FB: Unbeaten no more; Wilkes takes first loss of season to Del Val


Sophomore fullback Jeremiah Acker was held by a swarm of Aggie defenders in a moment that depicts the tone of the game with Wilkes being trumped by Del Val.

EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. — In a game where both teams were undefeated in the MAC conference, one team was bound to lose and tarnish their spotless record. On Saturday, the Colonels were knocked off their 5-0 pedestal and felt the sting of No. 16 Delaware Valley University’s 42-0 blowout. 

Simply put, the Colonels’ game play can be summed up into six words of head coach Jonathan Drach’s: “Obviously, we didn’t play very well.”

Following the Colonels’ 42-40 victory over Albright College last week, the momentum was mounting and the pressure was there against Del Val, who has been undefeated in conference play dating back to 2016. 

“The pressure was getting to us,” said junior wide reciever Nick Yanik. “Honestly, we were just in our heads and weren’t playing our game. When we don’t focus on our own type of style, we’re not going to be successful.”

Considering the Colonels couldn’t place a single point on the board, Del Val had some tricks up their sleeve that Wilkes was not prepared for — the main one being the Aggies’ speed. 

“Defensively speaking, No. 10 (wide receiver Aaron Nelson) was by far their fastest kid on the field. He was running circles, and their whole receiving core was just very speedy,” said defensive back Zack Nesheiwat. “They can’t do a traditional offense with that skill, so they looked for big plays to get their speed to the outside, and that’s what we struggled with.”

Nesheiwat and Yanik also noted the aggressive nature of their opponent, with a lot of smack talk and smash-mouth football accompanying the game on the turf. 

As for Wilkes’ stat line, the Colonels posted a meek 80 yards passing and 20 yards rushing. Compared to their opponent, quarterback Anthony Fontana completed 22 out of 30 pass attempts for 242 yards, three passing touchdowns and one rushing. 

“It’s devasting, but it gives us that fire,” said Nesheiwat. “Next week, we have the same thing coming up with Misericordia being undefeated in the MAC as well. Hopefully, we can turn the tides and give them a loss to put our name back in the MAC talk.” 

Yanik echoed Nesheiwat, citing the loss as a wake up call that makes next week’s away contest a must-win game to retain any chance of a bowl game or playoff contention.