UNION, N.J. (10/29/16) – The Kean University football team dropped Southern Virginia University 32-3 in NJAC action at Kean Alumni Stadium on Saturday. The Cougar defense allowed just three points for the first time since 2011.
Kean's first score was set up by a fantastic punt by Steve Ferlisi downed at the one-yard line. After a three-and-out by the Knights, a short punt by SVU got Kean close enough to begat a 29-yard Aryeh Moslavi field goal and give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
On the next possession, the Cougars engineered a 97-yard drive that culminated in another Rodriguez passing TD – this time to Kyle Rooney – that put the Cougars ahead 17-0.
The lone bright spot in the game for the Knights – a first-half field goal – was quickly erased by Samir Venable (pictured left), who ran back the ensuing kickoff 89 yards to the house to make the halftime score 24-3.
Early in the third quarter, the Cougars had SVU pinned back again thanks to another Ferlisi punt inside the 20-yard line. Marquis Oliver had a tackle for an eight-yard loss to back the Knights up even farther. On fourth down, David Coleman Jr. (pictured right) broke through two layers of protection for a clean block of a punt that resulted in a safety, bumping up the Kean lead to 26-3.
Later in the quarter, Kean put together a 13-play, 64-yard drive for a touchdown. Two personal foul calls on the Knights and a 12-yard rush by Rodriguez got the Cougars close, and Brian Matthews took the ball in from the seven-yard line to cap the Kean scoring.
Matthews had his fourth 100-yard game of the season on Saturday with 119 on the ground. Rodriguez added 31 rushing yards and 126 yards in the air with two passing TDs.
LeRon Dillard had 34 receiving yards, including Kean's long play of 23 yards. Malakai Solovi hauled in the longest play of the game, a 55-yard run-and-catch for SVU in the second quarter.
Robert Meade III and Darin Hungerford both had 11 total tackles to lead the team. Meade was in on two sacks and Oliver had 1.5. In total, the Cougars had 13 tackles for a loss of 56 yards. Oliver had 3.5 of them himself. He and Meade also forced Knight fumbles.
The Kean defense allowed just eight first downs all day, and the offense converted all four red zone trips into points, including three touchdowns.
The Cougars are now even at 4-4 on the year and improved to 3-4 in the conference. Southern Virginia is now 2-6 and 1-6 in the league.
The football team will travel to its final away game of the season next week with a visit to NJAC rival Rowan University next Saturday at 1 p.m.