The two-time reigning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions used big-play body blows — putting up touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams — to drop Delaware State 38-21 on Saturday. They sprinkled in some fresh faces like Antwanne Kerr and David Erby too, while exploding for 24 unanswered points over the second and third quarters alone.
Kerr hauled in a 50-yard scoring pass from quarterback Malcolm Long, Lataris Douglas took a blocked punt back 15 yards for a score, Blake Erickson hit on a 39-yard field goal, Erby also took a Delaware State pass back 46 yards for a touchdown, and then Chris Merrill had fourth-quarter rushing TDs for 23 and 12 yards.
After an early score, the Hornets — who dropped a third straight to South Carolina State — never knew what hit them.
“We did end up scoring some points, but I’ll tell you what, some of the guys who ended up scoring them were different names from what that we’ve had in the past,” South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough said. “We’re real proud for some of our young guys for getting in there and getting it done.”
[Delaware State is moving forward with common-sense determination.]
The defense for South Carolina State (6-2 overall, 4-1 in league play) played as advertised, after that initial stumble. Hornets running back Jaashawn Jones — who had topped 100 yards rushing in each of the team’s last two games — was stymied, going just 19 yards on nine carries. In all Delaware State managed just 43 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, Merrill finished with 160 yards on 21 carries, as South Carolina State outgained Delaware State 464 to 325 in total yards. That’s particularly good news for a Bulldogs group that lost leading rusher Chris Massey to a knee injury in last week’s homecoming win over Hampton.
“I am happy for Chris,” Bulldogs coach Pough said. “We always thought he was good enough to contribute and now with all the injuries, he must carry the load for us the rest of the way.”
The Hornets (1-7, 1-5) return for their 2010 home finale against North Carolina Central on Saturday, while the Bulldogs play host to Howard.