Miscues Costly in William Paterson Pioneers Loss to Kean
Leading up to the game against Kean University at Wightman Stadium on Saturday, William Paterson head coach Jerry Flora had stated if his team played the same relentless effort and energy while limiting mistakes, the Pioneers (1-2, 0-2 NJAC) would come out on top.
The Pioneer defense played terrific, but 18 penalties for 135 yards and two stalled drives inside the red zone were costly as Kean University won 24-13.
“We got down to the goal line and had a chance to score a touchdown and disappointed we didn’t get in the end zone,” Flora said. “In the second half we had another opportunity, drive stalled and another field goal. Just too many mistakes and penalties. A lot of young guys played out there and to the end and have no issues with that.”
On the Pioneers first possession of the game, Cougars defensive back Vaughn Scott picked off a pass by quarterback James Waldron and returned it 28 yards to the house. William Paterson quickly answered back on a trick play from the Kean 49-yard line. Senior wide receiver Anthony DiMarsico took the hand off from Waldron and returned a perfectly placed pass to Waldron down the left sideline, tying the game at 7-7 with 5:50 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the Cougars went back on top as quarterback Charles App found a wide-open Kyle Rooney in the left corner of the end zone. With less than 10 minutes left, Scott made his impact known again, sprinting back 47 yards on a punt return to the Pioneers 20-yard line. Kean moved the ball down to the one-yard line but William Paterson’s defense did not bend under the pressure forcing a fourth down situation. App sneaked his way through the offensive line for the score making it 21-7.
An interception by senior Pat Moran injected some much-needed confidence late in the second quarter. Facing a third-and-eight from the 21, DiMarsico heaved the ball down field to Malcolm Robinson who incredibly wrestled the ball away from a Kean defensive back for a 44-yard gain. On second and eight from the Cougars 32, DiMarsico hit sophomore Jordan Hovington for 13 yards. It appeared as though Scott had intercepted a Waldron pass for the second time on first and goal at the seven but offsetting penalties negated the pick.
Unable to punch the ball across the goal line, no time outs and clock winding down in the first half, the Pioneers had to settle for a Nick DeAngelis 18-yard field goal, trimming the Kean lead to 21-10 at halftime.
“A lot of freshman out there and our starting tailback got injured and backup came in and also got injured and third string came in and game plan changed a lot,” Flora said. “The defense played great and can’t fault their effort. A pick on a touchdown and bad play on a punt.”
The third quarter commenced with Kean recovering an onside kick. Once again William Paterson’s defense rose to the occasion forcing a 39-yard field goal that Cougars kicker Aryeh Moslavi missed. The Pioneers offense strung together an impressive driving chewing up 6:41 of the clock. On a 3rd and 26 from the 47, a personal foul call on Kean kept the drive alive. DiMarsico gained 16 yards on a third and one at the Cougars 26. Kean’s defense did not budge as the drive stalled resulting in a second DeAngelis field goal from 32 yards out but that as close as the Pioneers would get.
“Mistakes and we have to get back to the drawing board on Monday and try to figure out what they are and fix them,” said Flora. “We were good and then bad on offense and did some good things and not so good things. We have a lot of work to do and keep playing with the effort we are playing with and get rid of the mistakes and will be fine and said that all season long.”
Next Saturday at Wightman Stadium starting at 1:00 p.m. William Paterson squares off against Montclair State University in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game.
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