Delaware heads to FCS semis beating Jacksonville St. 20-14
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) Nolan Henderson threw for 239 yards and Dejoun Lee and Anthony Paoletti each had rushing touchdowns as Delaware upended No. 4-seed Jacksonville State 20-14 on Sunday in an FCS quarterfinal contest.
The Blue Hens (7-0) advance to face the winner between top-seed South Dakota State and Southern Illinois in the semifinals on Saturday.
Jacksonville State's (10-3) championship hopes were doused when all-purpose quarterback Zion Webb left the game for good after suffering a non-contact injury early in the second quarter.
Before then, however, Delaware established control of the line of scrimmage. Paoletti's 1-yard scoring plunge on the game's opening drive completed an eight-play, 75-yard march for the lead.
After the Gamecocks punted on their opening drive, Delaware went on an 11-play, 89-yard drive that ended with Lee pounding it in from a yard out.
Relieving Webb, Chance Newman spent time at quarterback before being lifted for redshirt freshman AC Graham. On the first play from scrimmage to start the third quarter, Graham ran 74 yards to the Delaware 1-yard line before Uriah West crashed in from a yard out to reduce the deficit to 14-7.
But Delaware's defense stiffened and held the Gamecock's to minus-23 yards of offense and forced two interceptions on Jacksonville State's next five drives. The Blue Hens meanwhile added a pair of field goals for a 20-7 lead.
On their last drive of the day, Graham led the Gamecocks on a 12-play, 73-yard march in just under a couple of minutes resulting in a 27-yard scoring pass to Jared Scott with 41 seconds left. Graham finished with 62 yards rushing and 54 yard passing.
Delaware recovered the onside-kick attempt and killed the clock to end it.
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Updated May 2, 2021