First quarter surge carries Red Flash past Hornets 45-14

LORETTO, Pa. — Saint Francis scored 28 points during an eight-minute stretch of the first quarter en route to a 45-14 victory over Delaware State in a non-conference battle at DeGol Field Saturday afternoon.

The Red Flash rebounded from a heartbreaking loss to Lehigh in their season opener last week to improve to 1-1, while the Hornets fell to 0-2.

Quarterback Bear Fenimore completed 17-of-32 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for two scores to lead St. Francis.

Mike Waters (jr.) topped all players with 107 yards rushing, while linebacker Brian Cavicante (jr.) tied for game-high honors with 12 tackles (eight solo), including five behind the line-of-scrimmage for DSU. Cavicante also scored a touchdown on special teams in the game.

The Hornets struck first when Cavicante scooped up a fumble by Saint Francis punt returner Nick Rinella and ran 14 yards to the end zone early in the first quarter. The extra point kick by Jose Rom-Martinez gave Delaware State a 7-0 lead just 2:21 into the contest. DSU freshman Taj Washington was credited with the strip on the fumble.

The Red Flash wasted little time evening the game. Fenimore capped off a seven-play, 61-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge to tie the score with 8:55 left in the first quarter.

After a three-and-out by the Hornets, SFU’s Rinella made up for his earlier special teams mistake to put Saint Francis ahead. He fielded a punt at the Hornet 47, and after dropping the ball, recovered and darted along the sideline and past DSU punter Fidel Romo-Martinez to the end zone for a touchdown. The Red Flash led 14-7 after the extra point at the 7:17 mark of the opening quarter.

On the third play of the ensuing DSU possession, quarterback Jack McDaniels was intercepted by Jake Heiple, who returned the ball to the Hornet 26.

On the first play after the turnover, Fenimore connected with Terrell Johnson on a 23-yard touchdown pass for the third touchdown of the quarter for the Red Flash.

Delaware State drove to the Saint Francis 36 on its next possession, but the drive ended on a fourth down sack.

The Red Flash capitalized with their fourth touchdown of the quarter. Fenimore connected with Joel Denley for a six-yard touchdown to cap off the eight-play, 59-yard drive.

The first quarter ended with Saint Francis holding a 28-7 lead.

Delaware State mounted an impressive second quarter drive to pull closer. The 13-play, 75-yard march was highlighted by a 16-yard touchdown run by quarterback Keenan Black with 2:12 to go before halftime. Black completed a 17-yard pass to Taronn Selby for a first down and Waters rushed for three yards on fourth-and-three to keep the drive alive.

The Red Flash answered with a field goal on the final play of the second quarter to lead 31-14 at the break. The drive was aided by a Delaware State penalty on second-and-23 at the SFU 12.

Fenimore recorded his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard plunge and Chris Cropper rushed for a 65-yard TD in the third quarter to close out the scoring for Saint Francis.

The Red Flash won the total yardage battle 334-248, although the Hornets out rushed their opponent for the second week in a row (154-133). DSU also held the edge in time of possession 31:19 to 28:41.


The 100-yard rushing performance by Waters was the third of his career and first since Nov. 19, 2016 … he leads the Hornets with 199 yards on the ground in two games … the five tackles-for-loss marked a career-high for Cavicante … Delaware State senior Brycen Alleyne left the game after a hard hit on a kickoff return in the first quarter and did not return … DSU was also plagued by 11 penalties for 111 yards in the contest … The Hornets return to action next Saturday (Sep. 15) against FBS Western Michigan of the Mid-America Conference … kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Kalamazoo, Mich.

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