DSU notebook: Hornets to honor 19 seniors before finale

DOVER — The seniors on the Delaware State football team will not leave Dover with a winning record in their careers.

But coach Rod Milstead hopes they will end up being the group who helped start the rebuild to get the Hornets back to the top of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Delaware State will honor 19 seniors prior to the season finale against St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Hornets will attempt to salvage a 2-9 overall record with a victory in the final game of the year for the second straight season.

The senior class has gone 7-27 over the last four years between two head coaches.

Milstead said the seniors have played an important role in guiding the program through the rebuilding phase. The Hornets have won five games over the last two years with Milstead at the helm compared to just two in the two seasons prior.

“They understand their roles,” Milstead said. “One day I’m praying they’ll be able to come back when we get that championship and say, ‘You know what, it all started in 2019 when coach Milstead talked about that foundation and now that house is up.’ They’ve been through a lot in their four years and I’m so proud of them.”

Still, Milstead wishes this year would have gone better for those seniors.

“I’ve said almost every week that I wish I had a magic wand that could go back and change that chapter of the book for the 2019 Delaware State football Hornets,” Milstead said. “But I can’t. What we can do, is we always talk about laying the foundation. I think our foundation is almost complete. We have one more block we have to get into a slot and those seniors are the ones pushing that block into the slot.”

New-look defense

The Hornets’ new defensive scheme has been running for four weeks.

Milstead made a change on the coaching staff prior to the North Carolina Central game on Oct. 26. He elevated Le’Andre Creamer from cornerbacks coach to the top assistant on the defense.

“I told him when I made the change that he was on an audition,” Milstead said. “Right now he’s doing a heck of a job.”

Creamer has been rotating more players in and out on defense, Milstead said.

“I’m so proud of our guys the way they respond to his motivation during the week in practice. He gets them to a level where he exploits all of their talent.”

Creamer previously was a defensive assistant coach at Alabama State for three years before he joined Milstead’s staff. In his final year at Alabama State, Creamer’s defense was tops in the SWAC in scoring defense and total defense.

Bertrand-Hudon honored

Thomas Bertrand-Hudon was named MEAC Rookie-of-the-Week after rushing for a career-high 137 yards on 25 carries, including a 48-yard touchdown, last week against Norfolk State.

The performance marked the third straight 100-yard rushing effort by Bertrand-Hudon — the first time a Hornet has accomplished the feat since Emmanual Marc in 2006.

He is the second Hornet to earn MEAC Rookie-of-the-Week honors this season. Freshman quarterback Tylik Bethea was recognized by the league for his performance in DSU’s week two victory against Lincoln (Pa.) on Sept. 8.

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