After the Stevenson football team absorbed its first defeat of the season in a 31-10 loss to then-No. 23 Lycoming on Oct. 4, coach Ed Hottle said the team had wilted in the spotlight of the game.
The Mustangs (4-1, 3-1 Middle Atlantic Conference) will get another chance to show what they have learned from that setback when they welcome No. 22 Delaware Valley (5-0, 4-0) to Mustang Stadium at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Hottle, for one, hopes to see a team that is not as tight as the one that clashed with the Warriors almost two weeks ago.
“We talked about it, and one of the things we’ve talked about over the past couple weeks is, regardless of the outcome of the Delaware Valley-Lycoming game, this was going to be a big game, and we want to be relaxed,” he said Wednesday. “We talked a lot about being relaxed, and it kind of goes back to the baseball analogy of getting the base hit. Get the base hit, take care of what you can take care of and don’t play like you’re afraid to make a mistake. Do your job, and hopefully, we’ll be able to make some big plays along the way.”
Stevenson’s 4-0 start, which earned the team votes in the American Football Coaches Association poll two weeks ago, was undermined by the thoroughness of the loss to Lycoming.
But the Mustangs can make a statement with a positive showing against an Aggies squad tied with Widener (5-0, 4-0) for first place in the MAC.
“When you look at games like this and teams like this, you certainly want to go in, and it is a litmus test because this is one of the top teams in the country, according to the polls,” Hottle said. “It’s where we aspire to be. So as far as we’re concerned, it’s a good test for us.”