Key pick six, Knight help football win on Senior Day, snapping three-game losing streak
Managing Sports Editor
On the third play of the game, sophomore linebacker Johnny Buchanon intercepted a pass from Stony Brook’s quarterback Tyquell Fields to put Delaware up 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.
“First drive of the game,” Buchanan said. “We were put in a good situation, I see the quarterback drop back, I got back to my zone, and I look to see [Cam Kitchen] over there hitting the quarterback, altering the direction of the ball and putting it in my area so I was able to make a play on it. I told Cam I owe him for that one.”
Senior kicker Jake Roth added a field goal and redshirt freshman running back Will Knight scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and Delaware was able to hang on to defeat Stony Brook 17-10 on Saturday afternoon.
The Seawolves turned it over on downs on their next possession, but Delaware could not capitalize, as Roth missed a 35-yard field goal.
Earlier in the drive, redshirt sophomore quarterback Nolan Henderson suffered a hip injury after a four-yard run. Redshirt senior quarterback Pat Kehoe took the snaps in relief of Henderson.
Roth had a 39-yard field goal blocked on the first play of the second quarter. His two misses on the day dropped his field goal percentage to 58% on the year.
Seawolves running back Isaiah White found a hole for 30 yards to the Delaware 37-yard line. That run helped set up a Stony Brook field goal from 24 yards out, putting the Seawolves on the board.
A three-and-out on Delaware’s next possession was costly, as it put Stony Brook in great field position, pinning them on their own 44-yard line. Three plays later, running back Jadon Turner raced 41 yards for a Seawolves touchdown, to put them up 10-7 with 5:43 left in the first half. Delaware added a field goal before the break to tie the game at 10.
The Blue Hens suffered another three-and-out on their first possession of the second half. Stony Brook made its way down to the Delaware 4-yard line, but an offensive holding call pushed it back to the Delaware 14. Short runs by Turner and White pushed the Seawolves to the 11-yard line. With momentum and in scoring position, Fields threw an interception in the endzone. Redshirt freshman defensive back Noah Plack stole the ball out of the air and kneeled for a touchback for the most critical play of the game.
However, the Blue Hens could not capitalize on another turnover and were forced into another three-and-out. It didn’t hurt Delaware though, as Stony Brook was also forced to punt early in the fourth quarter. The 15-yard, out-of-bounds punt gave the Blue Hens great field position on their own 45.
First down runs by redshirt junior running back DeJoun Lee set up a 21-yard touchdown run by Knight, putting the Blue Hens up 17-10. After forced punts from both teams on their next drives, Kehoe lost the ball on a sack and Stony Brook recovered on its own 27.
Both teams did not muster any offense on their next possessions. On Delaware’s punt, Seawolves wide receiver John Corpac fumbled on the catch and junior defensive end Andrew Pawlowski recovered it at the Stony Brook 47. However, Kehoe fumbled as well on the ensuing drive, but Stony Brook recovered at its own 27 with just a minute and change left. Delaware’s defense held on for the win as time expired.
Stony Brook outgained Delaware 341-250, rushing for 296 yards. White led the Seawolves ground attack with 188 yards while Turner added 101 yards and a touchdown.
Delaware’s defense held Fields to 45 yards on five completions and two interceptions. On offense, Lee led the way with 108 yards and a touchdown as well as 28 yards receiving. Lee added 61 yards rushing. Kehoe threw 10 passes, completing six of them for 87 yards. The wind rifled through the stadium, making it tough for both quarterbacks to get off clean passes.
“I knew that they may have a hard time throwing the ball,” Head Coach Danny Rocco said. “We told the team that this morning and it played out that way. I would have liked to see what Nolan could have done today in that kind of an environment, but we certainly leaned on our backs today because of the circumstances.”
Delaware snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided its first three-game home losing streak in 36 years. The team has had a rough stretch of games, losing five of six before beating Stony Brook.
At a 5-6 record, the Blue Hens have nothing to play for but pride when they travel to play rival Villlanova in the Battle of the Blue. Delaware has lost seven straight and 12 of the last 13 to the Wildcats (8-3) who are tied for third in the Colonial Athletic Association. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 23 against the Wildcats.
“Well we’re really happy to be able to send our seniors out of here with the win,” Rocco said. “We were big in big moments and that was something that we haven’t been of late.”
Delaware honored 23 seniors before the game on Senior Day. One of those honored, defensive tackle Cam Kitchen, reflected on his experience in the blue and gold.
“It means a lot, it means everything,” Kitchen said. “And to win my last game ever here in this stadium, it means the world to me. I had to stay out there for a couple extra minutes and just look around, touch the blue hen in the middle one more time, it meant the world to me.”