Red Hawks drop regular season finale at Kean 20-10
Saturday, the Montclair State Red Hawks wrapped up the 2016 regular season with a 20-10 defeat at Kean. The Red Hawks were down just 14-7 and trailed by one score after three quarters of play but were unable to get any closer. Montclair outgained the Cougars 282-199 and led in time of possession with 31:40.
Senior running back John DiStefano capped off a brilliant Montclair State career with 219 yards on 33 carries and a lone score in the second quarter on a two-yard run. DiStefano ended the season with 1,366 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns.
“The season was poor and we’re very disappointed but to be quite frank, Bill Parcells used to say when he was actively coaching you are what your record is and that is who we are which is a 4-6 team and exactly the way we played,” Montclair State head coach Rick Giancola said. “We were in several games this season and in this one all the way but we are so self-destructive and hurt our chances with 11 penalties and three interceptions with two of them returned for touchdowns. We lost fumbles so it’s pretty hard to win a game with those type of things.”
“Some of the penalties took away significant runs that got us into the red zone and pushed us back to midfield again and we couldn’t overcome that and dropped a pass in the end zone for a touchdown,” Giancola continued. “John played terrific and still hurting with a rib problem but he was passionate about wanting to play and had a great day. He lost another 35 to 40 yards on penalties and could have been in the 240 yard range. He was our offense this season.”
On the defensive side of the ball junior defensive lineman Vincent Cordasco led the way with nine tackles while senior defensive lineman Joe Falato chipped in with seven. Cordasco led the Red Hawks with 76 tackles this season while Falato recorded 69 along with team high 10 sacks.
“We’re going to miss Joe, no question about it and a force to be reckoned with,” Giancola said. “However, we have several guys returning next year with some game experiences from 1 to 2 years each. Our problem will be trying to replace someone like Anthony Dorsi who is an extremely talented fullback who can block and doesn’t get the credit and notoriety for all the things John (DiStefano) has accomplished and sorely going to miss him and a very dedicated man willing to take what it needs to help us win.”
“We’re going to have to plug some holes in the offense,” Giancola continued. “There are several wide receivers that got a chance to play this year and hope they can mature so we can develop the passing game.” Junior wide receiver Julanee Prince led the pack with 23 receptions for 501 yards and 6 touchdowns.