Newton leads Howard to 52-23 romp over winless Hornets

DOVER — Delaware State racked up season-highs in points and total yards, but it wasn’t nearly enough in a 52-23 homecoming loss to Howard in a MEAC contest at Alumni Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Bison, led by quarterback Caylin Newton, collected 628 yards in total offense to improve to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the MEAC. The Hornets are winless in six games this season, including four MEAC contests.

Newton, brother of NFL star Cam Newton, completed 16 of 21 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for a team-high 81 yards.

Delaware State tallied 510 yards in the game, including 401 passing, the third-highest total in modern team history.

Freshman quarterback Jack McDaniels completed 13-of-20 passes for a career-best 191 yards and a touchdown. McDaniels has connected on 24-of-35 pass attempts (63.2%) in the last two games.

Back-up QB Keenan Black came off the bench to complete 10-of-22 throws for 175 yards and two touchdowns.

Hornet freshman wide receiver Trey Gross (Annapolis, Md.) had a breakout game, catching six passes for a game-high 154 yards and two scores. His yardage was the most by a DSU freshman since Darnerian McCants totaled 170 on six receptions vs. Buffalo in 1997.

Gross did not have a catch in the Hornets’ first five games this season.

The score was 10-10 before Howard ran off 42 of the next 49 points to break open the game.

The Hornets scored the tying touchdown on a 25-yard pass from Black to Gross with 4:36 left in the second quarter. The score was set up by a 35-yard pass out of punt formation from Fidel-Romo Martinez to Taronn Selby to the Howard 20-yard line. Selby had five catches for a career-best 110 yards in the game. He has 12 receptions for 198 yards in the last two contests.

The game was still tied when Delaware State was driving for the apparent go-ahead touchdown late in the second quarter. The Hornets drove 66 yards on 12 plays to the Bison one yard line, but a fumble on a pitch to Brycen Alleyne was recovered by HU’s Elijah Anglin and returned 96 yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick gave Howard a 17-10 lead with six seconds to go before halftime.

After the Bison opened up a 24-10 lead, Black and Gross connected again, this time on a 38-yard touchdown with 5:14 left in the third quarter to pull the Hornets to within seven.

Howard answered by scoring touchdowns on each of its next four possessions to open up a 52-17 lead.

Delaware State closed out the scoring on a six-yard touchdown pass from McDaniels to Fatu Sua-Godinet with 3:06 left to play.

The Hornets return to action with a home contest against South Carolina State next Saturday (Oct. 21). Kick-off is set for 2:00 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.

STINGERS: Gross and Selby are the first DSU receivers with 100 yards in the same game since Travis Tarpley (143) and Justin Wilson (110) vs. Morgan State in 2012 … Delaware State placekicker Wisdom Nzidee kicked a 19-yard field goal in the second quarter, his sixth successful conversion in six attempts this season … Nzidee, who tops all FCS kickers in field goal percentage (1.000), was also 2-for-2 on extra-point kicks in the game to improve to 5-for-5 this season … Hornet defensive back Brock Nichols (so.) had his first career interception on a pass by Newton in the second quarter … The interception was DSU’s third of this season after recording two in 2016.

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