Tuesday, November 5, 2013

From Goat to Hero

Throughout most of the season the Delaware State Hornets special teams has been inconstant. From giving up punt/kickoff returns for touchdowns, bad snaps, and bad punts. To blocked punts, blocked field goals, missed field goals, and fumbling the football on the returns.

During Saturday's 22-20 victory over Howard, Delaware State's special teams had to deal with another tough and speedy Bison team that burned you from all angles.

Lets start with the 2nd quarter after the Hornets tied the game at 7-7. Mitchell Ward made a squib bounce kick to Howard's Richard Aiyegoro and Hornets special teams coverage couldn't catch up to Aiyegoro's speed as he went 75 yards for the score. That helped the Bison retake the lead at 14-7.

With less than 65 seconds left before halftime, DSU scored on a 80 yard drive to cut the Bison lead to 14-13 when Ward missed his 1st extra point of the season. He made 43 straight extra point prior to that miss.

Then in the 4th quarter, the Hornets cut the Howard to 20-19 when punter Marco Kano couldn't hold on to the high snap and gets tackled in a hurry by Howard's special teams defense.

So whats left for the Hornets to do? This is where Ward became a hero with less than 1:58 left:

Mitchell made a successful onside that went 10 yards when his teammate wide receiver Milton Williams used his six foot, six inch height to out jumped almost the entire the Bison special teams to recover the onside kick and give Delaware State their chance to win the game.

The Hornets started their drive at midfield and drove it all the way to the Bison four yard with one second left. So what they Ward do to make up from his two missed extra points, kicked a game winning 28 yard field goal that send Hornet fans, his family, and their football team into a celebrating frenzy. After making the game winning field goal Ward ran all the way to the other end of the endzone only to be dog piled by his teammates.

You know what, that game winning kick remind me of Peter Gardner back in 2007 when he made two game winning field goals on the road vs South Carolina State and Winston-Salem State. He also made a game tying field goal when time expired in regulation vs Norfolk State at home to forced over and we all know what happened in overtime.

A great win for Delaware State and a great win for special teams that handled pressure with the game on the line.