After an emotional and exciting double overtime win at home vs Richmond last week, University of Delaware looked to continue their exciting and strong play vs Towson.
The win last week vs Richmond propelled Delaware in the Top 25 rankings and the win was the Hens third straight win.
The Hens battled the whole game vs Towson but at the final minute of the game the Tigers punched the Hens in the gut with a 14 yard touchdown at Johnny Unitas Stadium to seal a 18-17 win with 35 seconds left in the game.
The loss snapped the Hens three game winning streak but it did not snap their post-season hopes. The Hens still can clinch a spot in the tournament with wins against Maine, Albany, and Villanova, who they play in the coming weeks.
So how this tough loss happen?
It all started in the first quarter, Towson started off with ball first and the Tigers drove 59 yards down the field for a field goal to put them ahead 3-0 with 9:53 left in the first quarter.
Townson’s quarterback Ryan Stover and running back Kobe Young combined for 33 yards rushing on that scoring drive.
The Hens first drive in the first quarter stalled but their second drive near the end of the quarter would put the Hens ahead in the game.
The Hens finally got on the board at the beginning of the second quarter with Hens quarterback J.P. Caruso finding tight end Charles Scarff for the 3 yard score to put the Hens up 7-3 with 14:55 left in the 2nd quarter.
Hens Caruso had 20 yards passing on that drive and wide receiver Jamie Jarmon came up big with a 16 yard rushing play in the scoring drive.
Both teams were silenced offensively for the rest of the quarter but there was one play around the 3:30 mark in the second quarter that blew everyone away.
The play was when safety Nasir Adderley made a one handed interception off of Towson’s quarterback Ryan Stover’s pass.
The first half ended with the Hens up 7-3 over the Tigers and the second half would be just as much as a battle as the first.
As the second half started, Delaware was feeling good because with the opening possession of the half the Hens drove 71 yards for a touchdown to put them up 14-3 in the early minutes of third quarter.
On this scoring drive it was all about the Hens running backs Kani Kane and Kareem Williams who combined for 71 yards rushing on the ground. Williams 30 yard touchdown run was the highlight play of the drive.
Then the Tigers got on a roll in the late minute of the third quarter with a drive that resulted in a touchdown for Towson.
Towson’s quarterback Stover did the heavy lifting on the drive with 56 total yards on the drive but the highlight play of the drive was when Stover found Towson wide receiver John Tsimis for the 39 yard score to close the Hens lead to 14-11 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
As the third quarter ended and the fourth quarter began, the Blue Hens stalled with their drive and punted to the Tigers Coby Tippett who fumbled the ball and Hens linebacker Colby Reeder recovered the fumble.
The fumble set Delaware up at Towson’s 12 yard line but Hens struggled to get anything going on the drive and settled for a 26 yard field goal from kicker Frank Raggo which increased the Hens lead to 17-11 with 9:43 left in the game.
Fast forward to about 3:55 left in the game and the Towson’s Tigers were driving with the ball with the game on the line. Towson quarterback Ryan Stover marched his team down the field with a combined 48 yards for the QB on the drive. The highlight play on the drive was when Stover found wide receiver Sam Gallahan for the 14 yard touchdown to put the Tigers up 18-17 with 35 seconds left in the game.
Hens tried to muster one more scoring drive for the comeback win but came up short and it ended with them losing 18-17 to the Tigers.
For the individual performances of the Hens, QB J.P. Caruso was 6 for 15 with 43 yards and 1 touchdown.
The leading wide receiver of day was tight end Charles Scarff who had 2 receptions for 9 yards and 1 TD.
For the Blue Hens rushing attack, Kani Kane had 113 yards rushing and Kareem Williams had 80 yards rushing and 1 touchdown.
On the defensive side, the team 61 total tackles, 2 interceptions and 1 fumble recovered.
Nose tackle Bilal Nichols led the Hens with 9 total tackles while Nasir Adderley and K.C. Hinton each had interception. Also, linebacker Colby Reeder recovered a muffed punt.
Blue Hens (5-3, 3-2 CAA) travel to Portland, Maine for their second straight CAA road game vs Maine Black Bears on Saturday, November 4th at 2 pm ET.
Quotes of the Game:
Blue Hens Head Coach Danny Rocco on team’s loss vs Towson:
“I don’t know if it was a letdown. We got one of Towson’s better games this season and we played hard on defense. I thought our defensive played well enough on the road to come up with a win. We continue to lack explosive plays for touchdowns. We had some good runs today but we just didn’t get enough from the passing game. We have to go back to work this week and improve from our performance tonight.”
Blue Hens QB J.P. Caruso on team’s loss vs Towson:
“We have to play better and smarter and it starts with me. We left a lot of yards out there. Our defense played well but our offense just didn’t get it done. But we won’t let this (loss) hold us back. Our road got harder but we aren’t out of it. We just have to come out this week and work hard.”
We have no excuse for not putting up more points right there. We could have ended it and we didn’t. That was big.”
J.P. Caruso: 6 for 15, 43 yards passing & 1 TD
Ryan Stover: 20 for 32, 187 yards passing, 2 TDs & 2 INTs. Also, 56 yards rushing.
Kani Kane: 22 carries for 113 yards
Kareem Williams: 12 carries for 80 yards & 1 TD
Ryan Stover: 8 carries for 56 yards
Shane Simpson: 8 carries for 33 yards
Charles Scarff: 2 Receptions for 9 yards & 1 TD
John Tsimis: 5 receptions for 79 yards & 1 TD
Sam Gallahan: 4 receptions for 33 yards & 1 TD
Bilal Nichols: 9 tackles
Nasir Adderley : 8 Tackles & 1 INT
Colby Reeder: 2 tackles & 1 fumble recovery
K.C. Hinton: 1 tackle & 1 INT
Robert Heyward: 7 tackles
Bryce Carter: 3 tackles & 2 sacks