By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Football fans in Doylestown are having a lot of fun watching the Division III Delaware Valley College Aggies play this season.READ MORE: 15-Year-Old In Critical Condition, 2 Other Teens Injured In Triple Shooting Outside Simon Gratz High School: Police
Under first-year head coach Duke Greco, the Aggies have gone 8-0 this season as they prepare to host FDU-Florham on Saturday. With a 7-0 record in Middle Atlantic Conference games, the Aggies are tied for first in the league with Widener (Pride also 8-0 overall).
“I’m just really proud of the team,” Greco tells KYW Newsradio. “We have a group of guys here that prepare very well, every week. And that’s where the credit’s due. Our coaching staff is working hard, we have a bunch of good assistant coaches here. And as a coach, you’re only as good as your players, and that’s what we have. We have a bunch of really good football players here.”
The offense leads the way for the Aggies, who are now ranked as high as 17th in Division III. They scored “only” 24 points this past weekend in a win over King’s College and that represented their lowest point total of the season. Here in 2014, Del Val is averaging 43.9 points a game, which is good for tenth in the country.
Listen to Delaware Valley head coach Duke Greco talk to KYW’s Matt Leon:
At the center of this offensive attack is senior quarterback Aaron Wilmer. The George Washington High School product is completing 63% of his passes. He has thrown for 2,412 yards and 23 touchdowns with just three interceptions.
“Aaron’s done a great job,” Greco says. “He’s not just a great quarterback, he’s a good athlete. He’s using his feet when he needs to (215 yards and five touchdowns rushing). Again, his preparation is fantastic and he’s as smart as it gets.”
Wilmer’s top target is senior wide receiver Rasheed Bailey and he has put together a season for the ages. He leads the country in Division III with 1,310 receiving yards and is tied for the lead with 15 touchdown catches. Greco says the Roxborough High School graduate has really earned those numbers this season.
“What’s amazed me the most with Rasheed,” Greco says, “he’s got a bunch of great numbers, but he’s not catching a lot of gimmicks. He only has three catches all year on screen passes, everything he’s done is down the field and he’s working hard for his yards.”READ MORE: Dave McCormick Sues Over Counting Mail Ballots In Pennsylvania Republican Senate Race
Giving the offense balance is senior running back Chris Smallwood. A graduate of Upper Moreland High School, Smallwood has rushed for 1,090 yards, averaging six yards on 182 carries. He has 18 touchdowns on the ground, six of them came in one game against Wilkes.
“Chris is just a grinder,” Greco says. “The Lycoming game a few weeks back, I’ve been here 12, 13 years, to me that’s the best performance I’ve seen from a tailback (25 carries, 180 yards, TD). The kid ran hard every snap. He’s great in pass protection, catches it well, he’s doing a fantastic job.”
You don’t put up numbers like this without great work up front and Greco says his offensive line has been key to their success.
“Coming in (to the season), that was my biggest concern with the offense,” Greco says. “But these guys have stepped up. It’s amazing what they’ve done, pass protection wise, for us and Aaron and all the receivers. In the run game, we’ve been consistent, which is great.”
The arrow is also pointing up for the Del Val defense. After some early struggles and injuries, that unit has really jelled the last three games, allowing a total of just 41 points.
“Played their guts out vs. Stevenson, Misericordia and really won the game for us this weekend against King’s,” Greco says.
There is a great match-up on the horizon in two weeks when Delaware Valley College visits a Widener team that is also 8-0. But Greco says right now their focus is Saturday’s game with FDU-Florham on “Senior Day” in Doylestown.
“It’ll be a little bit of an emotional day,” Greco says. “The last home game. Hopefully we can push through, get a ‘W’ and then move on to the following week vs. Widener.”
Delaware Valley College and FDU-Florham will kick-off at 1:00 pm on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
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