Union, N.J. (10/20/18) – The College of New Jersey scored the come-from-behind touchdown with less than a minute in regulation to break a defensive stalemate by the final of 13-8 on Saturday in NJAC action.
Starting with good field position (Kean 41), Andrew Donoghue used a 21 yard completion to Jaiden Elliott to push into the redzone. One play later he scrambled out of a potential sack and found Vinny Guckin in the far right corner for the go-ahead score. The Lions tried the two point conversion but a holding penalty pushed TCNJ back and the second pass attempt fell wide.
The Cougar (1-6, 1-5 NJAC) defense took advantage of a fumble on the Lion's first possession as Leo Cruz recovered the ball just outside the redzone. The drive stalled and Kean's field goal attempted of 45 yards hit the right upright to leave the game scoreless.
The Lions struck in the same quarter once again taking advantage of good field position (Kean 46). This time it was Dave Jachera who needed just one pass as he found Jack Clevenger for the TD strike and a 7-0 advantage.
Kean special teams stepped up, as Reilly Gonzalez blocked a TCNJ punt in the second quarter and Amir Archer fell on it in the end zone, putting the Cougars on the board 7-6. After an errant snap on the extra point attempt, sophomore Jameer Campbell corralled the loose ball, picked it up and found Jack McCabe in the left corner of the endzone for the two-point conversion, and an 8-7 lead.
The score would remain that way until the fourth quarter as both teams struggled to move the ball.
Defensively for Kean Damon Small Jr. led all players with 12 total tackles, three and a half sacks for a loss of 36 yards another half tackle for a loss as well as a quarterback hurry. Rookie Anthony Bassani collected two interceptions on the day. Offensively for Kean Rylan Pangborn was 20-for-32 for 208 yards with three interceptions. David Patterson Jr. hauled in five passes for 70 yards.
For the Lions (1-6, 1-5 NJAC) Clevenger registered seven catches for 92 yards and one touchdown. Erick Graham recorded eight tackles, including three and a half for a loss with one and a half sacks. Xavier Santos also had a team-high eight tackles with two pass breakups.
Neither team was able to get their rushing offense going on the day. TCNJ was held to just 14 rushing yards while Kean fell short, falling into the negative category.
Kean heads to Virginia to take on Christopher Newport University next Saturday at 1 p.m.