Saturday, November 27, 2010

Statesmen make statement in 47-24 playoff win over Lions

CLEVELAND — Despite losing to North Alabama 31-7 in the regular season, Delta State coach Ron Roberts said he told his team Friday night, before their Round 2 Division II playoff game against the Lions, that this time around it would be different.
"I told the team Friday night don't be surprised if we put it on them bad," said Roberts.
Either Roberts has a crystal ball or he really thinks highly of his DSU offense, which he touts as one of the best in the nation.
Either way, Roberts' prediction was right on point, as the Statesmen (9-3) ran over North Alabama 47-24 in their fifth posteason game under Roberts.
DSU, known for their high-powered passing game, leaned on the run this time. The Brandon Lucas and Trevar Deed one-two punch led DSU en route to a 359-yard rushing display. Quarterback Micah Davis added 77 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
"(Our) defense got whipped about as had as we've been whipped," said UNA coach Terry Bowden.
The 23-point DSU victory, however, can be deceiving. The Statesmen led 47-10 at the end of the third quarter before removing their starters.
Two UNA fourth quarter touchdowns against DSU's second-team defense made the "whipping" look a little more presentable.
"I told (coach Roberts) after the game," Bowden said, "(that) I've never worked so hard to make a game not look like a butt-whopping...."
DSU struck first with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Chance Dennis and never looked back — scoring three more times in a four-drive span.
The Statesmen held a 27-7 lead at halftime.
Davis rushed for a 25-yard TD and Lucas added another score on a 23-yard scamper in the third quarter. A 13-yard TD pass to Blake Swain put the game out of reach during the waning seconds of the third quarter — giving the Statesmen a 47-10 insurmountable lead.
The UNA defense which marched all over DSU in the regular season was non-existent Saturday afternoon. The Lions were held to 274 total yards, with a bulk of those coming in the fourth quarter against DSU’s backups.
Meanwhile, DSU gained 524 total yards, including 359 on the ground. Deed rushed for 109 yards and a TD on 15 carries while Lucas added 106 yards and two TDs on 11 attempts.
The Lucas-Deed one-two punch is one to be reckoned with, said Deed.
“You can’t stop all of us,” he said. (If) you stop me, we have (Lucas). It’s scary....I don’t see anyone stopping us from here on out if we play our game.”
Roberts said his team “played their most complete game of all season.” That may be an understatement.
DSU held UNA to 66 rushing yards and forced Lee Chapple to throw two picks.
DSU’s Davis, meanwhile, went 19-of-25 for 165 yards and three TDs. Chance Dennis had five catches for 60 yards and two scores.
The Statesmen punted only twice during the game.
“You talk about what (Davis, Deed and Lucas) did today and their ability to step up in big games and make those plays...It puts them among the elite people who have played football at (DSU).”
DSU’s 47 points were the most scored against the Lions in the 53-year history between the two schools.
Kickoff for next week’s game at Albany State will be at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time.

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