities.

“I think the most disappointing thing in the game was, offensively, we just never got anything that we could hang our hat on,” said Rocco. “We had some things in this week that we thought would generate some offense in the run game. They sniffed them out right from the very beginning and put us our heels a little bit.

“I don’t think Pat (Kehoe) played very well holistically,” Rocco said about his quarterback. “He held the ball on fourth down twice. … didn’t make a throw down the field and just things like that. I don’t know exactly where that needs to be communicated going forward this week.”

Kehoe completed just 9-of-27 passes for 103 yards with an interception. He was also sacked four times for losses totaling 34 yards.

One of the few bright spots for the Hens offensively was the play of sophomore DeJoun Lee. He ran for a team-high 71 yards on 15 carries while adding a 43-yard kickoff return.

“We knew that they were a really good red-zone defense,” said senior center Mario Farinella. “But we’ve got to score points, at the end of the day. … We’ve got to put six on the board instead of putting it in the hands of the kickers. We’ve got to finish our drives.

“You’ve got to stay ahead of the sticks. We weren’t able to do that today.”

Defensively, Delaware did some good things.

Stony Brook only took a 3-0 lead when it kicked a short field goal on the final play of the second quarter.

The Seawolves finally got the game’s first touchdown early in the third quarter. On a fourth-and-eight from the 27, QB Joe Carbone (16-for-23, 178 yards, one interception) threw up a pass over the middle that receiver Donavin Washington pulled in to give Stony Brook a 10-0 lead.

But the Seawolves also have the top two running backs in the league and eventually they seemed to wear down the Hens. Donald Liotine (27 carries-170 yards) gave Stony Brook some insurance when he burst up the middle for a 33-yard touchdown run with 5:27 left in the game.

“Every one of us has to look ourselves in the mirror and just figure out how we can get better,” said safety Nasir Adderley, who finished with a game-high 13 tackles and an interception. “They’re a physical team but, at the same time, that’s what we pride ourselves on doing. We’re physical. We enjoy that competition and going to war.”

As usual in the CAA, there’s a lot to be decided in the final weekend of the regular season next weekend.

Maine (6-1 CAA, 6-3 overall) is now alone in first place in the league standings while Delaware is one of three teams that is 5-2, 7-3. Rocco believes that the CAA will put five teams in the playoffs, with a couple of them probably having 7-4 records.

With Villanova scuffling along at 1-6 CAA, 4-6, the Hens should probably be favored next Saturday. But given their recent history with the Wildcats, Delaware’s players know better.

“We’ve got to get that ‘W,’” said Adderley, one of 29 seniors on the roster. “They want to knock us off. It’s always been a big rivalry. They don’t have anything to lose. We’ve got to be able to control our own destiny.

“We’ve got a chip on our shoulders. I mean Villanova’s always circled on the schedule, especially at this time of year when we’ve got playoffs at stake. We’re going to be ready.”

Extra points

While Saturday’s game marked the first time Delaware was held without a touchdown this season, its only TD against North Dakota State as scored by the defense. … Four Hens finished in double figures in tackles. Besides Adderley, that group included Caleb Ashworth (12), Troy Reeder (11) and Cam Kitchen (10). … Colby Reeder added a fumble recovery. … Tight end Charles Scarff had a team-high 43 yards on five catches. … Delaware wore its all-white uniforms in the game for the first time since losing to North Dakota State.
Seawolves Take Down No. 11 Delaware

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – It might have been the 400 yards of total offense or it could have been the relentless pursuit of the football by the defense, but both of these led to the 12th-ranked Stony Brook football team's 17-3 victory over No. 11 Delaware on Saturday afternoon at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. 

The Seawolves (7-3, 5-2 CAA Football) were led on offense by senior RB Donald Liotine's (Medford, N.Y.) 170 rushing yards that included a 33-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that helped seal the victory over the Blue Hens (7-3, 5-2 CAA Football). Senior QB Joe Carbone (Wethersfield, Conn.) tossed for 178 yards and a touchdown to senior WR Donavin Washington (Glendora, Calif. ).

Defensively, senior LB Noah McGinty (Carlsbad, Calif.) had nine total tackles with 2.0 tackles for a loss.


Stony Brook scored the lone first-half points when K Alex Lucansky knocked a 26-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired in the second quarter. The drive was 10 plays for 65 yards and took 1:57 off the clock. 
The Seawolves struck first in the second half when QB Joe Carbone found WR Donavin Washington in the end zone from 27 yards out on a fourth down play with 9:43 left in the third quarter. The PAT by K Alex Lucansky was good. The drive was eight plays for 68 yards and took 3:57 off the clock.
Delaware got on the board with 11:18 left in the fourth quarter when K Frank Raggo nailed a 28-yard field goal. The drive was 11 plays for 66 yards and lasted 4:54.
Stony Brook tacked on some insurance when RB Donald Liotine went 33 yards up the middle for the touchdown with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter. The PAT by K Alex Lucansky was good. The drive was four plays for 41 yards and took 1:19 off the clock.


Stony Brook gained 400 yards of total offense on 76 plays. Delaware had 201 yards of total offense on 61 plays.
The Seawolves had the ball for 33:01 minutes of the game.
PASSING: Stony Brook: 16-23-1 for 178 yards, one touchdown. Delaware: 9-27-1 for 103 yards.
RUSHING: Stony Brook: 53 carries for 222 yards, 1 touchdown. Delaware: 34 carries for 98 yards.
QB Joe Carbone had 178 passing yards with a touchdown.
WR Donavin Washington had three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. 
RB Donald Liotine collected 170 rushing yards on 27 carries with one touchdown.
LB Noah McGinty had nine total tackles, 0.5 sack and 2.0 TFL.

Head Coach Chuck Priore
"This was a good program win. We had a bitter taste in our mouths for two weeks after the loss at JMU. The kids handled the two weeks correctly. Our coaches did a phenomenal job preparing our kids for this game. Our kids played with a great focus and the one thing I asked them to do was to have fun. I think they had fun out there. At the end of the day they didn't allow anything to bother them. They just went out and played football."


Stony Brook's victory over Delaware improved the Seawolves to a perfect 5-0 at LaValle Stadium this season, the first unbeaten season at home since 2012.
Stony Brook has now won nine straight games at LaValle Stadium.
RB Donald Liotine reached 100-yards rushing against Delaware with 170 yards to mark the sixth 100-yard game of the season and 10 100-yard game of his career.
RB Donald Liotine now has 1,025 rushing yards this season and is the 11th player in school history to reach the milestone and the first since 2014 when Liotine's former teammate Stacey Bedell gained 1,070.
RB Donald Liotine scored the 22nd rushing touchdown of his career in the fourth quarter against Delaware to move into a tie for fifth place on Stony Brook's career list.
RB Donald Liotine now has 3,822 yards of total offensive (4th) in his career and 2,703 career rushing yards (4th) to go with 543 career rushing carries (4th).
QB Joe Carbone tossed a third-quarter touchdown pass to WR Donavin Washington for his 41st TD pass of his career. He sits fourth on Stony Brook's all-time list for touchdown passes. 
QB Joe Carbone collected 178 yards passing on 16-of-23 with now has 5,654 career passing yards (3rd), 482 pass completions (3rd) and 897 pass attempts (3rd) in his career.
LB Shayne Lawless collected seven total tackles against Delaware to move his career total to 277 and move him into a tie for fifth on Stony Brook's career list. Lawless also now has 38.5 career TFLs (4th) and 13.5 sacks (t10th).
LB Noah McGinty collected nine total tackles against the Blue Hens to bring his career total to 272 and move him into sixth place on Stony Brook's career list.
First time players on Saturday vs. Delaware: DB Randall Hepburn Jr.
Stony Brook honored 20 seniors prior to kickoff on Saturday: WR Donavin Washington, WR Kyle Vadis, DB CeQuan Jefferson, QB Joe Carbone, WR Marshall Ellick, WR Julius Wingate, RB Jordan Gowins, DB Tadarrian Luster, RB Donald Liotine, LB Deyshaun Tucker, LB Shayne Lawless, DL John Haggart, LB Noah McGinty, TE Cal Daniels, K Nick Courtney, K Alex Lucansky, P Marc Nolan, DS Anthony Santorelli, OL Jonathan Haynes and OL Chris Infantino.
Captains for today's game were QB Joe Carbone, TE Cal Daniels, DE John Haggart, LB Noah McGinty and LB Shayne Lawless.

