DOVER — If Jared Lewis learned anything from last spring, it was to always be ready.
And when history repeated itself in the fall, Lewis had a shorter learning curve.
Lewis enters his fifth consecutive games as Delaware State’s starting quarterback as the Hornets begin Mid-Eastern Athletic Association play on Saturday. The Hornets (3-3) host preseason favorite South Carolina State (2-4) at 2 p.m. for homecoming.
Lewis made his college starting debut during the abbreviated spring season after starter Tylik Bethea was injured in the first game of DelState’s five-game slate. Lewis ended up starting the final four games.
Bethea won back the starting job in the fall but was injured in the second game of the year against Georgetown. Lewis has been the starter ever since.
“I’m getting in my rhythm and into my flow,” Lewis said. “I’m happy I’ve been able to contribute and help my team.”
Lewis is coming off the two best games of his career. He engineered a second half comeback three weeks ago at Wagner for an overtime victory. Lewis tossed a career-high four touchdowns, including a clutch 17-yard pass on fourth down to Trey Gross in overtime.
That momentum carried over into a nonconference contest against Virginia-Lynchburg two weeks ago where Lewis threw for a pair of touchdowns.
The sophomore from Baltimore said getting his feet wet in the spring helped with the adjustment to college football.
“That helped me a lot,” Lewis said. “It gave me a good feel for the offense and got my up to speed. That was my first time really playing in college.”
Lewis appeared in two games as a reserve as a true freshman back in 2019 where completed 4-of-10 passes for 112 yards. He didn’t play again until the spring of 2021 as the Hornets missed out on the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the spring, Lewis struggled with turnovers with five interceptions to go with seven touchdowns. He’s improved on that so far this year as Lewis has thrown for eight touchdowns with just one interception.
Coach Rod Milstead said the Wagner game was a big step forward for Lewis. The fourth-year coach added he wants to see Lewis spread the ball around a little more to take advantage of all his weapons.
“We got a lot of playmakers who need to touch the football,” Milstead said.
The Hornets fell to South Carolina State in both matchups during the spring, including an overtime defeat in the season finale.
They caught a break this year with the scheduling, having a bye week before the first MEAC game, basically splitting the nonconference season and conference season up, Milstead said. It gave the team an extra week to prep and allowed it to get healthier.
“It’s kind of heaven-sent,” Milstead said. “It’s a chance to heal up before the MEAC.”