JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Delaware used a pair of touchdowns on its first two possessions to take down No. 4 seeded Jacksonville State, 20-14, Saturday afternoon at Burgess-Snow Field to advance to the FCS Semifinals.
“I’m just really proud of our football team,” said head coach Danny Rocco. “To be able to come down here on the road, in this round, and find a way to win and advance shows this football team can win in a lot of different ways.”
Blue Hen redshirt junior quarterback Nolan Henderson was 18-of-28, throwing for 239 yards, finding senior Gene Coleman II on 10 occasions for a career-best 129 yards. Coleman’s 10 grabs are one shy of the program record for receptions in a playoff game.
Delaware’s defense was dominant again, forcing a pair of interceptions, held JSU to a season-low 200 yards of total offense, and sacked the quarterback five times. Both redshirt senior Nijuel Hill and redshirt sophomore Noah Plack picked up interceptions.
Delaware limited the Gamecocks to seven first downs and became the first FCS opponent since Kennesaw State in 2017 to hold JSU to 200 yards or less total offense. Jacksonville State was 1-for-12 on third-down conversions.
“You have to commend Delaware. They played a solid game,” said Jacksonville State head coach John Grass. “Their quarterback was lights out today. He played a great game.
“The plan kind of changed at the end of the first quarter when [Jacksonville State QB] Zion (Webb) got hurt. I thought we had a good plan coming in – it’s a shame we didn’t get to see the plan work out offensively. Defensively we played better in the second half and had some stops in the red zone to force field goals, but we had a lot of chances to flip the field and just did not get off the field.”
Jacksonville State lost starting quarterback Webb to a leg injury late in the first quarter and struggled to establish any offensive consistency. Delaware led 14-0 at halftime behind long touchdown drives on its first two possessions.
- Stadium: Burgess-Snow Field
Location: Jacksonville, Ala.
- Attendance: 8023
- Duration: 3:20
DELAWARE: Nolan Henderson (239 PASS); Nolan Henderson (30 RUSH); Gene Coleman II (129 REC);
JSU: GRAHAM,AC (54 PASS); GRAHAM,AC (62 RUSH); BARRY,Trae (52 REC);