Morrisville, N.Y. (10/11/14) – The Kean University football team ran out of time in their comeback bid to fall to Morrisville State College by the final of 37-31 Saturday afternoon.
Kean amassed 344 yards total offense led by quarterback Robert Meade III who connected on 11-of-19 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, while adding 67 yards on nine carries on the ground.
What seemed like a slow first quarter ended up being a tale of turnovers as neither team were able to find the end zone.
On the opening drive, Kean drove down to the Morrisville State (5-1, 3-0 NJAC) two-yard line before Wally Stephens caused a fumble and Javion Bobb recovered to turn possession over to the Mustangs.
In the ensuing Mustang possession, Morrisville State moved the ball into Kean territory where the Cougars made a huge defensive stop as David Jimerson II intercepted the ball in the end zone to keep the Mustangs off the board.
Following suit, late in the opening quarter, Meade threw a long bomb to catch the Mustang secondary off guard, but senior Chad Dorrance stepped in front of the receiver for the interception at the two yard line, regaining possession for the hosts.
Early in the second quarter, Morrisville State was pinned on their own eight yard line and facing a third down situation, but a Kean penalty gave the Mustangs a first down and moved the ball up to the 23 yard line. Cristian Pena capped off the 10-play 98 yard drive with a one yard scoring run, putting the Mustangs on the board at 12:21, 6-0, missing the extra point attempt.
Kean responded with a 67 yard drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock to take the 7-6 lead with 6:33 to go in the second. Will Ingram capped off the Cougar drive with a one-yard power run through the line up the center for the score and 7-6 advantage.
Within minutes Morrisville State regained the lead on a 21-yard field goal by Zach Drake before a 26-yard field goal by Kean's Troy Kettler in the closing gave the advantage back to Kean heading into the break, 10-9.
The third quarter proved much like the second in a back and forth battle, with Morrisville State regaining the lead minutes in on a 16-yard pass from Lemar Johnson to Pena along the left sideline, and a two-point conversion from Johnson to Anthony Gray, for the 17-10 advantage. Kean battled back to tie the contest at 17 midway through the quarter on a six-yard pass from Meade to Jaishon Moore, before capitalizing on a Mustang turnover on the ensuing drive as David Coleman Jr. forced a fumble and LeRon Dillard carried it 49 yards for the touchdown.
Morrisville State was able to bring the contest to within one on the following drive, as Johnson hit Gray under heavy pressure in the back of the end zone for the score, making it a 24-23 ball game.
The Mustangs defensive unit forced a quick three and out Kean series, regaining possession of the ball in the final seconds of the quarter, heading into the final stanza of the conference contest.
Facing a fourth down and four situation on the Kean 22-yard line, Morrisville State opted to take a chance at gaining the first down, and on the play, Johnson scrambled and after a 5+ foot hurdle in the air over the Cougar safety, landed in the end zone. The two-point conversion was successful as Johnson hit Pena on a swing pass to the right for the 31-24 Mustang lead.
Kean was able to answer the Mustangs score on the kick-off, as the touched ball sailed into the end zone and was a mere inches from going over the end line. But Corredor picked up the ball by his finger tips and scrambled out of the end zone along the left sideline where he had three huge blocks by special teams and made his way into the end zone for the responding touchdown score. The 100 yard return was the second of his career and ties the Kean single-game record in that category.
Morrisville State threatened to score midway through the quarter, but two straight pass break ups (Jimmerson and Dillard-pictured right) turned the ball over on downs to the Cougars with 5:30 showing on the clock.
Meade saw a wide open tight end along the right sideline and let the ball go, but at the last second cornerback Anthony Deese stepped in front of the pass for the interception, returning the ball to the Kean 45 yard line.
Johnson hit Gray and Anthony Mella on consecutive plays to get down to the Kean 24 yard line, before Pena followed center Adrian Cabrera for a 15-yard gain up center to bring the ball down to the nine.
After a four yard gain by Pena to the five, he again powered his way behind a hole created by Cabrera for the five yard rushing score and 37-31 Mustang lead with 49 ticks remaining.
Kean was able to move the ball down to the Morrisville 44 yard line on the ensuing possession, and after an incomplete pass, was battling not only a fired up defensive unit, but the clock as well. With 6.5 seconds to go, Meade went long in an attempt to hit Robinson in the end zone, but the ball sailed too far and Morrisville State was able to hold on to the win.