October 2 bluehens.com:
HARRISONBURG, Va. — On a day when University of Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin played just two snaps and Andrew Pierce found rushing yards tough to come by, it was the reliable Blue Hen defense that rode to the rescue once again.
The No. 5 ranked Blue Hens remained unbeaten (5-0, 2-0 CAA) thanks to a superb defensive effort in the second half and two fourth-quarter field goals by Mike Perry, the second a 28-yarder down the middle with just three seconds left to play, as they posted a hard-fought 13-10 Colonial Athletic Association football victory over No. 3 James Madison at sunny Bridgeforth Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Delaware, which won for the first time at James Madison since 2001 and for the first time in four trips to Bridgeforth Stadium under head coach K.C. Keeler, posted its third victory over a top-five ranked opponent this season and put itself in the CAA driver’s seating heading into CAA home contests with Maine and Rhode Island the next two weeks at Delaware Stadium.
James Madison (3-1, 0-1 CAA), which posted a victory over nationally-ranked Virginia Tech earlier this season, lost for the first time this season and had a seven-game win streak dating back to last season snapped.
“This all came down to a one-snap ball-game,” said Keeler, who improved to 16-10 all-time vs. Top 10 opponents and led his team to its fourth CAA road win in the last five outings since last season. “You had two great football teams battling today and our kids showed a lot courage in pulling this one out. You take the fact that we were playing with our number two quarterback (Trevor Sasek) and they really got after us, but we responded and rallied around him. It was a tremendous effort by our guys to come down and win here.”
Sasek, the Hens’ redshirt freshman quarterback, was pressed into action early when Devlin, a Walter Payton Award and All-American candidate, was hit hard after handing off on only the second offensive play of the day for Delaware and suffered a concussion, ending his day.
But Sasek, who led the Hens to a 30-6 win over Duquesne earlier this season with Devlin out with a fractured wrist, rose to the occasion again. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 124 yards and engineered the winning drive that saw the Hens go 69 yards on 14 plays to set up Perry’s game-winning kick.
“This feels amazing,” said the 6-6 Sasek, who shook off two early fumbles by scoring the Hens’ only touchdown of the day when sneaked in from one-yard out to give UD a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. “I was definitely more confident (during the last drive) than I was in the beginning of the game. That first drive didn’t go so well, but my teammates calmed me down and really backed me up. I just knew I had to come and do my job.”
Perry, in his first year as the Blue Hen kicker, also did his job in a big way. After missing three extra points and two field goal attempts earlier this season, the junior was perfect on Saturday. His career-long 47-yarder on the first play of the fourth quarter capped a 39-yard drive and knotted the score at 10-10.
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