Hens score with 18 seconds left, survive Albany 21-16
Nov 3rd, 2018 · by Delaware State News · Delaware State News

Delaware’s Kani Kane, a Sussex Tech High grad, is congratulated after the first of his two TDs on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Jordan Burgess

ALBANY, N.Y. — Danny Rocco presented his Delaware football players with a pretty simple scenario at halftime on Saturday.

“I said there are two options walking off the field tonight — only two options,” he told them. “The one is joy, the other is misery.”

In the end, the Blue Hens were pretty joyful when they walked off the turf at Casey Stadium on Saturday evening — but that’s because misery was definitely nipping at their heels.

Facing a big blow to its FCS playoff chances, No. 13 Delaware instead marched 83 yards in 11 plays to battle past underdog Albany, 21-16, for its fifth-straight Colonial Athletic Association victory.

Trailing 16-15, the Hens (5-1 CAA, 7-2 overall) were about ready to set up for a potential game-winning field goal. But senior running back Kani Kane got around the left side and raced in for a 14-yard touchdown run with just 18 seconds left for the game-winner.

The Hens’ DaJoun Lee returns a kickoff against Albany in Saturday’s game. Delaware sports information/Jordan Burgess

“I had to beat one corner,” said Kane, the Sussex Tech High grad. “And he went low on me — everyone goes low on me. I jumped over him and it was wide open.”

“You like it when you don’t have to make the decision,” Rocco said about the possibility of kicking a field goal. “Kani’s hard to bring down and he found himself in the end zone. It’ll be a fun busride home.”

Delaware started the day in a four-way tie for first place in the CAA standings but now finds itself in just a two-way tie with Maine, which is also 5-1 in league games.

In the most shocking upset of the CAA season, New Hampshire upended No. 3 James Madison, 35-24 on Saturday. Rocco pointed to that upset to show just how impressive it was that Delaware was able to rally past the Great Danes (0-6 CAA, 2-7 overall).

“I just know the alternatives,” he said. “You get exposed when you are under pressure. It exposes all of us. … What I’m seeing is our team is really growing and they’re changing. They’re able to overcome.”

Clearly, things didn’t look good for the Hens near the end. The game-winning drive started at their own 17 yard line with just 2:35 on the clock.

Blue Hen linebacker Charles Bell returns an interception 72 yards in the first half. Delaware sports information/Jordan Burgess

“We’ve been in this situation a couple times now this season,” said quarterback Pat Kehoe. “I just walked in the huddle and I told the guys I love them and I trust them. We have a good plan whenever we go in the two minute.

“I always feel confident when we get the ball back in those situations because I know we have guys on the edge who can make plays.”

Kehoe completed 5-of-7 passes for 56 yards on the final drive with Joe Walker catching four of those passes for 46 yards. Kane added four carries for 22 yards.

Until then, Albany kept the Hens’ offense in check most of the contest.

Delaware scored just the two touchdowns, both from Kane (19 carries-52 yards). On two straight first-half drives, the Great Danes stopped Kane a total of seven times from about the one-yard line.

Finally, the Bridgeville native got into the end zone on a one-yard run to give the Hens a 9-0 in the second quarter.

In between those two drives, Delaware got its first points on a safety when linebacker Buck Jones made a tackle in the end zone.

After Kane’s first TD, the Hens got only a pair of field goals from Frank Raggo (50, 33 yards) before their final game-winning march.
Albany finished with a 299-268 advantage in total offense.

Kehoe completed 16-of-35 passes for 174 yards with Walker pulling in five catches for 88 yards.

The Great Danes took their first lead of the day at 16-15 when Karl Mofor scored on a four-run run with 11:44 remaining.

In the end, though, Delaware found a way just to make it another ‘W.’

It’s the first time since 2004 that the Hens have won five straight conference games.

“This is hard — it’s extremely hard,” said Rocco. “It doesn’t get easier. It gets harder every week. The more you win, the harder it gets.”

Extra points

After Kane gave the Hens the lead, linebacker Troy Reeder sealed the win with an interception. He also had a team-high eight tackles. … Linebacker Charles Bell stopped another Albany drive with an interception at the goal line and returned it 72 yards. … Delaware plays a 1 p.m. game at Stony Brook next Saturday.
U of Albany Football rallies, but falls just short vs. No. 10 Delaware
UAlbany Sports Information 11-03-2018

Football score: No. 10 Delaware 21, UAlbany 16

Location: Tom & Mary Casey Stadium in Albany, N.Y.

Records: UAlbany 2-7, 0-6 CAA | Delaware 7-2, 5-1 CAA

Short story: The University at Albany football team rallied from 12 points down to take a fourth-quarter lead, but No. 13 Delaware’s touchdown with 18 seconds to play was the decisive score in the Blue Hens’ 21-16 victory Saturday in a CAA game at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. UAlbany players wore decals with the names of military members on the backs of their helmets as part of the program's annual "Military Appreciation Day."

Key stats

- Making his first career start, freshman quarterback Jeff Undercuffler competed 15-of-28 passes for 171 yards. He led a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters to allow UAlbany to take a 16-15 lead.

- UAlbany’s defense limited one of the CAA’s top offenses to 268 yards. The defensive effort was highlighted by a first-half goal-line stand during which the Great Danes stopped the Blue Hens on four straight plays from the 1-yard line. Danny Damico led UAlbany with 10 tackles (five solo).

- Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks (78 yards) and Karl Mofor (54) helped UAlbany gain 128 yards on the ground. Each ran for a touchdown.


Head Coach Greg Gattuso: “I thought we played really, really hard against a good football team. It’s just disappointing to lose a heartbreaker. This is the third one we’ve lost with less than 30 seconds on the clock. It takes a toll, but our kids keep fighting. I know we’re going to come back next week and play a great one.”


Facing the No. 13-ranked team in the country, the University at Albany football team rallied from a 12-point deficit behind a stout defense and a freshman quarterback making his first career start.

But Delaware’s Kani Kane scored with 18 seconds left on a 14-yard touchdown run to ultimately lift the first-place Blue Hens to a 21-16 victory in a Colonial Athletic Association game at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.

Jeff Undercuffler, making just his second collegiate appearance and first start at quarterback, completed 15-of-28 passes for 171 yards, and both Karl Mofor and Elijah Ibitokun Hanks ran for touchdowns for UAlbany on a blustery afternoon with sustained winds of 25 miles per hour.

The Great Danes fell for the fifth straight game while playing one of the most challenging schedules in the country down the stretch. They were facing a ranked opponent for the third consecutive week and still have games left against New Hampshire, which defeated No. 3-ranked James Madison on Saturday, and No. 16 Stony Brook.

Against Delaware, UAlbany took its first lead of the game, 16-15, on Mofor’s 4-yard touchdown run with 11:44 to go.

The Great Danes defense stopped Delaware’s next two drives three-and-out, but the Blue Hens got one more chance from their own 17-yard line with 2:35 to play. They ended up going 83 yards on 11 plays in 2 minutes, 17 seconds for what proved to be the winning score.

Delaware had led for most of the game after opening the scoring on a second-quarter safety. On the ensuing possession, Kane ran for his first touchdown from just 1 yard out, stretching the lead to 9-0.

After a Blue Hens’ field goal, UAlbany got on the board before halftime with Ethan Stark’s 21-yard kick. That score, which made it 12-3 Delaware at halftime, was set up by a drive that covered 70 yards on six plays in just 48 seconds. It included a key pass from Undercuffler to Jerah Reeves for 32 yards that moved UAlbany into Delaware territory.

Ibitokun-Hanks opened the second-half scoring with a 7-yard TD run that pulled UAlbany within 12-10 less than four minutes into the third quarter.

Delaware answered with a field goal with 3:01 left in the third to go ahead 15-10.

Looking ahead

UAlbany travels to Durham, N.H., to face New Hampshire at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. The Wildcats will be coming off a 35-24 win over No. 3 James Madison.
CAA Football Announces Schedule For 2019:

10/31/2018 Rob Washburn

RICHMOND, Va. (October 31, 2018) – CAA Football has released its schedule for the 2019 season, a slate that will be played over 13 weeks for the first time since 2014.

