CLEVELAND — Delta State defeated North Alabama 42-14 Saturday afternoon to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals.
Micah Davis threw for three touchdowns and also rushed for a touchdown to lead the Statesmen offense. Davis was 17 for 24 and 214 yards passing.
The Delta State offense totaled 466 yards of offense and scored 35 unanswered points to help the Statesmen earn its biggest victory of the season.
Robert Hogan had two sacks and two forced fumbles to help lead the Statesmen defense. Dwight Tillman led the Statesmen defense with 5.5 tackles.
The Statesmen jumped out to a quick lead three plays in. After a pair of runs, quarterback Micah Davis went over the top of the Lions secondary to find Chance Dennis for a 60-yard touchdown pass.
The Lions answered with a scoring drive of their own, capitalizing on two key third-down penalties on the Statesmen defense. Antwan Ivey capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.
North Alabama took the lead late in the first quarter when Lee Chapple connected with Jason Smith on an 84-yard touchdown pass on third down.
The Statesmen tied the game midway through the second quarter when Micah Davis capped off an 11-play, 79-yard drive with a 1-yard run for a touchdown.
After a three-and-out for the Lions, Delta State put together a quick 52-yard drive for a touchdown. Richard Freelon had runs of seven and 18 yards and Davis had a rush of 14 yards to set up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Davis to Jacob Sesma to put the Statesmen up 21-14.
The Statesmen continued the momentum to start the second half with 10 consecutive run plays to set up a 20-yard touchdown pass from Davis to Avery Horn to cap off a 90-yard drive and give the Statesmen a 28-14 lead.
On the subsequent possession for the Lions, Statesmen linebacker Robert Hogan forced a fumble on Chapple that was picked up by Ixavier Triplett and returned the ball 24 yards to the 20-yard line.
Delta State capitalized as Richard Freelon capped off the short drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to put the Statesmen up 35-14 with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
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