Football Falls to Christopher Newport in Opener

NEWPORT NEWS, Va.(9/4/16) – Christopher Newport University scored the final 19 points of the game on their way to defeating Kean University by the final of 26-7 on Sunday. 

The game, originally scheduled for Saturday, was pushed to Sunday due to high winds and heavy rain from a tropical storm that moved through the Virginia area.

The Captains (1-0) opened the scoring on their first possession of the season by going 61 yards on just five plays. Junior quarterback Ronald Kearney, Jr. threw to junior tight end Danny Mattson who ran 39 yards for the first score of the new season.

The Cougars (0-1) evened the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter marching 80 yards on eight plays.  Junior quarterback Charles App used a strike of 27 yards to Ben Guarino to push the drive along and App found 'Wan McCrary for a 10 yard pass to knot the score at seven-all.

Sophomore kicker Grant Kelchner booted his first career field goal, a 21-yarder, with 4:27 to play in the second quarter to put the Captains back in front, 10-7.

Two of the game's key points came just before halftime. The Captains were poised to score in Kean territory when Kearney fumbled, and the Cougars Darin Hungerford returned the ball 43 yards to the Captains 15-yard line. Senior Taylor Loudan charged downfield to tackle Hungerford and thwart a Kean score on the play.

Moments later, with the ball at the CNU 9-yard line, App was intercepted by junior Justus Drakeford, who scampered 95 yards for a CNU touchdown giving the Captains a 17-7 edge at intermission.

Both squads struggled to move the ball in the second half, resulting in 11 punts in 17 total possessions. The CNU defense also contributed a second score early in the third quarter when junior lineman Chris Coggins tackled McCrary in the end zone for a safety to put the Captains ahead, 19-7.

Kearney concluded the day's scoring with a 1-yard plunge with just under five minutes to play. Kearney finished the day 14 of 28 passing for 171 yards with the scoring pass and run. Seven of his completions went to Loudan for 74 yards.

App was 13-of-21 for 110 yards and a touchdown while Brian Matthews added 66 yards on 17 carries.  On defense, Robert Meade III led all players with 13 tackles on the afternoon.

The victory was the first for Christopher Newport over Kean in three all-time meetings. The Cougars took the first two matchups, both of which took place in Union, New Jersey.