With the additional week of competition, six CAA schools are currently scheduled to play 12 games and six schools are slated to maintain an 11-game schedule with two bye weeks.

The conference schedule includes four home games and four road games for each team as they face eight of the other 11 CAA Football members. Starting on September 7, there will be at least one conference contest each week, with a full slate of league action on November 9 and November 23.

The non-conference schedule features 12 games against FBS opponents, including six versus teams from Power 5 conferences. CAA Football has recorded a pair of victories over FBS foes for the past three years as Villanova defeated Temple and Maine beat Western Kentucky this season. CAA Football has once again been dominant against non-conference FCS competition, posting a 20-4 record thus far.

Thursday, August 29
UAlbany at Central Michigan
Delaware State at Delaware

Friday, August 30
Sacred Heart at Maine

Saturday, August 31
Elon at North Carolina A&T
James Madison at West Virginia
Rhode Island at Ohio University
Jacksonville at Richmond
Bryant at Stony Brook
Towson at The Citadel
Lafayette at William & Mary

Saturday, September 7
*Delaware at Rhode Island
Bryant at UAlbany
The Citadel at Elon
St. Francis (Pa.) at James Madison
Maine at Georgia Southern
New Hampshire at Holy Cross
Richmond at Boston College
Stony Brook at Utah State
Lehigh at Villanova
William & Mary at Virginia

Saturday, September 14
*Elon at Richmond
*Towson at Maine
UAlbany at Monmouth
North Dakota State at Delaware
Morgan State at James Madison
New Hampshire at FIU
Wagner at Stony Brook
Villanova at Bucknell
Colgate at William & Mary

Saturday, September 21
*Rhode Island at New Hampshire
*Villanova at Towson
Lafayette at UAlbany
Penn at Delaware
Elon at Wake Forest
James Madison at Chattanooga
Maine at Colgate
Fordham at Stony Brook

Saturday, September 28
*William & Mary at UAlbany
*James Madison at Elon
*Maine at Villanova
*Stony Brook at Rhode Island
Delaware at Pittsburgh
Duquesne at New Hampshire
Richmond at Fordham
Towson at Florida

Saturday, October 5
*James Madison at Stony Brook
*Villanova at William & Mary
*UAlbany at Richmond
*Elon at New Hampshire
Rhode Island at Brown

Saturday, October 12
*UAlbany at Towson
*Delaware at Elon
*Villanova at James Madison
*Richmond at Maine
*New Hampshire at Stony Brook

Saturday, October 19
*New Hampshire at Delaware
*Rhode Island at UAlbany
*James Madison at William & Mary
Maine at Liberty
Yale at Richmond
Bucknell at Towson

Saturday, October 26
*Richmond at Delaware
*Elon at Rhode Island
*Towson at James Madison
*William & Mary at Maine
*Stony Brook at Villanova

Saturday, November 2
*William & Mary at Elon
*Villanova at New Hampshire
*Stony Brook at Richmond
*Maine at UAlbany
*Delaware at Towson

Saturday, November 9
*Richmond at Villanova
*Towson at Stony Brook
*UAlbany at Delaware
*Maine at Elon
*New Hampshire at James Madison
*Rhode Island at William & Mary

Saturday, November 16
*Richmond at James Madison
*Rhode Island at Maine
*Towson at William & Mary
*New Hampshire at UAlbany
*Stony Brook at Delaware

Saturday, November 23
*UAlbany at Stony Brook
*Delaware at Villanova
*Elon at Towson
*James Madison at Rhode Island
*Maine at New Hampshire
*William & Mary at Richmond

*denotes CAA Football game
DATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE – Times will be announced at a later date

Blue Hens rally for memorable 40-36 upset over Towson
Oct 27th, 2018 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

Delaware’s players celebrate after rallying to knock off No. 10 Towson, 40-36, on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

NEWARK — For the entire second half, the two teams had traded punches.

And not just little jabs, either.

Delaware and Towson exchanged some huge swings as they tried desperately to knock the other one out.

The Blue Hens still trailed by three when they started their last drive at the Tigers’ 36 with just 1:51 on the clock Saturday afternoon.

“I walked into the huddle, I said, ‘I love you guys,’” said Delaware quarterback Pat Kehoe. “‘And I can’t wait to celebrate with you.’”

Sure enough, a few tense minutes later, Kehoe and his teammates were storming the Delaware Stadium turf to celebrate No. 21 Delaware’s memorable 40-36 upset of 10th-ranked Towson before a crowd of 14,593 on Saturday evening.

Delaware receiver Vinny Papale snares a three-yard pass from Pat Kehoe for the winning touchdown with 30 seconds left on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

On an otherwise-gloomy homecoming weather-wise, the Hens (4-1 CAA, 6-2 overall) twice rallied from double-digit deficits to stun the Tigers (4-1 CAA, 6-2 overall), who were the Colonial Athletic Association’s last unbeaten squad in conference play.

Delaware is now tied for first place in the league standings with three games remaining — although so are three other squads.

Of course, all that was secondary on Saturday evening.

All that mattered to the Hens was that Kehoe’s three-yard touchdown pass to Vinny Papale with 30 seconds left had given them the lead and then their defense had survived a harrowing finish to give Delaware its fourth-straight win.

A 63-yard kickoff return from Shane Simpson after the Hens’ TD set up the Tigers at the Delaware 33 with 20 seconds remaining. A 17-yard completion got Towson to the 16 with 12 seconds on the clock.

The slugfest then ended with Towson quarterback Tom Flacco throwing two passes into the end zone — one that was dropped by a Tigers’ receiver and, the other, a high throw in the back of the end zone, that fell to the ground as the Hens streamed into the end zone to mob their defense.

Safety Nasir Adderley was the primary defender on both of the last throws. He knows it could have gone either way.

“I’m just fortunate,” Adderley said about the first throw. “I should have been in much better position but you’ve got to go to the next play. And that’s what I did.

“They came right back to me and I kind of knew what I was getting. I made my position a lot better. I’m happy that we were able to finish it off. … It was a great feeling. Unbelievable.”

Second-year Delaware coach called the gritty victory “a giant step” for the program. The Hens trailed 18-6 at halftime and 28-13 midway through the third quarter.

Blue Hen linebacker Buck Jones races down the sideline with an interception as Towson’s Shane Leatherbury – a Delmar High grad – gives chase. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

“A lot of mistakes were made out there today. … but we overcame,” said Rocco. “And there’s something really special about that. I’m starting to really sense a camaraderie on this team.

“This (winning) isn’t easy. It is extraordinarily hard. So we’re kind of in that moment together. I’ve seen us rise up and unite and really come together. That locker room here tonight was really extraordinary.”

Kehoe (18-of-32, 4 TDs, 1 interception) and Papale (8 catches-142 yards, 2 TDs) both had career days for the Hens. Returning to the stadium where his brother, Joe, was a hero, Towson’s Flacco was pretty impressive, too.

The junior QB completed 21-of-42 passes for 225 yards with two touchdowns while also running for 55 yards on 11 carries. Several times he somehow got the ball off as he was falling to the ground.

But it was Flacco’s one interception that helped swing the momentum in Delaware’s favor.

With the Hens trailing 28-27, early in the fourth quarter, linebacker Buck Jones stepped in front of an improvised Flacco pass and returned it 35 yards down the sideline to the Tigers’ eight.

Two plays later, Sussex Tech High grad Kani Kane (18 carries-68 yards, 2 TDs) scored from the one. The TD, with 8:17 left in the contest, gave Delaware its first lead of the game at 33-28.

“If there was one big single play for us, it was probably that one there,” Rocco said about Jones’ interception.

Of course, there was more than enough time left for Towson to answer.

The Tigers took back the lead on a 13-play, 70-yard march. One play after Towson converted on a fourth-and-three, Simpson raced in for an 11-yard TD run, capping a big day in which he ran for 123 yards on 21 carries and had 148 more yards on five kickoff returns. He finished with 320 all-purpose yards.

When Delmar High grad Shane Leatherbury, a receiver for the Tigers, tossed a throwback pass to Flacco for the two-point conversion, Towson owned a 36-33 advantage with 2:01 left.

It turns out, the dramatics were just getting underway.

