This Week In NJAC Football: September 29th
A recap of Week 4 for New Jersey Athletic Conference teams, as well as quick picks for a huge Week 5.
For some teams in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, Week Four proved to be a pivotal week in determining the path that each team will take moving forward. For some, a win this week could change the entire outlook of the season heading into NJAC play. For others, however, a loss could prove to be brutal to a team who had conference title aspirations in the preseason.
In the second edition of “This Week IN NJAC”, we look at some major victories by William Paterson and Kean. We also look at a tough loss for the Montclair State Red Hawks that may be a momentum killer for them heading to a huge Week Five.
William Paterson Is Back On The Map
Who would’ve thought William Paterson would be 2-1 at this point in the season given the abysmal 0-10 season they had in 2018?
Nobody could’ve predicted that this would happen, but this William Paterson football team has really turned the corner. Further evidence of that was shown this past Saturday when the Pioneers defeated the Maritime Privateers decisively 35-0.
Once again, the dynamic running back duo of freshman Terrique Reddick and junior Marcel Mason dominated the opposing defense. Both running backs combined for 186 yards, with the two backs rushing for 97 and 89 yards respectively. The two-back system for the Pioneers has been extremely effective as their offensive line has gelled together as a unit this season.
This was the Pioneers first shutout victory since 2014, as they overwhelmed the Privateer offense on nearly every given play. Maritime only managed 88 total yards in the game, including a meager six yards rushing. Much of that was due to sophomore linebacker Bryan King, who led the way with eight tackles (1.5 for a loss).
With the momentum William Paterson has moving into NJAC play, this will be a tough team to defeat moving forward, and nobody will be sleeping on this group anymore. The Pioneers will open up NJAC play at their homecoming game against The College of New Jersey this Saturday, Oct. 5.
Kean Grabs Their First Victory of the Season
After a rough two games for the Cougars, a breakout offense performance paved the way for Kean’s dominating 47-13 victory against Dean Bulldogs on Saturday.
The Cougars used a balanced attack to keep the Bulldogs off guard all day. Sophomore quarterback Anthony Broccoletti had a great day throwing the ball, finishing with 179 yards on 10 of 16 attempts with two touchdowns and an interception. Senior running back Jessey Asare had a career-high 145 yards rushing on 17 carries and a touchdown.
It’ll be interesting to see how head coach Dan Garrett continues to use both Broccoletti and fellow sophomore quarterback Tyrae Taylor the rest of the season. Although Broccoletti remains as the starter and played well today, Taylor has shown the ability to be a rushing threat. He finished with 74 yards rushing and even scored Kean’s first two touchdowns.
The Cougars will have a favorable matchup next week as they face a struggling Christopher Newport Captains squad this Saturday, Oct. 5.
Another Disappointing Loss For The Red Hawks
This season has been disappointing so far for the Montclair State Red Hawks to say the least.
Turnovers, missed opportunities, and a great showing by the Statesman defense doomed the Red Hawks as they fell to Hobart, 17-6.
The Red Hawks struggled to deal with the Statesman strong pass defense, who did an excellent job of taking away the deep ball. The defense forced junior quarterback Ja’Quill Burch to throw short, intermediate passes. This proved to be a challenge for a Red Hawk team who thrives off the big play.
Burch finished with 163 passing yards on 20 of 33 attempts, but had no touchdowns and threw three interceptions. All three interceptions came in the second half. The biggest one that put the nail in the coffin was a red zone interception by Hobart’s Andrew Koonz late in the fourth quarter that sealed it for the Statesman.
Defensively, the Red Hawks put out another strong performance and held Hobart’s star quarterback Ryan Hoffman to only 120 passing yards. However, their defense began to crack in the fourth quarter as Hobart’s senior running back Brian Haeffner picked up steam in the second half. He finished with 92 yards on 21 carries.
It’s also notable to point out that the Red Hawks made it to the red zone on multiple occasions in the second half, but turned the ball over four times in the half. The Red Hawks managed zero points in the half and put tremendous pressure on their defense to contain a potent Hobart offense. They managed to do it until a late fourth-quarter score by the Statesman.
The Red Hawks will have another tough foe in Salisbury Seagulls this Saturday, Oct. 5. The Red Hawks will be looking to avenge a 17-15 loss to them last season.
NJAC Weekly Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Senior Running Back Jessey Asare
17 carries, 145 rushing yards
Defensive Player of the Week: Sophomore Defensive Back Zack Zaccone
11 tackles (5 solo), 1.0 tackles for a loss
Special Teams Player of the Week: Freshman WR/PR Donte Jamison
19.3 yards average on three punt returns, including 25-yard punt returner to set up Kean score.
Offensive Rookie of the Week: Freshman Wide Reciever Matt Clarke
4 receptions, 92 yards receiving
Defensive Player of the Week: Freshman Defensive Back RJ Massey
5 tackles (1.0 for a loss), interception
Quick Picks for Week Five
My Pick in BOLD
Rowan @ #14 Wesley– Time TBA
#17 Salisbury @ Montclair State– 12pm
Christopher Newport @ Kean – 12pm
TCNJ @ William Paterson – 1 pm
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