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Delaware rolls past Delaware State in first round of playoffs

NEWARK, Del. (AP) -- Omar Cuff ran for a school-record 288 yards and four touchdowns to lead Delaware to a 44-7 playoff victory Friday over Delaware State in the first meeting between the in-state rivals.

If not for Saturday's playoff game, Delaware and Delaware State might never have gotten together on the football field. Did fear play a factor in keeping a rivalry down? In a September piece, Page 2 writer and Delaware grad Jeff Pearlman discusses just that. Story

A record crowd of 19,765 packed Delaware Stadium, the third-largest crowd for a first-round game in Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) playoff history.

Delaware (9-3) will face the winner of Saturday's matchup between top-seeded Northern Iowa and New Hampshire next weekend.

Cuff had 38 carries and broke the FCS mark for rushing TDs in a season with 33. He already set the FCS mark for total touchdowns in a season and now has 37.

Delaware scored its first five possessions to take control from the start. The Hens finished with 536 and 29 first downs. The Hornets (10-2) had 144 yards and 11 in first downs.

Delaware only had to go 42 yards for its first touchdown after a 22-yard Delaware State punt. On the TD, quarterback Joe Flacco had a long time to throw, finally rolling out toward the sidelines and lobbing a 32-yard scoring pass to tight end Robbie Agnone.

Cuff finished off a five-play, 57-yard drive on Delaware's second possession, scoring on a 1-yard run. He added another 1-yard TD run in the first quarter as the Hens pushed their lead to 20-0 by the end of the opening period.

Jon Striefsky's 22-yard field goal made it 23-0 early in the second period. Cuff capped off the half with a 37-yard scoring run.

Cuff ended the half with 199 yards on 25 carries.

Delaware made it 44-0 with back-to-back scoring drives of 92 and 91 yards to start the second half. Cuff had a 1-yard TD run and Phillip Thaxton scored from 1-yard out.

The only touchdown for the Hornets came on a 19-yard fumble recovery by Reggie McCoy with 12:48 left in the contest.

Delaware State's Kareem Jones, finished with 34 yards on nine carries and Vashon Winton was 10-of-19 for 56 yards with an interception.

Flacco completed 11-of-20 passes for 189 yards and a TD.