Hornets remain winless, fall to NC Central 43-10 on road

DURHAM, N.C. — Delaware State added another frustrating chapter to its season with a 43-10 loss to North Carolina Central in a MEAC contest at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Hornets trailed 17-10 at the break, but were outscored 26-0 in the second half to fall to 0-9 overall and 0-6 in the MEAC. The Eagles won their fifth straight game to improve to 6-3 overall and 5-1 in the conference.

DSU also hurt its cause by committing four turnovers, surrendering a special teams touchdown and coming up empty on three of five chances in the red zone.

North Carolina Central opened the scoring when Malcolm Bell and running back Dorrel McClain hooked up on a 17-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 10-play, 51-yard drive on its first possession. McClain also led all players with 120 yards rushing on 20 carries in the game. The extra point kick by Nigel McCauley gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead just five-minutes-32 seconds into the contest.

The Hornets evened the game with an impressive drive early in the second quarter.

The 11-play, 76-yard drive ended successfully on a three-yard touchdown run by freshman Brycen Alleyne, his third trip to the endzone in the last two games. The five-minute-11 second drive was highlighted by 26 and 25-yard passes from Gil Rivera to Aris Scott, and a 22-yard first down run by quarterback Esayah Obado. Wisdom Nzidee’s extra point kick tied the game at 7-7 with 12:07 left in the second quarter.

NCCU’s Kevin Thompson scored on a one-yard run to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead with 8:07 left in the quarter.

The Hornets failed to take full advantage of a blocked punt later in the second quarter. Kameron Rogers blocked a NCCU punt that was fielded by the Hornets at the Eagle one-yard line.
DSU failed to score a touchdown on the first three plays after the recovery and had to settle for an 18-yard field goal by Nzidee to pull to within 14-10 with 3:15 to go before halftime.

The Eagles added a field goal with 1:09 left in the half to lead 17-10 at intermission.

McCauly added two field goals in the 5:38 of the third quarter to give the Eagles a 23-10 lead.

NC Central stretched its lead on a special teams touchdown midway through the quarter. LaVontis Smith returned a Nzidee punt 61 yards to the endzone to give the Eagles a 29-10 lead at the 7:32 mark of the third quarter.

The Hornets drove 57 yards on 12 plays on the ensuing possession, but the drive ended on a blocked 37-yard field goal attempt.

DSU’s next possession began on the NC Central 19 after William Burton’s second interception of the season. On the first play after the turnover, Rivera completed a 17-yard pass to Jonathan Jones to the Eagle two. The Hornets’ scoring opportunity was lost when Rivera lost the ball on a sack at the NCCU 11.

The Eagles closed out the scoring with two fourth quarter touchdowns, including Thompson’s second of the game on a one-yard run.

NC Central outgained the Hornets 331-237.

Obado, returning to action after missing the previous three games due to an injury, led DSU with 46-yards rushing on six carries. He left the game in the second quarter and did not return after being helped off the field with a knee injury.

Rivera completed nine-of-21 passes for 104 yards. Scott led the Hornets with four catches for 60 yards.

Safety Logan Wescott led the Hornets with a career-high 13 tackles, including seven solo stops. DSU linebacker Rashawn Barrett had 12 tackles.

Lineman Gabe Sherrod had seven tackles, including 2.5 behind the line-of-scrimmage, and a blocked kick for the Hornets.

DSU will return to the Tar Heel State for its final road game of the season next Saturday (Nov. 14) at North Carolina A&T. The nationally-televised contest (ESPNU) begins at 1:02 p.m. at Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, N.C.

The Hornets will wrap up the 2015 season at home against Howard on Nov. 21. Kickoff for the Senior Day contest is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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