Delaware Valley is ranked No. 25 in the country according to d3football.com. The Aggies have won four of the last five MAC championships.
But that doesn’t phase Misericordia, which is in search of its first victory in school history and is coming off a little history of its own.
“I don’t think we are intimidated by anybody,” Cougars quarterback Jeff Puckett said. “We are thinking just like they’re any other opponent.”
Puckett, a sophomore, has a good reason for thinking that way: even though Misericordia lost last week, Puckett leads the MAC in rushing yard with 301 yards, the team racked up 640 total yards and set a MAC record with 587 rushing yards in a loss to Gettysburg.
More mind-boggling numbers from the performance are that the Cougars’ top rusher in all of 2012 had just 339 yards and Puckett’s six touchdowns (one throwing) fell one shy of the team’s TDs from all of last year.
Those stats led Puckett to being named the MAC co-offensive Player of the Week and gave the team plenty of confidence going forward.
“It’s all good, but I’m more excited about how well we played as a unit,” Puckett added. “It’s a team game. We’re going to keep playing as a team and good things will come. If we believe in ourselves, we’ll get wins. They’ll come.”
Puckett said the big difference this season with him and the offense is repetition. The players had spring practices in the offseason and a scrimmage during the preseason. It has appeared to pay off.
“We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing since the spring,” he said. “We thought we had this in us and we’re just trying to get better and better.”
Improvement will eventually lead to a victory, which could come this afternoon if the Cougars continue their current pace.
Delaware Valley (1-0, 0-0) at Misericordia (0-1, 0-0)
When: 1 p.m. today at Mangelsdorf Field, Dallas
Last Week: Misericordia dropped a 62-40 decision to Gettysburg, while the Aggies are coming off a 35-27 win over Rowan.
Last meeting: Delaware Valley was victorious last year, 70-0
Delaware Valley player to watch: Running back Darren Parrot is the team’s main running threat. If the Aggies try to do what Gettysburg did last week against the Cougars, he could have a big game.
Misericordia player to watch: Wide receiver Juwan Petties-Jackson was not a big factor last week because the Cougars ran with so much authority against Gettysburg. He will have to be more active this week because the Aggies only allowed 99 rushing last week.
Aggies team leaders: RB Darren Parrott 59 yards, TD; QB Aaron Wilmer 260 yards, 2 TD, 1int; WR Rasheed Bailey 7 rec, 138 yards, TD; DB Pete O’Hara, int; Bernard Avery 11 tackles; Rasheed Lighty 1 sack
Cougars team leaders: QB Jeff Puckett 301 rush yards, 5 TD; 53 yards passing, 1TD; WR Chris Kirkland 1 rec, 43 yards, TD; LB Ben Camacho 13 tackles
DelVal will win if: Puckett doesn’t have another big game for the Cougars and the Delaware Valley offense continues to roll after scoring all 35 points last week in the final 21 minutes.
Misericordia will win if: the offense can continue to click like it did last week piling up 640 yards and 40 points.But the defense will also have to contain Delaware Valley’s offense, which at times can score at will with big plays.
What to know: The game will pit the two reigning co-offensive players of the week in the MAC in Misericordia QB Jeff Puckett and DV quarterback Aaron Wilmer.