Nov. 27, 2010

Courtesy of Delta State

CLEVELAND - Trevar Deed and Brandon Lucas both rushed for over 100 yards, as the No. 18 Delta State Statesmen (9-3) crushed the No. 25 North Alabama Lions, 47-24, Saturday at Parker Field-McCool Stadium in an NCAA Second Round Playoff contest. DSU advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals to face No. 10 Albany State (11-0) next Saturday, Dec. 4 in Albany, Ga.

The second game was a complete turnaround from the first meeting, as the Statesmen dominated the Lions offensively and defensively for the entire contest. The green-and-white amassed 524 yards of total offense, including 359 rushing yards. The DSU defense held the vaunted UNA offense to just 274 yards, including a mere 66 on the ground. The 47 points were also the most points scored against the Lions in the 53-year history of the series.

"This game was one of the best we've put together all season," DSU head coach Ron Roberts stated. "For four quarters, we played focused football and it was easy to see our guys came to play."

From the start of the contest you could tell this was a different Statesmen football team. On their first possession of the game, DSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the Lions early in the first quarter, as DSU drove 15 yards on two plays in under a minute. Chance Dennis hauled in his third touchdown pass of the season, a 17-yarder from Micah Davis for the score. Matt Dean's extra point was good.

After forcing the Lions into a three-and-out, the Statesmen offense stalled at the 35-yard line. As Tyler Caldwell prepared to punt the ball away for DSU, Skyler Parker's snap sailed over his head, giving UNA the ball at the DSU 20-yard line.

The Lions capitalized two plays later, as Wes Holland scampered into the endzone from 12-yards out to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:26 to go in the first.

DSU answered right back, as Brandon Lucas capped a six-play, 63-yard drive with a 28-yard touchdown run to take the lead 14-7 with 17 seconds left in the opening quarter.

The Statesmen took a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter, as Trevar Deed blasted into the endzone on a 2-yard rush with 9:48 left in the half. The drive covered 80-yards on 10 plays in 4:50.

DSU extended the lead to 27-7 on Dennis' second touchdown grab of the game, a 2-yard pass from Davis, with 3:48 to play in the opening frame. Dean's extra point was blocked.

The Statesmen had another chance to tack on points in the first half, but Cha Lane would block Dean's 35-yard field goal attempt with 34 seconds left in the second quarter.

DSU held UNA to just 70 yards on 24 plays in the first half, while the Statesmen offense gained 272 yards on 43 plays. The Statesmen rushed for 145 yards in the half, led by Deed's 99 yards on 12 carries. Lucas added 57 yards on six carries as well.

Davis was 15-of-20 for 127 yards and two scores in the half. Dennis led all receivers with four grabs for 47 yards and two touchdowns.

UNA's Lee Chapple completed 5-of-13 passes for 23 yards with an interception. Chapple also led the Lions in rushing with 23 yards on two carries.

The Statesmen carried their first half momentum into the second half, as DSU marched 72 yards on just seven plays to score out of the half. Micah Davis capped the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run with 11:31 left in the third.

UNA would finally scratch the board in the third, as Josh Montgomery connected on a 34-yard field goal with 8:15 on the clock in the third. His kick ended an 11-play, 54-yard drive that covered 3:07 on the clock.

The Statesmen made it 40-10 midway through the third, as Lucas scored his second touchdown of the game on a 25-yard blast up the middle of the field. The drive took just two plays and covered 59 yards in only 35 seconds.

DSU went up 47-10 with 36 seconds remaining in the quarter, as Davis found Blake Swain in the back of the endzone for the score. The drive took 12 plays in 5:16 and covered 72 yards.

UNA would score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a 23-yard and a 34-yard touchdown reception by Charles McClain from Chapple, to make the final 47-24, but the game was never in doubt.

The Statesmen finished the contest with 524 yards of total offense, including 359 yards rushing. Deed totaled 109 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries, while Lucas tallied 106 yards and two scores. Davis rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown, while Jamarcus Jackson tacked on 42 yards in the fourth quarter.

Davis, who did not play in the fourth quarter, completed 19-of-25 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Dennis finished with a game-high five receptions for 60 yards and a pair of scores.

Kyle Van Ness finished the game with a career-high seven tackles, while Kenny Barnes added five. Garrett Williams and Dwight Tillman both finished the game with one interception each.

UNA finished the game with 274 yards on 55 plays. The Lions rushed for their third lowest total of the season, 66 yards on a mere 16 carries. UNA passed for 208 yards, as Chapple completed 17-of-39 attempts with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The numbers pale in comparison to the first meeting when UNA totaled 426 yards of total offense and rushed for 206.

UNA's Harrison Bryant led all defenders with 10 tackles.

The win extends DSU's postseason record to 10-4 and guarantees a matchup next week at Albany State in the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Football Championships. Kickoff is set for noon EST in Albany, Ga. It's the second Quarterfinals appearance under DSU head coach Ron Roberts in the last three seasons.