A 47-yard kickoff return by DeJoun Lee set up the Hens at the Towson 36. Like Kehoe, Papale had a good feeling about the final Delaware drive, as well.

“We were in crunch time, we had to make a play,” he said. “If you took one look at the guys in that huddle, you could see that every guy in there knew that we were going to go down and score. We didn’t want a field goal, we wanted to win the game.

“It’s pretty cool when you can see all the guys fully believe that. Then we went down there and did it. It was awesome.”

Extra points

The Hens had a disastrous special-teams day. Two high punt snaps led to nine Towson points while Frank Raggo missed two PAT kicks, snapping his school-record streak of 88 in a row. Lee also fumbled a kickoff that led to a Towson field goal. … Troy Reeder (12) and Adderley (10) both reached double digits in tackles. … Tight end Charles Scarff (four catches-59 yards) caught a TD pass for the fourth straight game. He now has seven for the season and 11 of his career — both one shy of the school tight end record. … Joe Walker added four receptions for 83 yards and a TD. … Delaware’s four-game winning streak is its longest since 2012 while its four-game CAA winning streak is its longest since 2010. … Delmar’s Leatherbury had three catches for 18 yards and two carries for 19 yards.
Towson 40-36 Defeated at Delaware

NEWARK, Del. – The No. 10 Towson University football team (6-2, 4-1 CAA) nearly won on a final drive in a thrilling matchup of top-25 teams in Newark, but came up just short in a 40-36 defeat at No. 21 Delaware (6-2, 4-1 CAA).

Key Game Stats:

Towson outscored Delaware 18-6 in the first half, including scoring 10 points in the final 18 seconds. The Tigers had 230 yards of total offense in the opening 30 minutes compared to 91 for Delaware. In the whole game, Towson had 451 yards of total offense compared to 340 for Delaware.
In a wild finish, Shane Simpson run in a touchdown from 11 yards out to give Towson a three-point advantage with two minutes left. Delaware scored a touchdown of its own to go back ahead with 30 seconds to go. Towson, from the Delaware 16, had three passes towards the end zone, but did not connect.
Simpson finished with 320 all-purpose yards, including 123 on the ground with a touchdown, 49 receiving and 148 on kickoff returns.
Tom Flacco went 21-for-42 in the air tonight for 225 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, plus caught a two-point conversion pass. His primary target was Jabari Allen, who had nine catches, tying the season-high for a Tiger this season, for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Aidan O'Neill was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals, including a career-high 50-yarder, and 2-for-2 on extra points.
On defense, Keon Paye and Mantriel Reaves each had a team-high seven tackles, with Paye adding an interception. 
For Delaware, Pat Kehoe went 18-for-32 passing for 305 yards, four touchdowns and a pick, with Vinny Papale catching eight balls for 142 yards and two scores. Troy Reeder had 12 tackles.

Postgame Quotes:
Towson head coach Rob Ambrose: "Congratulations to Coach Rocco, the University of Delaware and their players, heck of a ball game. This was another Towson-Delaware game. We are hurting a bit, but we earned the right to be hurting a little bit, too many mistakes to win against a really good football team. Now we will find out what we are made of. Life is never about what happened but how you respond."

How it Happened:

Towson started on offense and employed the hurry-up, bursting into Delaware territory with a 31-yard high arc pass from Tom Flacco to Shane Simpson along the sideline, then a 14-yard dash by Flacco to the Delaware 5-yard line, where Towson was stopped shy of the end zone. Aidan O'Neill knocked down the 27-yard field goal to put Towson up 3-0 on the opening drive.
Delaware got into Towson territory on its first drive, with the defense holding the Blue Hens at the 43 for a punt. With a couple of big runs by Yeedee Thaenrat, Towson got into Delaware territory, with the drive ending on the Delaware 42. 
After a Pat Toomey punt was downed on the 4, Robert Heyward had a big stop on a 3rd and 3 run from the QB, then the snap on a punt attempt went into the Delaware end zone for a safety, making it 5-0 Towson, the eventual end of first quarter score.
Flacco got the offense into the Delaware red zone again with a 29-yard throw to Jabari Allen, then 17-yard rushes by each Simpson and Shane Leatherbury. Again, Towson was stopped just inside the 10. O'Neill converted the 21-yard attempt to make it 8-0 Towson, 2:12 into the 2nd quarter.
Delaware put together a long drive with a couple of 3rd down conversions, using a 27-yard completion to get to the Towson 5. On another 3rd down, Pat Kehoe found Charles Scarff in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. A missed extra point made it 8-6 Towson with 4:45 left in the 2nd quarter.
Towson looked to respond, with Flacco going out of the pocket and firing a pass to Sam Gallahan to convert a 3rd and nine, then Flacco willed his way out of a sack for a pass and first down conversion. Later, Simpson powered his way through the right side on 3rd and 1 to convert and get on the edge of the Delaware red zone. In the final half-minute, Flacco, under immense pressure in the pocket, found Jabari Allen on a five-yard score for the touchdown, making it 15-6 Tigers.
The Tigers were not done in the first half. Heyward punched the ball out of the Delaware returner's hands, giving Towson the ball on the Delaware 33. Two plays later, O'Neill buried a 50-yard field goal, his career long, to make it 18-6 Towson at the half.
Delaware began the second half with good field position on its own 45, using a 49-yard pass to get to the 1-yard line. Kani Kane converted the 1-yard run for a touchdown, making it 18-13 Towson with 13:35 in the 3rd.
Towson pushed back on its first drive of the second half, with Simpson and Flacco each having long runs to again get inside the Delaware red zone, but was stopped again. O'Neill knocked in his fourth field goal to make it 21-13 Towson with 9:40 left in the 3rd.
The Towson defense held the Blue Hens to one first down by the Delaware 42, then another bad snap on the punt put Towson on the Delaware 5. Two plays later, Flacco found Jabari Allen in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown, pushing Towson's lead to 28-13 with 7:51 to go in the 3rd quarter.
The home team got back a touchdown, finished by a 15-yard pass to Vinny Papale, plus a two-point conversion to make it 28-21 Towson with 5:30 to play in the 3rd.
Towson had to punt following the next drive. Delaware broke into Towson territory, and on a 3rd down, completed a 30-yard pass for a touchdown. The XP was no good, keeping the lead with Towson at 28-27 with 25 seconds to go in the 3rd. 28-27 Towson was the eventual end of third quarter score.
Into the fourth, Delaware converted a couple of third downs en route the Towson red zone. On another 3rd down, Keon Paye made a catch in the end zone to stifle the Delaware scoring chance and keep Towson ahead 28-27 with 10:38 left in regulation.
Towson strung together a couple of plays, sparked by a Simpson 17-yard run, to push up 22 yards total, but an interception ended the chance as Delaware returned the ball to the Towson 8. Delaware used two running plays and scored the touchdown, with the two-point conversion failing. Delaware led 33-28 with 8:17 left in the 4th.
Flacco notched a big conversion on 3rd and 11 with a bullet to Brent Richardson, then Simpson rushed five straight times for 28 yards to get to the Delaware 30. Flacco weaved and dodged his way five yards for the first down to the 25. On 4th and 3, Flacco dropped off to Simpson for the conversion on the six-yard gain. Then, Simpson ran 11 yards through the hole to score the touchdown. On a reverse, Leatherbury found Flacco for the 2-point conversion to make it 36-33 Towson with 2:01 left to play. 
Delaware drove down the field and scored a touchdown with 30 seconds left to make it 40-36 Blue Hens. Simpson returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards to Delaware 33, then Flacco found Gallahan on the Delaware 16. Towson tried three times on passes to the end zone but came up short, falling 40-36 to Delaware.

Inside the Numbers:

The defeat snaps Towson's five-game winning streak, plus is the first loss against an FCS opponent this season.
With six tackles today, Diondre Wallace moved into the top-10 all-time in tackles in Towson program history. He is now at 267 in his career for 9th all-time, passing Randy Bielski (263 from 1976-79) and Bill Stup (266 from 1985-88).
Shane Simpson has scored at least one touchdown in all eight Towson games this season.
Aidan O'Neill's 50-yard field goal is the longest of the season; previously it was a 46-yard field goal against William & Mary on October 13th.
It is the third consecutive game, and fifth in six contests, where Towson earned at least 200 rushing yards.
Towson, with 451 yards of total offense tonight, has earned at least 400 yards of total offense in every game this year.

