South Carolina State (2-5 overall, 1-3 MEAC) suffered yet another setback dropping its second straight league contest, 31-17 to the Hornets of Delaware State (3-3 overall, 2-1 MEAC) Saturday at Alumni Stadium .
"Well, it's another tough loss and I'm heart-broken for these kids (players), said SC State head coach Buddy Pough. There are a lot of reasons we are not winning but lack of effort is not one of them."
The Bulldogs offense once again couldn't seem to get things going falling behind 14-0 early in the first quarter. Red-shirt senior Nick Elko (6-2, 220) got the Hornets going early on with a 42-yard toss to freshman running back Dae-Hon Cheung (5-10, 170) at the 11:57 mark.
Senior quarterback Derrick Wiley (6-1, 190) pass was intercepted by freshman linebacker Terrick Coltson (6-1, 185) and returned for a 53-yard touchdown with 7:44 left in the quarter. SC State struck back on a forced fumble by sophomore linebackerJustin Hughes (6-1, 220) and recovery in the end zone cut the lead 14-7 with 4:50 left.
Senior kicker/punter Nick Belcher (5-9, 175) nailed a 37-yard field goal to close out the first-half to put the score 14-10. The Hornets took a 14-10 lead into the half over the Bulldogs.
The battle of the defenses came into effect in the third quarter with the only score coming from a 27-yard field by sophomore Mitchell Ward (6-1, 180) at the 5:06 mark.
Delaware State took complete control in the fourth quarter rallying off a 12-yard pass from Elko to senior wide receiver Justin Wilson(6-1, 175) to give the Hornets a 24-10 lead at the 11:39 mark. Freshman running back Nagee Jackson's (6-1, 220) 5-yard punch with 4:03 left put DSU ahead 31-10 late in the contest.
The Bulldogs only score in the second-half came on a 10-yard pass from red-shirt junior quarterbackRichard Cue (6-1, 180) to freshman wide receiver Tamarrick Hemingway (6-5, 220) with a 1:44 left in regulation.
Delaware State held on to defeat South Carolina State 31-17 giving them their second conference win of the season improving to 3-3 overall, 2-1 in the MEAC. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs fall to 2-5 overall, 1-3 in the league.
Senior Nick Elko led the passing attack for the Hornets throwing a game-high 293 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-33. Jackson led all rushers with 106 yards on the ground on 22 carries. Senior's Travis Tarpley (5-10, 175) and Justin Wilson were the top receivers. Tarpley led the corps with a game-high seven catches for 100 yards, while Wilson finished with four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Pough stated, "We are not getting the job done and making the plays like we should. We still have four games left, FAMU next week so we just have to do the best job we can the rest of the way."
SC State will return to action on Saturday when they travel to the sunshine state to take on the Rattlers of Florida A&M in a pivotal MEAC showdown. Kick-off is 6 p.m.