UNION, N.J. (12/20/16) - For the second-straight season, the Kean University football team won an ECAC Bowl game and vanquished every New Jersey school on its schedule in another successful year under 11th-year head coach Dan Garrett. The Cougars went 7-4, captured the ECAC Clayton Chapman Bowl Championship and were led by a defense that boasted five First-Team All-NJAC selections.
The first-teamers on defense were Robert Meade III, Darin Hungerford, Stephan Lewis, Austin Davis and David Coleman Jr. The second-team had three members of the offense (Brian Matthews, Joe Bick, Justin Rodriguez) as well as Vaughn Scott on special teams as a returner. LeRon Dillard, Peter Lejawa, Aryeh Moslavi rounded out the selections on the honorable mention squad.
The Cougars won their final three games of the regular season, setting themselves up for a bid to the ECAC postseason. Matched up with former conference rival SUNY Cortland in the bowl game, Kean and the Red Dragons played a classic at Franklin Field in Philadelphia that was not decided until Moslavi connected on a 26-yard field goal with time expiring to break the tie and deliver a second-straight ECAC title to Union.
The Kean defense was dominant in the takeaway department, with 17 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries during the year. Combined with the offense taking care of the ball - Kean lost just four fumbles and threw only eight picks all year - the Cougars by far and away led the league in turnover margin; a whopping +16 that was 10th-best in the nation.
The Cougars were also 10th in the nation with four defensive touchdowns this season – a figure that also led the league. Kean's low marks of four lost fumbles and 12 turnovers lost also paced the NAJC teams.
Individually, Hungerford was an Honorable Mention All-America selection by D3football.com and fourth in the nation with 22.5 tackles for a loss. He was 34th in the country with 106 total tackles, both of which led the league. He also set a new Kean record with 21 tackles against Wesley College on October 15. Matthews' 1,170 rushing yards were No. 27 on the list of the nation's leaders and he was second in the NJAC with 126 all-purpose yards per game.
Quarterback Charles App racked up 1,332 yards though the air and threw seven touchdown passes in addition to running for 276 yards and an additional three TD's. Dillard led the receiving corps with 37 catches and 450 yards, while Ben Guarino hauled in a team-best five touchdown catches.
It was also a record-setting year for the Cougars: Hungerford's 22.5 tackles for a loss are a new program record. More impressively, in just two seasons with the Cougars he has made the most tackles for a loss of anyone in Kean history (41.5) – even four-year players. Moslavi tied the program standard with 12 field goals made and Matthews set a new single-season record with 258 rushes.
Honors and Awards
Joe Bick - Second-Team All-NJAC
David Coleman, Jr. - First-Team All-ECAC, First-Team All-NJAC
Austin Davis - D3Football.com First-Team All-East Region, First-Team All-NJAC, D3Football.com Preseason All-American
LeRon Dillard – Honorable Mention All-NJAC
Darin Hungerford – D3Football.com Honorable Mention All-American, D3Football.com First-Team All-East Region, First-Team All-ECAC, First-Team All-NJAC, NJAC Defensive Player of the Week (9/25, 10/17, 11/14)
Peter Lejawa - Honorable Mention All-NJAC
Stephan Lewis - First-Team All-NJAC
Brian Matthews - Second-Team All-NJAC, ECAC Clayton Chapman Bowl Most Outstanding Player
Robert Meade III – First-Team All-NJAC
Aryeh Moslavi - Honorable Mention All-NJAC, NJAC Special Teams Player of the Week (9/12, 11/14)
Justin Rodriguez - Second-Team All-NJAC
Vaughn Scott - Second-Team All-NJAC, NJAC Special Teams Player of the Week (9/25)