Blue Hens win third in row, dominate at New Hampshire 38-14
Oct 20th, 2018 · by Delaware State News · Delaware State News

The Hens’ Nassir Adderley returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

DURHAM, N.H. — Before Saturday’s game with New Hampshire, Delaware coach Danny Rocco had a pretty simple message for his players.

“Anybody in this room has the capability of stepping up and changing the outcome of the game,” he told them.

It ended up being one of those games — where a number of Delaware players made big plays — as the No. 24 Hens cruised to a 38-14 victory over New Hampshire in CAA football at Wildcat Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The win was the third in a row for Delaware (3-1 CAA, 5-2 overall), which was playing the Wildcats (0-4 CAA, 1-6 overall) for the first time since 2015.

One of those big plays was turned in by defensive lineman Cam Kitchen.

The Hens were leading only 10-7 in the final two minutes of the first half when Kitchen reached up with his right hand and intercepted a screen pass at the Wildcats’ eight. Joe Walker then scored on an eight-yard run on the next play to give Delaware a more-comfortable 17-7 halftime advantage.

Delaware defensive tackle Caleb Ashworth tackles UNH quarterback Trevor Knight in Saturday’s game. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

“I just happened to see the running back sneak out,” said Kitchen. “I just got a hand up and happened to get two hands on it.

“It was a big play to take the momentum back. Like Coach Rocco said, he told us anybody can make the play. It just happened to be me. But it was a great way to get our offense and the team back on track.”

“I’m in the locker room at halftime and I’m yelling, ‘Where’s 99 (Kitchen)? Where’s 99?’” said Rocco. “I wanted to kind of single him out. … It kind of made us feel like we’re back in control of this football game.”

Delaware kept making plays like that to stretch its advantage.

When linebacker Troy Reeder blocked a punt in the third quarter to give the Hens the ball at the Wildcats’ 18, Kani Kane (Sussex Tech) scored on the next play to make it 24-7.

Then, in the fourth quarter, UNH made the score 31-14 on a 55-yard fumble return for a touchdown. But safety Nassir Adderley returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a TD that pushed Delaware’s lead back to 38-14.

It was a strange return. Adderley took a big hit after a short gain along the sidelines and everyone seemed to stop. The senior, though, wasn’t out of bounds and just took off again.

Blue Hen linebacker Colby Reeder grabs UNH quarterback Trevor Knight by his jersey on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

The Hens were expecting an onsides kick attempt but UNH kicked the ball deep. Delaware didn’t have any blocking set up.

“I was going to get what I could get,” said Adderley. “But I realized I was still (inbounds) and I can make something happen. So I just kept running.”

The Hens finished with only 177 total yards in the contest but that stat was somewhat skewed by the short fields they had. Along with the blocked punt and kickoff return, Delaware forced four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble).

Along with the blocked punt, Reeder recovered a high shotgun snap to set up another TD and posted a team-high eight tackles — including three for losses.

Quarterback Pat Kehoe completed only 7-of-10 passes for 94 yards but threw scoring passes to tight end Charles Scarff and receiver Vinny Paple. Kehoe, who was sacked three times, left the game with a knee injury early in the fourth quarter.

Rocco said the injury was not believed to be serious but that further tests would be done.

DeJoun Lee had a team-high 45 yards on 15 carries while Kane added 37 yards on nine carries.

“Offensively, we had the opening drive and then I didn’t feel real good about how we performed,” he said. “Our stat line probably is not going to look real good. We didn’t protect our quarterback very well.”

For a team trying to make the program’s first NCAA FCS Division I playoff appearance since 2010, every victory is big. But, after knocking off No. 5 Elon last week, the Hens turn around and host nationally-ranked Towson for homecoming next Saturday.

What Rocco liked as much as anything about the Hens’ performance on Saturday was their focus.

“I talk about alertness all the time,” he said. “It’s a skill. It’s something that you’ve got to be able to work on.

“My team was alert today. That’s exciting to see. We did it down at Richmond a couple weeks ago. We went on the road. Our kids were alert, they were in tune, they were in rhythm. They came out of the locker room ready to play. We certainly had that kind of energy out here today.”
'Cats Fall to Delaware
10/20/18 - https://unhwildcats.com/

Team Statistics Game Stats DELAWARE UNH
First Downs 10 14
Total Offensive Yards 177 190
Passing Yards 94 135
Rushing Yards 83 55
Penalty Yards 4-30 2-20
3rd Downs 2-11 6-16
4th Downs 0-0 1-2
Time Of Possession 29:00 31:00

Scoring Summary 1st Quarter DELAWARE UNH
10:39 - DELAWARE - Scarff 22 yd pass from Kehoe, P. (Raggo kick ) 8 plays, 60 yards, TOP 4:21 

02:04 - DELAWARE - Raggo 23 yd field goal 4 plays, 3 yards, TOP 1:31 

2nd Quarter DELAWARE UNH
02:57 - UNH - Gray,Evan 1 yd run (McPike,Mitch kick ), 15 plays, 70 yards, TOP 6:26 

00:55 - DELAWARE - Walker 8 yd run (Raggo kick ), 1 plays, 8 yards, TOP 0:04 

3rd Quarter DELAWARE UNH
09:42 - DELAWARE - Kane 18 yd run (Raggo kick ), 1 plays, 18 yards, TOP 0:05 

04:20 - DELAWARE - Papale 9 yd pass from Kehoe, P. (Raggo kick ) 7 plays, 53 yards, TOP 3:54 

4th Quarter DELAWARE UNH
13:29 - UNH - Reisert,Kyle 55 yd fumble recovery (McPike,Mitch kick ) 

13:15 - DELAWARE - Adderley 92 yd kickoff return (Raggo kick ) 

DURHAM, N.H. – Senior defensive end Kyle Reisert (Plymouth, N.H.) returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown to highlight the defense, but the University of New Hampshire football team fell to No. 24 Delaware, 38-14, in a Family Weekend game on Saturday at Wildcat Stadium.

Photo Gallery

Reisert's was UNH's first fumble return for a score since senior defensive tackle Ryan Sosnak (Bethel Park, Pa.) had a 39-yarder against Towson in a 21-7 win on Oct. 22, 2016. It was the team's second defensive score of the season to go with an interception return by junior safety Pop Lacey (Reading, Pa.) against Colorado.

UNH fell to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Delaware improved to 5-2 and 3-1.

Video Highlights

The game was the third straight at home for the Wildcats. They go on the road to play at Villanova on Saturday at 2 p.m.

UNH returns to Wildcat Stadium to take on James Madison on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.

Group and individual tickets for UNH home games are available by calling 603-862-4000 or by CLICKING HERE.

Wildcat junior running back Evan Gray (Centreville, Va.) led all rushers with 17 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown.

Senior wide receiver Neil O'Connor (Leominster, Mass.) caught six catches for 66 yards.

The UNH defense held Delaware to 177 yards of total offense and 83 yards rushing. The Blue Hens came in averaging 349 yards a game total and 125.3 yards rushing.

Delaware took advantage of three interceptions and a blocked punt and got its final score on a 99-yard kickoff return by Nasir Adderley.


Villanova is 3-4 overall and 0-4 in the CAA.
The Wildcats had this weekend off.
Villanova lost its third straight game, 37-0, at Stony Brook last Saturday.
Villanova fell 13-10 at Maine on a last second field goal the week before and fell at Stony Brook, 29-27, the week before that.
UNH and Villanova last played in 2013.
UNH won the game, 29-28, in Durham.
Coach Sean McDonnell's team last played at Villanova in 2010 and won, 31-24.
Tickets for all UNH home games are available at or by calling 603-862-4000.
UNH's remaining home games are against James Madison on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. for the 125th Anniversary of Football; and against Albany on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. for UNH Salutes/Military Appreciation Day.


Delaware grabbed a 10-0 lead after a period.
Tight end Charles Scarff scored on a 22-yard pass from Pat Kehoe to open the scoring with 10:39 left in the period.
Frank Raggo's 23-yard field goal with 2:04 left made it 10-0.


