Everything is clicking for the 6-0 Stevenson university football team.
The Mustangs continue to climb national rankings as they are ranked for a sixth consecutive week and climbed up to No. 14 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III poll and No. 15 in the D3football.com poll as of October 17. The Mustangs are currently tied for the nation’s third-longest winning streak, according to gomustangsports.com.
The Mustangs’ defense has created 23 total turnovers with 17 interceptions and six fumble recoveries. The offense for the Mustangs is averaging 40.7 points a game with junior quarterback Dan Williams throwing for over 1,340 yards with 16 touchdowns through the first six games of the season.
For head coach Ed Hottle, having a healthy Dan Williams in the offense is helping make the difference.
“Consistency is key, and Dan has provided that consistency to that position when we have not had the consistency at the quarterback position historically,” said Hottle.
The Mustangs focused on consistency during the bye week as they prepared for the stretch run in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) championship. Williams said the emphasis was on getting back to the fundamentals.
“I think this bye week has been all about the fundamentals and getting back to our roots that we worked on at camp,” he said. The goal is simple for the Mustangs: to win the MAC conference and earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III college football playoffs.
Hottle said the season would be a successful one if the team wins the MAC. “There’s no other option for us,” he said.
Williams added, “Oh, I definitely think this team can do more than just win the MAC. I think this team can win a national title.”
The team continued to excel on Oct. 15 as the Mustangs used a big second half to beat Widener 45-21. Though Widener was the only other undefeated team in the MAC, the Mustangs handled them with ease. Williams went 18-26 for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Senior runningback Devonte Williams had 100 receiving yards and a touchdown as junior receiver Preston Addo returned a 66-yard touchdown right before halftime.
The Mustangs added two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns in the second half, one by senior defensive back Austin Tennessee and the other by junior linebacker Mike Datu, helping secure the game for Mustangs. The Mustangs held the Widener offense to just 65 pass yards and sacked their quarterback three times.
The next test for the Mustangs is at home on Oct. 22 against No. 25 Delaware Valley University at Stevenson’s Homecoming. Delaware Valley is currently tied for second in the MAC, with a 4-1 conference record and overall 5-1 record, with their only loss being to in-conference foe Albright College.