No. 20/22 Mustangs Blank Misericordia, Improve to 5-0

No. 20/22 Mustangs Blank Misericordia, Improve to 5-0

DALLAS, Pa. – Stevenson University, ranked No. 20 in the D3football.com Top 25 and No. 22 in the American Football Coaches Association poll, posted a 48-0 shutout of Misericordia University in Middle Atlantic Conference football Saturday afternoon at Mangelsdorf Field.  The Mustangs, who have won seven straight games dating back to last season, matched the program's best-ever start as they move to 5-0 and 4-0 in MAC play. 

The win marked the third shutout in program history and the 48-point margin of victory is the second-largest ever, trailing a 57-0 win over FDU-Florham in the 2014 season.  The Mustangs remain a half-game ahead of 3-0 Widener in the conference race, with the Pride needing four overtimes to defeat Lycoming on Saturday.

Defensively, the Mustangs held Misericordia (0-5, 0-4 MAC) to 129 yards of total offense and five first downs, a program record for fewest yards allowed in a game.  Stevenson has also allowed just 28 points over the past three games.  The Mustangs racked up a season-high 577 yards of offense and 29 first downs.

Sophomore Jainard Crawley-Lambert carried the ball 19 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns, while junior Dontea Ayres has nine carries for 123 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that capped Stevenson's scoring.  Junior Dan Williams was 18-31 passing for 202 yards and one touchdown, but did throw a pair of interceptions. Junior Devin Salisbury caught seven balls for 79 yards to lead the receiving corps.

Crawley-Lambert gave Stevenson a 7-0 lead with 8:39 remaining in the first quarter when his six-yard run capped a 13-play, 88-yard drive.  A five-yard TD pass from Williams to junior Dequan Ellison with 31 seconds left in the first quarter gave the guests a 14-0 lead.

A nine-play, 66-yard drive capped by a four-yard run by Crawley-Lambert put Stevenson up 21-0 with 7:48 to go before halftime.  Following a Misericordia three-and-out, Stevenson took over at its own 44 following an 18-yard punt return by junior Preston Addo.  After a 21-yard completion to Addo got Stevenson to the Cougar 1, Williams caught a pass from senior Kenneth-Scott Kelow with 4:49 to go to make it 28-0. 

After another three-and-out, a 51-yard return by Addo got Stevenson to the Misericordia 30.  From there, it took just three plays, including a 21-yard scoring run by Crawley-Lambert, to make it 35-0.  Senior Tim Sternfeld closed out the first half scoring when he nailed a 45-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining to give Stevenson a 38-0 lead at intermission.  The field goal matched his career long.

Sternfeld knocked home his second field goal of the game from 27 yards to make it 41-0 with 6:44 left in the third, making him 6-6 on the season in field goal attempts.  Following a Misericordia drive that stalled at the Mustang 30, Ayres opened the drive with his 70-yard touchdown run with 2:04 left that capped the scoring for the day.

Defensively, Stevenson posted a takeaway for the 38th-straight game as senior Billy Lewis made his team-high sixth interception of the season with 11:26 to go in the third in a pass into the end zone.

Sophomore Izaiha Pitts led Stevenson with eight tackles, while senior Austin Tennessee had five to go along with a pass breakup.  Sophomores JT Arias and Ashton Leschke also finished with five tackles apiece.

Following a bye week, Stevenson returns to action Saturday, October 15, when it travels to Widener for a 1:00 Middle Atlantic Conference contest.