Evan Gray's 1-yard TD run capped a 15-play, 70-yard drive for UNH's first score with 2:57 left in the period.
Cam Kitchen intercepted a Trevor Knight pass to give Delaware the ball on the UNH 8-yard line.
K.C. Hinton scored on the next play with 55 seconds left in the half.
The UNH defense allowed 118 yards of offense in the first half.


Kani Kane scored on an 18-yard run with 9:42 left in the period to put Delaware up 24-7.
The score was set up when Troy Reeder blocked a Drew Sanborn punt that the Blue Hens recovered on the UNH 18-yard line.
Delaware's Vinny Papale scored on an 18-yard pass from Kehoe with 4:20 left in the period.


Reisert scored on his fumble return with 13:29 to play.
Sophomore defensive end Brian Carter (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) had a sack and knocked the ball out on the play.
Junior linebacker Michael Balsamo (Atkinson, N.H.) also had pressure on Kehoe that play.
Adderley returned the ensuing kickoff for a score.


Knight completed 17 of his 29 passes for 127 yards.
He was intercepted three times.
O'Connor upped his season totals to 51 catches for 616 yards.
Senior wide receiver Kieran Presley (Amherst, Mass.) had five catches for 48 yards.
Junior punter Drew Sanborn (Amherst, N.H.) averaged 42 yards on his four punts.
Reisert and junior defensive end Josh Kania (Milton, Ga.) joined Carter with quarterback sacks.
Sophomore safety Evan Horn (Lebanon, Pa.) and junior linebacker Quinlen Dean (Greenbelt, Md.) led UNH with five tackles each.
UNH had 190 yards of offense to Delaware's 177.
Senior linebacker Troy Reeder led Delaware with eight tackles.
He had one of Delaware's four sacks.
He also blocked a UNH punt.
UNH was six for 16 on third down conversions.
Delaware was two for 11 on third down.
Family Weekend was presented by Medtronic.

Rushing: D 40-83. UNH 39-55.
Passing: D 7-10-0 2 TDs. UNH 18-31-3, 0 TD.
Total Offense: D 50-177. UNH 70-190.
1st Downs: D 10. UNH 14.
Time of Possession: D 29:00. UNH 31:00.
Penalties: D 4-30. UNH 2-20.
Turnovers: D 1. UNH 4.

Rushing: D – DeJoun Lee, 15-45. UNH – Evan Gray 17-75.
Receiving: D – Gene Coleman 2-37. UNH – Neil O'Connor 6-66.
Passing: D – Pat Kehoe 7-10-0, 2 TDs. UNH – Knight 17-29-3, 0 TD.
Tackles: D – Troy Reeder 7-1-8. UNH – Evan Horn 5-0-5; Quinlen Dean 3-2-5. 
Blue Hens shock No. 5 Elon 28-16: First win over top 5 team in eight years puts UD back on FCS D-I football map
Oct 13th, 2018 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

UD’s players celebrate after their 28-16 upset of No. 5 Elon on Saturday afternoon. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

NEWARK — The football seemed to hang in the air for an eternity.

In that moment, the only question was whether Vinny Papale would be able to run under it or not.

And when the senior receiver finally pulled in the long, arcing 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Pat Kehoe, Delaware finally had something it had waited a long time for — a victory that puts it back on the FCS Division I football map.

Papale’s TD with just 7:01 remaining gave the Blue Hens the lead for good before they shocked No. 5 Elon, 28-16, before a Parents Day crowd of 19,209 at Delaware Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was the first time Delaware (2-1 CAA, 4-2 overall) beat a top-five team since 2010, which is also the last time the Hens made the NCAA FCS Division I playoffs.

Delaware tight end Charles Scarff pulls in a six-yard scoring pass to give the Hens the lead early in the third quarter. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

“He aired that one out a little bit,” Papale said about the TD pass. “It was up there for a while. But it was a perfect ball, honestly. He put it right to a spot where the defender couldn’t get it.

“Just to score a touchdown in that situation is pretty surreal, pretty fun, pretty cool.”

In a back-and-forth game, Delaware trailed 16-14 when it took over the ball at its own 32 with just 9:45 remaining.

But, with perhaps their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the Hens put together back-to-back scoring drives to put away a double-digit victory over the Phoenix (2-1, 4-2), who upset No. 2 James Madison a week ago.

Delaware marched 68 yards on six plays for Papale’s TD before following with a six-play 53-yard scoring drive to close it out.

Kani Kane, the Sussex Tech grad who went over the 1,000-yard mark, celebrates his two-yard touchdown run with 4:02 remaining. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

Sussex Tech High grad Kani Kane (19-carries-124 yards) ran the ball five straight times for 50 yards on the final drive. The senior, who had just reached the 1,000-yard mark for his career, bulled his way in for a two-yard TD run with 4:02 left to seal the upset.

“I’d like to think what you saw there was the heart and soul of our team,” said coach Danny Rocco. “It was just all right there for us. I do think that’s what we’ve all been kind of searching for. We’ve got to embrace it. We’ve got to build on it and we’ve got to enjoy it when you’re in that moment.”

“In all three phases of the game, we were just able to stay poised,” said senior receiver Joe Walker. “Just play as hard as you can and control what you can control. Just do what you do and we should be able to win this game.”

Kehoe ended up completing 16-of-30 passes for 144 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

After a pretty lackluster offensive start to the game, the Hens put together a clutch drive just before halftime.

Trailing 10-0, Delaware went on a quick six-play, 53-yard march that took only 51 seconds. Kehoe found tight end Charles Scarff, who made an acrobatic catch to stay inbounds for a seven-yard TD reception.

Delaware linebacker Troy Reeder finished with a game-high 15 tackles, including five for losses on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

The touchdown — which was video-reviewed — came with just 11 seconds left before halftime to get the Hens back within 10-7.

Delaware then took the lead on a 69-yard, seven-play drive early in the third quarter. Again, Kehoe found the 6-foot-6 Scarff, who outjumped an Elon defender for a six-yard scoring reception that put the Hens ahead, 14-10.

This time, though, the big play was a 37-yard pass from Walker to Gene Coleman to get Delaware to the Phoenix 20.

Walker, the converted QB, probably saw his most action out of the wildcat formation this season. He ran the ball four times for 17 yards, caught two passes for 17 yards and completed the long pass.

Elon was playing without running back Malcolm Summers, the CAA’s leading rusher, who was still banged up from the JMU game. The Phoenix then lost starting QB Travis Cheek to an apparent serious knee injury in the first quarter.

Backup quarterback Jalen Greene, who had seen his share of playing time this year, came in and completed 11-of-26 passes for 140 yards while also running for 36 yards on eight carries.

But Delaware’s defense limited Elon to just three field goals after giving up a first-quarter touchdown. The Phoenix finished with only 289 yards — 125 yards under its average — and 12 first downs.

Senior linebacker Troy Reeder had a big game, finishing with 15 tackles, including five for losses. He had a big sack on Elon’s final drive.

“We were flying around,” said Reeder. “It was a nice, cool day. Of our 11 starters, I think a good amount of us played the entire game. Some of my first-contact hits, I just felt a pile on top of me. I was getting in on piles, too. … We were all over the place today.

“Probably Sunday night when we started breaking down film, guys just saw it as what it was. It was No. 5 coming in to play us at home and we love playing at home. I think guys did a phenomenal job preparing all week. Hopefully, with the rest of our schedule, we continue to prepare like we’re playing a top-five team.”

That schedule continues next week with a trip to New Hampshire to face a Wildcat squad (1-5) that is having an uncharacteristically rough season.

But Rocco didn’t want to look at the big picture right away on Saturday.

He talked about how great it was seeing the big crowd get excited late in the game and seeing his players perform well in the clutch.

“There were some times out there today when we had so much energy in that stadium that it was just joyful for me,” said Rocco. “And I’m hoping it was joyful for our fans. There was excitement and energy, our kids were playing hard.

“We’ve learned from our hard defeats. This team has been through a lot of adversity. This team has been challenged, doubted, disbelieved and we keep coming back every day going to work, focusing on the next day, staying together, staying united and offering hope and, today, joy.”

