By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The place to be for local college football fans on Saturday will be Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium in Chester. That’s where two longtime Division III rivals will meet in arguably the best game on the local calendar this season as 9-0 Widener hosts 9-0 Delaware Valley College.
There is a lot in play in this one. Not only is the “Keystone Cup” on the line, which goes to the winner of this annual match-up, but the victor also grabs the Middle Atlantic Conference Championship outright and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“That’s why guys go to college, that’s why we coach, for games like this,” Delaware Valley College head coach Duke Greco tells KYW Newsradio. “I’m excited. The team here, we’re excited. You can’t ask for anything more. It’s going to be a great atmosphere down in Chester, a lot on the line. It’s everything you play and coach for. It’s going to be a great time.”
Listen to Del Val head coach Duke Greco with KYW’s Matt Leon:
This is Greco’s first season as Del Val’s head coach, although he spent the past several years as a top assistant with the Aggies. On the other side of the field, Widener’s Mike Kelly is in his first year as the head coach of the Pride.
“The thing that has impressed me most with these young guys is that we have incrementally gotten better every week,” Kelly tells KYW Newsradio. “And I’ve had very few football teams that I could say that about with a lot of confidence. I’ve been very fortunate throughout my career to be on some really good teams, but I’ve never seen one that just continues to improve.”
Listen to Widener head coach Mike Kelly with KYW’s Matt Leon:
The numbers for both these teams are really impressive. Del Val averages 45 points a game. Widener 40. The Pride allow just over 10 points a game. They’ve shut out two opponents and held three others to 7 points or fewer. The Del Val defense has really jelled here down the stretch, allowing just 12 points a game over their last four.
Both quarterbacks in this game are operating at a very high level. Widener sophomore Seth Klein has thrown 25 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions, completing 63% of his passes. Del Val senior Aaron Wilmer has 27 touchdown strikes and just 3 picks. He is also completing 63% of his passes.
Del Val senior wide receiver Rasheed Bailey leads the nation in Division III with 1,482 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns. Widener senior wide receiver Anthony Davis is also a big play threat with 48 catches for 814 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also averages nearly 14 yards a punt return. The Del Val running game is keyed by senior Chris Smallwood who has 1,191 yards and 19 touchdowns, while averaging 6 yards a carry. Senior Terrant Morrison is the top back for the Pride with 706 yards. He averages 5.8 yards a carry and has 5 scores.
Greco says a key for his squad on Saturday – avoiding self inflicted problems.
“We’ve been really, really, disciplined all year,” Greco says. “Last two weeks, we’ve had a lot of penalties. That’s been a big issue and that’s something we need to clean up if we want to be successful this weekend. I think we just need to focus on us. They are very, very good and I think we’re a pretty good team. This same club here, we were able to get a victory in Doylestown last year (50-28) and I’m just hoping that can carry over to a ‘W’ in Chester this year.”
Kelly wants his team to keep doing what they do.
“We’ve been able to avoid the real high peaks and the real low valleys,” Kelly says. “We’ve gone about our business in a very business-like manor, almost non-collegiate if you will. We just do what we have to do. And I think if we go out and play our game, we certainly should have the opportunity to be successful.”
Saturday’s game in Chester kicks off at 1:00pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
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