Hens to visit Hornets twice as Route One rivalry is extended: Six more meetings slated from 2024-30

Delaware is 8-0 in the all-time series. The fact that the state’s two programs didn’t play was the subject of debate for years. Delaware State News file photo

DOVER — Most local college football fans were happy when Delaware began playing Delaware State in 2007.

But if Hornet fans had a gripe, it was that the Blue Hens never came to Dover for a game.

That’s going to change, however.

Delaware and Delaware State announced on Monday afternoon that the Route One Rivalry will continue, with six more meetings scheduled between 2024 and ‘30.

The biggest part of that news, though, is that the Blue Hens will play two games in Dover, in 2024 and ‘25. The previous eight meetings have all been played in Delaware Stadium with two more contests slated for Newark this season and next.

As an added incentive, the winner of the most games in the series between ‘24 and ‘29 will then host the 2030 contest. The state’s only two NCAA Division I FCS programs aren’t slated to play in 2028.

“It’s exciting for each school and the state that our football series will continue into the next decade and beyond,” Delaware State coach Rod Milstead said in a press release. “I’m also pleased that at least two of the games are scheduled to be played in Dover, allowing fans in central and southern Delaware a better opportunity to attend.”

“We are looking forward to this series with Delaware State and to celebrate our state’s two major universities,” said Delaware coach Danny Rocco. “This agreement will create a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for the fans of both universities.”

The Hens’ Delaware Stadium, which is currently undergoing a major renovation, seats about 22,000 people. The capacity of DSU’s Alumni Stadium is just over 7,000.

“This football series agreement provides another opportunity for Delaware’s major public universities to engage while also bringing together state and local officials, alumni and fans of each school, constituents and our communities,” said Delaware State Director of Athletics Dr. D. Scott Gines. “We are excited to be a part of this showcase for our great institutions and the First State.”

Delaware is 8-0 in the all-time series. The fact that the state’s two programs didn’t play was the subject of debate for a number of years.

The Hens and Hornets were finally brought together by the NCAA in 2007 when they were paired up in the first round of the Division I-AA playoffs. Delaware won the first meeting, 44-7.

Between the two schools, nearly 50 players who are Delaware natives are slated to suit up for this year’s matchup. The two squads open the season against each other on Aug. 29 in Newark.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to bring our two state institutions together,” said UD athletic director Chrissi Rawak. “Both of these universities have outstanding people who make an impact across the state. This series will be an opportunity for many folks in this state to show off their pride for their respective schools.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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