Extra points

Delaware’s last win over a top-five team was over No. 3 James Madison in 2010. The last time the Hens beat a top-five team in Newark was over No. 2 Wofford in the 2003 FCS semifinals. … Seven different Hens caught a pass, led by Scarff with five receptions for 43 yards. Papale had four catches for 58 yards. … Senior Jamie Jarmon (Indian River) has caught a pass in 21 straight games. … Saturday’s home crowd was Delaware’s biggest since 2015.
Delaware Ends No. 5 Elon’s Streak at Four
10/13/2018 7:33:00 PM

NEWARK, Del. – Fifth-ranked Elon University football led heading to the fourth quarter, but Delaware answered with a 14-point final frame to win 28-16 on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Delaware Stadium.

"It was a hard-fought game," said Elon head coach Curt Cignetti. "We had a lot of adversity, but I thought the people that came in really stepped up and played well. We just couldn't sustain drives offensively and put too much pressure on the defense. They made the plays at the end and we didn't. They're a good football team and they're going to win a lot of games."

With Elon (4-2, 2-1 CAA) leading 16-14 going to the fourth, Delaware (4-2, 2-1 CAA) scored two touchdowns in a span of 3:59 to pull ahead 21-16 with 7:01 to play and 28-16 with 4:02 to go.

Looking at a scoreless first quarter, Elon got the ball back with 48 seconds left and found pay dirt with a two-play, 61-yard drive that was capped by Jaylan Thomas running in from nine yards out with 31 seconds left. The play was setup by Jalen Greene hitting Cole Taylor for 52 yards down the sideline for the longest passing play of the season for the Phoenix.

Midway through the second quarter, Daniel Reid-Bennett forced his second fumble of the day and Tristen Cox fell on his second in the game to set Elon up with first down on the Delaware 23. Six plays later, Skyler Davis connected from 25 yards out to make it 10-0.

After Delaware forced a three-and-out late in the first half, the Blue Hens drove 53 yards to cut the Elon lead to three at 10-7 with 11 seconds to go before halftime. Out of the break, UD drove 69 yards in four minutes to take a 14-10 lead.

Looking for another second-half comeback, Davis cut the Blue Hen lead to one at 14-13 with his second 25-yard field goal of the day with 7:20 to go in the third. With 58 seconds left in the third, Davis put Elon back on top 16-14 with a 38-yard field goal.

Elon: Jaylan Thomas – 12 carries, 49 yards, 1 touchdown
UD: Kani Kane – 19 carries, 124 yards, 1 touchdown

Elon: Jalen Greene – 11-26, 140 yards
UD: Pat Kehoe – 16-30, 144 yards, 3 touchdowns

Elon: Cole Taylor – 3 receptions, 91 yards
UD: Charles Scarff – 5 receptions, 43 yards, 2 touchdowns

Elon: Daniel Reid-Bennett – 10 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 1.0 TFL, 2 forced fumbles
UD: Troy Reeder – 15 tackles, 8 solo, 1.0 sacks, 5.0 TFL

-Elon has now trailed in the second half in each of its last nine road games. It has won six of those contests. 
-Daniel Reid-Bennett's 10 tackles are one short of his career high set last year against Richmond.
-Elon was held to one sack defensively after notching five in back-to-back games against New Hampshire and James Madison.
-With Delaware's 12-point win, it marks the largest win in the series. Delaware remains the only CAA team Elon has yet to beat since it joined the conference in 2014. The two teams have only played three times in those five seasons. 
-Davis Cheek completed 3-of-5 passes for 36 yards in the first quarter before leaving the game with a left knee injury.

After a stretch in which Elon has played four of its first six away from home, the Phoenix will head back to Rhodes Stadium to start a three-game homestand and will open the run Saturday, Oct. 20, with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff against Richmond.

Hens explode in first half, pound host Richmond 43-28
Oct 6th, 2018 · by Delaware State News · Delaware State News

UD linebacker Colby Reeder (4) is congratulated by his teammates after his strip and 35-yard return for a TD on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

RICHMOND, Va. — Delaware’s football team had a long time to thing about its lopsided loss at North Dakota State two weeks ago.
When the Blue Hens finally took the field on Saturday, they were determined to redeem themselves.

And Delaware got off to a flying start, scoring 33 first-half points before finally putting away a 43-28 victory over Richmond in a Colonial Athletic Association game at Robins Stadium.

Along with picking up their first CAA win of the year, the Hens (1-1 CAA, 3-2 overall) also gave coach Danny Rocco — the Spiders’ former coach — the 100th victory of his career. Rocco, though, said he was far more interested in getting his present team back on track than in any career milestone.

“I’m just happy to get our third win,” said Rocco, who was coaching his first game back at Richmond. “It’s been a long, long two weeks. That trip up to North Dakota was a tough trip.

Blue Hen receiver Jamie Jarmon, an Indian River High grad, goes up for a catch against Richmond. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

“I think it really challenged all of us to kind of take a step back and re-commit ourselves to the season. We came out swinging.”
Delaware, which led by as much as 43-10 in the third quarter, gained control with a 16-point burst in the first six minutes.

The Hens got their first two points when the Spiders fielded a punt at their own goal line. The momentum took the return man into the end zone where linebacker Ray Jones and others tackled him for a safety.

On the ensuing possession, Delaware drove 59 yards on just four plays, with quarterback Pat Kehoe finding tight end Charles Scarff with an 11-yard touchdown pass.

Then, when Richmond (0-3 CAA, 2-4 overall) got the ball back, the Spiders completed a short pass in the flat, But Blue Hen linebacker Colby Reeder stripped the ball from the receiver and raced 35 yards for a TD that put Delaware up 16-0.

It was the first of a season-high six turnovers that the Hens forced in the contest.

Linebacker Ray Jones tries to fight off a tackle in the Hens’ win on Saturday. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

“It changes the momentum of the game,” said senior safety Nasir Adderley, who had a pair of interceptions. “It just shows what we’re capable of. There’s always room for improvement — we feel like we can play a lot better defensively. But the turnovers definitely helped us.”

“I will say that our guys went after the ball today,” said Rocco. “Some of those interceptions were really big-time plays.”

Kehoe completed 11-of-20 passes for 291 yards with two touchdowns while receiver Joe Walker covered 113 yards on just two receptions. Walker, the former QB, also completed a 46-yard pass.

Delaware ran for only 90 yards but threw for 331. That included a 58-yard touchdown pass from Kehoe to senior Vinny Papale to give the Hens their 33-10 advantage just before halftime.

“I really think what it was, the structure of their defense was very much designed to shut the run down,” said Rocco. “The mindset was, if Delaware was going to come down here and win, they were going to have to throw the ball. They challenged us to throw the ball and we did throw it.”

Senior Kani Kane (Sussex Tech) had a couple short touchdown runs, finishing with 35 yards on 12 carries. Kane’s one-yard scoring leap gave the Hens their 43-10 cushion with 52 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

With Rocco starting to empty his bench, Richmond starting hitting a number of big pass plays that accounted for the final score and skewed the final stats. The Spiders outgained Delaware 608 yards to 421 as backup QB Joe Mancuso completed 27-of-37 passes for 489 yards with three touchdowns but five interceptions.

Mancuso also ran for a game-high 71 yards on 15 carries.

“I told my team, I could have managed the end of the game better,” said Rocco. “But I really felt I had to get some guys battle-tested. Fortunately they had my back out there today. They fought, they finished.”

Extra points

Dejoun Lee had a team-high 64 yards on 17 carries. … Troy Reeder had a game-high 12 tackles while Jones, Charles Bell and Nijuel Hill had Delaware’s other interceptions. … Cornerback Tenny Adewusi (fighting) and backup linebacker Johnny Buchanan (targeting) were both ejected from the game in the second half, meaning they will also have to sit out the first half of the Hens’ next game. … Delaware hosts Elon on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The No. 9 Phoenix (4-1) stunned No. 2 James Madison, 27-24, on Saturday.

Second Half Comeback Falls Short Against Delaware On Mancuso’s Career Day

RICHMOND, Va. – The University of Richmond football team scored 18 unanswered points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, but fell short in a 43-28 loss to Delaware Saturday at Robins Stadium. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Joe Mancuso (Blairsville, Ga.) made the most of his first career start, setting a Richmond record for total offense with 560 yards.

Mancuso threw for 489 yards passing on 27-for-37 with three touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran for 71 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. His 560 yards of total offense broke the school record set by Michael Strauss on Nov. 16, 2013 against Delaware.

