Kollie leads Hornets to 58-12 romp over Lincoln, Pa.

DSU wide receiver Kwannah Kollie is brought down after a long pass reception aginst Lincoln University Saturday. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — Kwannah Kollie played the best quarter of his college career in the first quarter.

The rest of the Delaware State University football team soon followed suit.

The Hornets broke the 50-point barrier for the first time since 2010, downing Division II opponent Lincoln 58-12 in their home opener on Saturday afternoon. The Hornets improved to 1-1 with the nonconference victory.

Kollie recorded 101 of his game-high 118 yards in the first quarter. The senior wide receiver finished with nine catches, including a pair of touchdowns.

Kollie’s big quarter helped freshman quarterback Tylik Bethea earn his first win in his first college start. The two connected for a 23-yard touchdown and a six-yard score in the first quarter.

“He’s an easy target to throw to,” Bethea said of Kollie. “He gets open on his routes.”

Richard Harris of DSU (35) celebrates with teammate Trey Gross after rushing for a touchdown.

Bethea made his debut two weeks ago when the Hornets fell at Delaware in the season opener. He came off the bench in the second half after junior Shayne Smith broke his thumb.

The Hornets had their bye week last weekend so Bethea had two weeks to prepare for his first start.

“I was excited, it’s my first college start so I’m going to have to perform,” Bethea said. “I’ve been performing well in practice so that translated over to the game.”

“Our offensive line is giving Tylik enough time to get the ball down the field,” Kollie said. “I know he’s getting his confidence in there. Before he even got in the UD game, I told him to play his game. That’s what he did today, he did his thing.”

Bethea finished with 181 yards passing and went 16-of-28 on his attempts with no interceptions.

“He’s a freshman,” said DSU coach Rod Milstead. “He played well but he still made some mistakes we have to correct. I’ll take a win any day though, and we can get those mistakes corrected. He did a good job, made some good reads and some great throws. The more he plays, the more he’ll succeed. For him to get a victory in his first start, is phenomenal.”

Three running backs scored for Delaware State.

Andrew Reese of Delaware State stops Lincoln quarterback Stephen Calvert in the backfield for a loss in the first half.

Bryant Dallas provided the first touchdown with a seven-yard rush on the first drive of the game. Richard Harris added another from a yard out in the second quarter while Mike Waters had a two-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Waters finished as the Hornets’ leading rusher with 67 yards on six carries.

Jabari Blake came off the bench in the fourth quarter to replace Bethea with the game already decided. Blake tossed the first touchdown of his college career with a 25-yard pass to Bizzet Woodley to cap the scoring.

Kollie was the first Hornet wide receiver to surpass the 100-yard mark in a game since Taronn Selby did it last year. Milstead said it wasn’t part of the pregame plan to have Kollie so heavily featured, but the Hornets kept going to him during the first quarter.

“It just worked out that way,” Milstead said. “We were able to take advantage of a matchup and Tylik felt very comfortable in getting him the ball. Kwannah made some great plays, short plays, long plays and touchdowns. He’s definitely a leader in our wide receiver core.”

Kicker Jose Romo-Martinez went a perfect 2-for-2 on his field goal attempts. His longest was from 36 yards.

DSU quarterback Tylik Bethea reaches forward to ensure getting a first down before going out of bounds in the 1st quarter.

The special teams unit added some more points via Keenan Black in the third quarter. Black, a former DSU quarterback who now plays defensive back, took a punt return 57 yards to the end zone to make it 41-0 with 10:02 left in the third.

The Hornets also scored on a fumble recovery by C.J. Wilson on Lincoln point after attempt for two points late in the third quarter. They then earned another two points thanks to a safety on Lincoln’s first drive of the fourth.

“We prepared well,” Milstead said. “The whole motto the last two weeks was to focus in on the small things and to make sure we eliminate the mental mistakes. I think we did a good job of doing that. My concern is I want to make sure we play four complete quarters.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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