DANBURY, Conn. (9/24/11) – The Kean University football team amassed 554 yards of total offense en-route to defeating host Western Connecticut State University, 44-33, in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
The #12/17 Cougars (3-0, 2-0 NJAC) remain undefeated, as senior Chris DiMicco rushed for a career-high 195 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Thomas D'Ambrisi completed 23-of-38 passes for a season-high 284 yards passing and two touchdowns.
For WestConn (0-3, 0-2 NJAC), rookie quarterback Hime Rraci recorded 337 yards of total offense and had three total touchdowns.
The Colonials took a 6-0 lead for the only points of the opening quarter, as Rraci scored on an eight-yard run with just under seven minutes remaining.
Kean tied the game partway through the second quarter when sophomore Bob Klecha blocked the punt and the Cougars recovered in the endzone. It was the second time this season the Cougars have blocked a punt for a touchdown. On the team's next possession, DiMicco (pictured left) had four carries for 42 yards, including the one-yard touchdown run for the 13-6 lead with five minutes left in the half following the extra point.
Rraci answered right back for the Colonials, scoring on a 65-yard touchdown run on third-and-one, as WestConn tied the game less than a minute later.
Late in the quarter, junior T.J. Denehy set up the final score of the half, returning a Colonial punt 22-yards to the WestConn 20-yard line. Denehy then caught the first pass of the drive for a 10-yard game and two plays later, D'Ambrisi hit senior Chris Suozzo with the seven-yard touchdown reception for the 20-13 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Denehy scored the only touchdown of the third quarter with the 12-yard reception from D'Ambrisi to extend the lead to 27-13.
A 29-yard field goal from senior Billy Daniels gave the Cougars a 17-point lead at 30-13 just seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Colonials pulled back to within 10 points on their next possession, as Rraci had a 55-yard run to set-up a nine-yard touchdown pass to Dave Plaskon with 13:39 remaining.
That would be as close as WestConn would get though, as both teams scored twice more in the high-scoring fourth quarter. DiMicco added a six-yard scoring run and sophomore Sean McKee had a 29-yard rushing touchdown for the Cougars in the final quarter.
DiMicco, who is in his first season as a starter, carried the ball 27 times to nearly post his first 200-yard game. McKee added eight carries for 48 yards.
On the receiving end of D'Ambrisi's 284 yards passing, Suozzo had a career-best 10 catches for 94 yards, while Denehy made seven receptions for the career-high 120 yards receiving.
Defensively, senior linebacker Bekim Bujari made 14 tackles, including two tackles for a loss, while junior Will Evans had six solo stops and two interceptions. Kean made a total of 12 pass break-ups in the game, with junior Chris VanFechtmann making four and senior Jamahl Williams (pictured right) having three.
For the Colonials, Rraci had 163 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just 16 carries, while adding 174 yards passing.
On defense, Greg Galasso and Mike Lacaria each had 12 tackles, with Galasso also having an interception.
The Cougars return home on Friday, September 30, when they host The College of New Jersey in NJAC action at 7 p.m.