Wayne, N.J. (10/13/12) – The Kean University football team improved to 4-0 in NJAC play as they held off a late William Paterson University rally to win on the road by the final of 45-33.
Junior quarterback Christian Bailoni (pictured left) was 13-for-21 for 236 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also picked up a rushing touchdown, for a total of five on the afternoon. Senior Darius Kinney gained 136 yards on 15 carries, scoring once, and senior Deandre Fowlkes caught nine passes for 126 yards and two scores. Senior Louis Haynes gained 88 yards on three receptions, finding the end zone twice.
Trailing 38-14 to begin the fourth quarter, junior quarterback Ryan Gresik found senior Dawys German for a 15-yard completion on fourth-and-five at the Kean-17, and three plays later German cleared the pile for a one-yard touchdown. WP (2-4, 0-4 NJAC) elected to go for two, but were unable to convert and the score held at 38-20 with 13:12 to play.
On the Cougars' third offensive play of the next possession, Bailoni was hit as he let go of the ball and sophomore Mike Fraioli secured his first career interception, returning it 52 yards for a score. The Pioneers tacked on the extra point to make it a 38-27 margin with 12:08 on the clock.
Later with a third-and-seven situation, senior James Grande batted Bailoni's pass straight up in the air and senior Stephen Bovo, Jr. was able to get his hands under the ball before it hit the ground, an interception that handed William Paterson the ball at the KU-35.
A four-yard completion, coupled with a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty, got the WP drive started, and junior wide receiver Howard Davis finished the possession when he found his way into the end zone for a 10-yard score. The Pioneers again attempted the two-point conversion, but it was no good, and WP trailed 38-33 with 6:15 remaining.
Now a one-possession game, Kean (4-2, 4-0 NJAC) responded with a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Bailoni kept the chains moving with an 18-yard completion to Sean McKee on third-and-three, and when the quarterback turned and rolled to his left later on a second-and-seven play, he found himself all alone, covering the final 36 yards for a touchdown. Bill Cullen's PAT gave Kean a 45-33 lead with 2:19 left.
Sophomore Isaac Jlaka's fumble of the ensuing kickoff ended the Pioneer rally as the Cougars were able to run out the remainder of the clock.
The Pioneers put themselves on the scoreboard first when Gresik threw over the top of the coverage to Price, who raced 60 yards to hand WP a 7-0 edge 5:10 into the game. Kean answered with a 25-yard Kinney run, leveling the score at 7-7 with 25.9 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
A 20-yard Bailoni-to- Fowlkes (pictured right) TD made it a 14-7 Cougar advantage at the 11:30 mark of the second period, and after a William Paterson punt, Bailoni found Haynes for a five-yard score (21-7, 5:56). Cullen tacked on a 39-yard field goal with 1:14 remaining, and Kean entered halftime with a 24-7 lead.
WP began the second half with a 33-yard completion by Gresik to Winfield, and on second and goal, Gresik found an open space to make it 24-13. WP converted the extra point, making it a 24-14 score with 11:42 on the clock.
Bailoni connected with Haynes on the left sideline, and he out-sprinted the Pioneer defense for a 76-yard score at the 8:12 mark of the third quarter (31-14). Another long completion, this one for 57 yards to Fowlkes, handed the Cougars a 38-14 edge with 4:53 remaining in the third.
The Cougars return to action next Saturday when they travel to the College of New Jersey.