Mancuso's 489 yards passing are the third most in the FCS this season, trailing only Devlin Hodges of Samford (562) and Reece Udinski of VMI (491). His game ranks fourth all-time in Richmond passing history in a single game and is the most since former Spider Kyle Lauletta passed for 546 yards last year against Sam Houston State. He also becomes just the third quarterback in all of FCS or FBS in the last five seasons to have at least 489 passing and 71 yards rushing in a season, matching Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech (2016) and Quinton Flowers of UCF (2017).

Redshirt junior wide receiver Cortrelle Simpson (Indian Head, Md.) caught a career-high 220 receiving yards, including two touchdowns in the loss. Simpson's 220 yards is third-most all-time for a single game behind former Spider Walker Gillette's 242 and 264 receiving yards. Gillette was in attendance to celebrate the 50thanniversary of the 1968 Tangerine Bowl victory. Senior wide receiver Tyler Wilkins (Richmond, Va.) added eight catches for 175 yards and a touchdown in the passing attack.

Delaware threw for 331 passing yards with quarterback Pat Kehoe going 11-for-20 for 291 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Walker led UD with 113 yards receiving on just two receptions. The Blue Hens were held to just 90 rushing yards and only averaged 2.4 yards per carry.

Delaware (3-2, 1-1 CAA) scored the first 16 points of the game in the first 5:08. The Blue Hens got a safety on special teams to open the scoring and for the third-straight game, the Spiders allowed an opposing defense to score a touchdown on them as Colby Reeder took a fumble recovery 34-yards for a touchdown for the 16-0 lead before Richmond had more than one drive.

The Spiders would score their first points on the next possession when Mancuso hit Wilkins on an 80-yard touchdown pass. The Blue Hens came and took a 33-10 lead into the halftime break, scoring two touchdowns in the final six minutes of the half to push out their lead.

Delaware would go in 43-10 in the third quarter after a Kani Kane touchdown run before the Spiders' started their comeback attempt. Mancuso connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass with Simpson to make it 43-16 as the two-point conversion was missed by the Spiders.

The Spiders' defense forced a three-and-out, giving the ball back to Mancuso. He connected with Simpson on a 61-yard pass to bring Richmond into the red zone and capped the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run to make it a 43-22 deficit.

Safety Trent Williams (Chester, Va.) intercepted a J.P. Caruso pass in the first play of the next possession to send Mancuso and the offense back on to the field. Mancuso and Simpson connected once again, this time hitting on a 37-yard touchdown pass to make it a two-possession game with 9:00 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Richmond forced Delaware to punt on its next possession and had a chance to make it a one possession game. Mancuso went for it all, looking to connect with Wilkins on a long strike but Delaware's Nasir Adderley made a diving interception to keep Richmond off the board.

The defense again forced a Delaware punt, giving the Spiders a chance with 4:30 remaining. Mancuso connected with wide receiver Ben Maffe (Ashburn, Va.) on a 32-yard completion to get into Delaware territory. The Spiders pressed for another score before Mancuso was intercepted by Ray Jones at the 29-yard line ending any threat.

The Spiders hit the road for the next two games, beginning next week with a trip to Albany. Game time is set for 7 p.m. next Saturday night.

Not Your Average Joe 
The story behind Delaware football's Joe Walker:



It’s a Tuesday morning in mid-July. As staff members show up for the day’s work, a bright light shines from a dark room in the Bob Carpenter Center.

In the dark room is senior WR Joe Walker studying film and watching route running. While most college students spent the summer working or hanging out at the beach, Walker could be found grinding away and studying his new position.

“Once Joe puts his mind to something, that’s all he’s going to focus on,” former teammate and current Chicago Bear Bilal Nichols said. “I watched how hard he was grinding over the spring and summer. He was so committed to mastering the route and the techniques. Joe is one of the most focused people I’ve ever met. He locks in and wants to be the best he can possibly be.”

The focus and commitment started at an early age for Walker, as his mother always put academics at the top of the priority list.

“My mom always had us focused on our grades. We weren’t allowed to play outside or play football unless we got our work done,” Walker said. “I remember one time when I was in grade school, I started crying because I didn’t think I was going to make honor roll and I thought football was going to be taken away from me. It was that important in our house.”

That focus on grades proved more beneficial than Walker may have realized at the time.

Walker, his two sisters and their mom and stepdad lived in North Philadelphia, an area of the city that is considered among the most dangerous. The city of Philadelphia has the second-highest crime rate of any major city.

During his youth, Walker saw the dangers of the city first hand and the impact didn’t lessen as he started his college career. While he was a freshman at the University of Delaware, he had three of his cousins taken from him in a span of three months.

“It teaches you a lot at an early age. You learn real quick how to deal with real life adversity and how to be tough-minded,” Walker said. “It also showed me how important it was to surround yourself with the right people. That really has been important to getting me to this point.”

Not only did the focus on academics prove crucial, but so was the game of football for Walker.

“I loved playing the game. From my first practice, I fell in love. Being out there on the field with all my friends, there’s nothing like it,” Walker said.

At an early age, Walker’s uncle brought him out to a football practice with his two sons. From that moment, Walker was hooked. His mom became an endless supporter of his football career.

“She’s always been my biggest fan. She drove me to practices, games, camps, everything. She was there pushing me and keeping me focused,” he said. “My two sisters were cheerleaders for our football team and my mom was always there in the stands, exactly where she is for our games here at Delaware.”

Football would provide Walker opportunities he never dreamed of growing up. As a senior in high school, he moved to Martin Luther King High School in Philadelphia, which led to several appearances at local football camps and scholarship offers.

Scholarship offers led Walker to the University of Delaware, where he earned the starting QB role in his redshirt freshman season in 2015. For the next two-and-a-half years, he made 25 consecutive starts for the Blue Hens.

“The biggest thing that I learned from Joe was the ability to take criticism and grow from it,” Nichols said. “We weren’t winning like we wanted to be and Joe was dealt a lot of the blame. Not once did he turn his back on it. He took it all on the chin and focused on trying to get better and better.”

Walker’s junior season brought about a new coaching staff and a lesson that life had been preparing him for since his youth.

Midway through the 2017 season, Walker’s consecutive games streak ended when JP Caruso was brought in to take over the QB duties for the Blue Hens.

“I had been playing quarterback ever since I was a little kid. I loved playing the position. I loved having the ball in my hand every play,” Walker said. “I’d be lying if I said it was easy, but ultimately, I wanted what was best for the team. That’s why we play the game.”

Walker, who had been elected captain by his peers earlier in the year, had a choice to make. He could accept a new role or be a toxic influence in the locker room. In his mind, there was only one choice.

“Football is bigger than just one player. This game is not about any individual. It’s 11 guys on the field at one time, fighting every play to help the team win. That’s why I love this game. I love the opportunity to line up with my guys and do everything we can to try and win the game,” Walker said. “Everything I was taught growing up, learning how to overcome adversity, I wasn’t going to let this slow that down. All I wanted to do was help the team win. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

Walker would turn to Nichols, his best friend and long time roommate at Delaware, for advice.

“We had the type of relationship that we could be real with each other. We were able to say things to one another that may have been tough to hear, but ultimately it was because we both wanted the same goals and that was to be the best we could possibly be for the team,” Walker said.

Fast forward a year later and Walker continues to put the team first. Through four games, he leads the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs.

The most telling stat however may be this: Walker is 260 yards away from becoming just 10th Division I (FBS and FCS) player in the past 30 years with at least 2,000 career yards passing, 1,000 career yards rushing and 500 career yards receiving.

Simply put, Walker will always do whatever he’s asked in order to help the team win.

Blue Hens Set To Take On Rutgers in 2021

NEWARK, Del. – Two programs separated by a little over 100 miles and have a rich history together will be reunited in 2021. 

The University of Delaware football program announced a future date with Big Ten foe Rutgers on Thursday morning. The date is set for Sept. 18, 2021. It's the second Big Ten foe to be added to the Blue Hens schedule with Penn State being added as future opponent recently as well. 

Rutgers and the Blue Hens have a rich history against each other, playing 31 times with the Scarlet Knights leading the series by a slim 15-13-3 margin. The last meeting between the two programs was in 1973.