Fourth Quarter Rally Sends Football Past TCNJ, 34-30

Ewing, N.J. (10/20/12) – Junior Chris Johnson scored on an 11-yard run with 32 seconds left in the game as the Kean University football team rallied at The College of New Jersey on Saturday with a 34-30 win.

The win kept Kean undefeated in New Jersey Athletic Conference play at 5-0 setting up a showdown with 6-0 SUNY Cortland next weekend at home. Overall, the Cougars are 5-2. The loss knocked the Lions to 2-5 on the year and 1-4 against conference opponents.

It was a day for the record books as both teams saw records go down.  Senior Deandre Fowlkes established a new single-game record for receiving yards in a game as he recorded 211.  He breaks the old mark of 183 by Jasper Hankins set in the 2005 season.

Lions quarterback Daniel Dugan finished the day going 21-for-35 for 226 yards and four touchdowns. With those 21 completions he etched his name in TCNJ's record book establishing a single-season mark for completions in a season at 183, breaking the old mark of 175.

Johnson's (pictured left) score helped the Cougars erase a 13-point deficit with the final two scores coming in the last five minutes of the game. Prior to Johnson's late run, junior Sean McKee bullied his way in from the two with 4:43 remaining. An extra point by Bill Cullen made it 30-28.

Once Kean took what turned out to be its only lead of the game, the Cougar defense didn't allow the Lions a chance to climb back in front recording a pair of sacks (Bob Klecha and Joe Mendes).  Mendes then recovered a fumble on the game's final play when TCNJ tried several laterals after a completed pass.

Special teams got TCNJ started in the first quarter as Matthew Chierici blocked a Cougar field goal, his third blocked kick in two games. TCNJ's offense then marched 80 yards in 16 plays with Glenn Grainger catching a 12-yard pass from Duggan.

Linebacker Michael Lambert set up TCNJ's next score as he made a diving interception on the near side turning the ball over to the team's offense at the Kean 23. Dugan then needed just one play to change the scoreboard with Nicholas Tyson hauling in a pass from Dugan on the left side making it a 13-0 game.

The Cougars used a fake field goal to set up their touchdown with Johnson covering the final two yards. That score came with 2:24 left in the half.

Another play turned in by TCNJ's defense put the hosts on the board again with Chierici intercepting a pass at his own 22, returning it to the Kean 31. Two plays later the Dugan to Tyson combination connected, this time on a 19-yard scoring strike with eight seconds left before the half. That touchdown gave the Lions a 20-7 lead at the break.

The teams traded scores 1:24 apart in the third quarter with Fowlkes catching a 29-yard touchdown pass, while Dugan threw a 57-yard score to Grainger. Following those touchdowns, TCNJ led 27-14.

McKee plunged in from the one in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to trim TCNJ's lead to 27-21, but the Lions countered with a 39-yard field goal from Derick Hughes putting the difference at 30-21.

The Cougars then completed their rally with the two late touchdowns and kept their perfect conference record intact.

Kean quarterback Christian Bailoni had a busy game throwing for 309 yards completing 27-of-45. Fowlkes was then on the receiving end of 211 of those yards hauling in 12 catches.

On defense for Kean, Brad Higgins led all players with 12 tackles.  Mendes (pictured right) finished with seven tackles, two tackles for a loss, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery.  Junior Nick Bricker paced the Lions with 10 tackles, including four solo stops.