DOVER — The same script as last home game played out for Delaware State on Saturday.
Except this time, the final score was more lopsided.
The Hornets led by double digits early, but Merrimack responded with 47 unanswered points to defeat Delaware State 47-10 in a nonconference football contest. It was the third loss in a row for the Hornets, who slumped to 1-3.
“We’ve got to play four quarters of football, I know it sounds like the same cliche but that’s something that’s been haunting us since game one,” DSU coach Rod Milstead said. “I take responsibility, that’s on Coach Milstead. Coach Milstead has to do a better job getting his team prepared, not just for a quarter, not just for a half, but for four quarters of football.”
The Hornets went up 10-0 with 11:52 left in the second quarter thanks to a 24-yard field goal by Jake Bridel and a 4-yard touchdown catch by Trey Gross from quarterback Jared Lewis. It was all Merrimack after that.
It was similar to Delaware State’s previous home game, where the Hornets took a 14-0 lead over Georgetown but surrendered 20 unanswered points. The Hornets lost the Georgetown contest in overtime, but it was pretty clear Merrimack had Saturday’s contest secured midway through the third quarter.
Warrior quarterback Westin Elliott had a career day. The Louisiana Tech transfer tossed six touchdowns and was nearly perfect, going 21-of-23 on his attempts for 336 yards.
Pat Conroy was on the receiving end of several long Elliott passes, recording 139 receiving yards and three touchdowns. All of Conroy’s touchdowns came in the third quarter, where Merrimack scored 20 points for a 34-10 lead.
Merrimack took the lead for good on a 10-yard reception by Hayden Fisher to go up 14-10 with 1:34 remaining in the second quarter.
Delaware State was out-gained 423-182.
“The plays are there, we got to make them,” Milstead said. “We missed a lot of plays in the first half throwing the football. Then sometimes we miss a block here or 10 guys are doing the right thing and one guy is not.”
Lewis was starting his second game in a row in place of an injured Tylik Bethea. He went 4-of-12 for 44 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Lewis was replaced by Jabari Blake late in the game but Blake did not record a pass attempt.
Sy’Veon Wilkerson led the Hornet ground game with 55 yards on 17 carries.
“We got to get all those small things corrected and everything else will take off,” Milstead said. “I still believe in this football program and the system we’re running. We just got to be more consistent.”