UNION, N.J. (10/24/15) – The Kean University football team battled No. 23 Salisbury University in a 45-33 NJAC matchup on Saturday. Cougar quarterback Charles App was 34-for-48 with four touchdowns and 373 yards, and was also Kean's leading rusher on the day. Tahj Hammary caught three of those passing TD's and Qaudir Johnson (pictured right) gained 149 yards in the air.
App's 34 completions tie a Kean single-game record, and the 373 passing yards were the second-most ever by a Cougar quarterback in a single matchup.
Kean is now 4-3 and 3-3 in the NJAC. Salisbury improved to 5-1 and 5-0 in the league.
In the first quarter, the Cougars hung remarkably tough with the 23rd-ranked Sea Gulls. After Salisbury fielded the opening kick, the Kean defense forced a three-and-out. On the ensuing punt, Salisbury fumbled, giving Kean possession at the 13-yard line.
Though the Cougars tried to convert a fourth-and-goal and fell short, they set the tone for aggressiveness. Later in the quarter, Ulrick Jean-Pierre (pictured left) had a sack at the Salisbury two yard line to force fourth down in a scoreless game.
Neither team was able to do anything offensively until just 1:38 remained in the opening period, when Jerome Johnson skipped two yards into the endzone for the Sea Gulls.
Salisbury also scored on the next possession, when Connor Canonico rumbled 12 yards into the endzone to quickly make the score 14-0.
Austin Davis had an interception in the first half for Kean. Robert Meade III led the team with 12 tackles; twice as many as the next-closest Cougar. He and David Jimerson II also forced Sea Gull fumbles during the game.
Salisbury scored touchdowns on four-straight possessions, bridging both halves and making the score 31-13 after three quarters. Johnson and Canonico both reached the end zone twice in the game for the Sea Gulls.
But Kean never gave up, and scored touchdowns on its final three possessions – complete with onside kick attempts and two-point conversions – to keep pace with Salisbury and outscore the visitors 20-7 in the final quarter.
First, Hammary had a sliding catch in the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown reception. He hauled in another touchdown pass with 5:23 to go and caught his final TD at 3:20 after an onside kick, but the Cougars ran out of time in their comeback bid.
Salisbury racked up 301 yards on the ground with its triple-option offense. Johnson had 120 yards rushing, Canonico added 83 and Aaron Moore had 58. Brady Curley led the Sea Gulls with 125 all-purpose years.
Aryeh Moslavi hit two field goals for the Cougars.
Kean will travel to Southern Virginia University next Saturday for a Halloween NJAC matchup beginning at 1 p.m.