MSU Edges Football, 10-7

Union, N.J. (11/10/12) – Montclair State University used a fourth quarter field goal to break a seven-all tie and top the Kean University football team by the final of 10-7, Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale for both.

With the win, MSU improves to .500 (5-5) with a 5-3 mark in NJAC play.  The loss drops Kean to 5-4 overall and 5-2 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

In a game that featured five combined turnovers, scoring was at a premium.  The Red Hawks took advantage in their first possession as sophomore Tariqu Turner combined for seven rushes for 19 yards, but the big play of the drive came off a 48 yard grab from senior Drew Cathey to junior Kevin Grady, putting MSU in the red zone.  Cathey put points on the board with a four yard strike to sophomore Nick Cassetta and junior John Schubert finished with the point after for a 7-0 lead.

The Cougars took their next possession into Montclair territory thanks to a 15 yard gain from senior Darius Kinney.  Kean paced their way down into red zone territory before a nine yard sack from junior Joe Koonce forced the Cougars into a 4th and 15 from the 25 yard line.  Kean elected to go for it and the Cougars were intercepted in the endzone by sophomore C.J. Conway to stall the drive.

Neither team was able to get their offense going over the next four drives, before Kean halted an MSU threat late in the second quarter.  With third and goal on the Kean three yard line, sophomore David Ricca forced a fumble and senior Chris VanFechtmann recovered, ending the scoring threat.

Kean had their best scoring opportunity early in the third quarter.  Montclair State started off the half with the ball, but just two plays into the drive, sophomore Matt Clerk (pictured left) intercepted a Cathey pass, running it back for 40 yards deep into MSU territory.  The drive stalled, however and a 35 yard field goal chance went wide left, keeping the score at 7-0.

Senior Deandre Fowlkes set up good field position for Kean on their next possession and the Cougars were able to capitalize with seven points.  Kinney picked up 12 yards on two rushes and senior Louis Haynes capped off the drive with a diving catch in the end zone, a 15 yard pass from junior Christian Bailoni.

The score would remain that way until the fourth quarter.  Deep in Kean territory, the Cougars were intercepted by junior Matt Mancino who returned the ball 29 yards to the Kean 16 yard line.  Kean’s defense was able to halt the touchdown threat, forcing a 27 yard field goal attempt for the Red Hawks.  MSU’s Schubert, who coming into today’s action was only 1-of-9 in field goal attempts this season, nailed the try, giving MSU what would be the deciding advantage.

The Cougars final attempt late in the game was halted as sophomore Matt Recine forced a fumble and sophomore William Merz recovered with just under two minutes to go.  With Kean out of timeouts, the Red Hawks were able to run out the clock with the win.

Cathey was 10-of-17 for 148 yards and one touchdown.  He also threw one interception and was sacked once.  Bailoni was 17-of-31 for 156 yards with one touchdown.  He was sacked twice and threw two picks on the day.

Defensively, sophomore Dan Barletta led the Red Hawks with eight tackles, including one for a loss.  For the Cougars, senior Brad Higgins collected seven tackles, with one for a loss.