Merrimack deals Hornets fifth straight loss 30-21

DSU’s Richard Harris is brought down from behind after a short gain in the first quarter in game with Merrimack Saturday. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — Bryant Dallas held up his index finger and thumb just inches apart — the universal sign for “so close.”

“We’re right there,” Dallas said. “The little things are killing us like penalties and personal fouls. We’re this close but we’re so far, we really got to dig deep and really want this.”

The Delaware State football team suffered another loss as the Hornets fell to Merrimack 30-21 at home in a nonconference matchup on Saturday afternoon. The Hornets dropped to 1-6 overall.

It was the fifth straight defeat for Delaware State.

Delaware State quarterback Tylik Bethea loses the football after he was sacked by Merrimack defender Jack Lambert.

“I wish I had a magic wand that would take away the slump that we’re in,” said DSU second-year coach Rod Milstead. “Especially for our seniors who have never had a winning season. It’s unfortunate but it’s part of the building process. I’m as disappointed as anyone else, I want to see us win and I know the wins will come. It will just take some time.”

The Hornets got a career day from Dallas, a senior running back, in the defeat.

Dallas scored a pair of touchdowns in the first half and rushed for 102 yards. That mark was a personal best for the senior.

The Hornets led three times in the first half but Merrimack responded with a touchdown each time. The Warriors took the lead for good on a 30-yard field goal by Cory Resendes as time expired in the second quarter for a 24-21 advantage.

Resendes added two more field goals in the second half to account for all the scoring after halftime.

Delaware State safety Nigel Bynum was flagged for pass interference against Merrimack receiver John Rosario in the second quarter.

“We started off fast, were able to move the ball and get the ball in the end zone,” Milstead said. “But we weren’t able to keep that up for four quarters. To score 21 points in the first half and not score anymore the rest of the game is very disheartening.”

Merrimack (3-4) is in its first year as a FCS program. It was the Warriors’ first win over a Division I opponent this season.

It was only the second time Merrimack has defeated a Division I team in school history. The only other time was against Wagner in 2013 when the Warriors were in Division III.

Merrimack outgained the Hornets 374-331.

“That’s too many points and too many yards,” Milstead said. “We’ve got to get better.”

Merrimack was led by quarterback Christian Carter, who was 18-of-39 for 194 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for a score.
The Hornets were harmed by a pair of fumbles for turnovers. They also committed seven penalties for 80 yards.

Corahn Alleyne scored the final touchdown for Delaware State on a 72-yard reception from Tylik Bethea. It was the longest touchdown for the Hornets since the 2016 season.

Freshman quarterback Tylik Bethea stays in the pocket on a pass play in Saturday’s game against Merrimack.

The 21 points came after Delaware State was held to just three points last week at Morgan State.

“We scored 21 points so we’re going in the right direction,” Dallas said. “Once we get everyone dialed in and playing as one unit we’ll be good.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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