Montclair, N.J. (9/30/17) - Junior Hunter Daly connected on four field goals, including the go-ahead score with 6:32 remaining as Montclair State University edged Kean University, 18-15 on Saturday.
Linebacker Darin Hungerford totaled 15 tackles and a pair of sacks for Kean, which dropped to 1-3 on the year, 1-2 in league play.
The Red Hawks leveled their record at 2-2 overall, 2-1 in the NJAC. Montclair snapped a two-game losing streak to the Cougars and now lead the all-time series 34-9.
Daly hit from 27, 38, 38 and 41 yards on the day. His winning kick was set up after a high snap on a Cougar punt gave Montclair the ball at the KU 25 with 8:15 to go. Kean held MSU to a yard on the drive and the Red Hawks faced fourth down at the 24. Daly floated his attempt from 41 yards inside the left upright giving Montclair the lead.
On the next Kean possession, the Cougars picked up one first down however three plays later senior Shaon Stephenson picked off a Charles App pass ending the drive. Montclair attempted to put the game away going for it on 4th-and-1 at the Cougar 36 with 1:59 left. Quarterback John Apicella appeared to draw the defense offside however the penalty was nullified on an inadvertent whistle. The Red Hawks elected to punt with Daly pinning the Cougars at their own 8.
The Cougars final try ended with an incomplete pass out of bounds turning the ball over to MSU as the Red Hawks ran out the clock for the victory.
Kean jumped out to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter with a 75-yard drive for the first points. Running back Brian Matthews had most of that with a 67-yard run down to the MSU 8. On the next play, App found Jessey Asare for the touchdown with 8:10 left in the opening period. Montclair would get on the board late in the quarter. Kean was pinned at their own 6 and kicking into the wind giving Montclair the ball at the KU 36. A personal foul penalty against Kean, one of 14 in the game by the Cougars (for 145 yards), pushed the ball to the 21. The drive would stall however Daly sent one from 27 yards making the score 7-3 with 1:13 left.
Montclair crept within a point just before halftime. Apicella hit Julanee Prince for 26 yards on a 3rd-and-14 from its own 24. The Red Hawks then had 3rd-and-5 at the Kean 45 with Apicella running for a first down at the Cougar 36. But a personal foul penalty on the play put the ball at Kean 21 and MSU took advantage as Daly split the uprights from 38 yards with six seconds left putting the score at 7-6 at the break.
Freshman Stepp Ozigbe blocked a punt early in the third quarter that helped set up Montclair State's next score. Taking over at the Kean 39, Apicella completed three passes, the last a 13-yarder to Prince down to the Kean 3. Two plays later Travisano ran it in for a 12-7 lead with 5:12 left.
Kean took the next possession and drove to the Montclair 23. The Cougars tried a halfback option pass, however Tyqyese Jackson picked off Matthews in the end zone to end the drive. MSU however gave the ball back on the next play with a fumble that turned into Kean points. Matthews leaped over from a yard out on fourth down putting Kean back on top and the two-point conversion pass made the score 15-12 with 13:35 to go in the fourth.
But Kean's momentum disappeared quickly as the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds giving MSU the ball at its own 35. A pass-interference penalty pushed the ball to midfield and Montclair faced a 3rd-and-18 from its own 42. Apicella completed a seven-yard pass however the Cougars were flagged twice on the play for a facemask and personal foul. The ball wound up at the Kean 21 but Montclair couldn't go any further and tied the game at 15-15 on another 38-yard field goal by Daly with 8:15 to play in the game.
Matthews finished with 132 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown.
Kean will be back in action on Saturday when they host William Paterson University for homecoming.