(Morrisville, NY – Sept. 29, 2012) Morrisville State College put together their best offensive effort to date on the season, but fell short as visiting Kean University collected the 51-28 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) win Saturday afternoon during Mustang Weekend (Homecoming) in Morrisville.
The Mustangs fall to 0-5 overall, 0-3 in NJAC play, while Kean pulls even at 2-2, improving to 2-0 in conference action.
Morrisville State registered 387 yards total offense on the day. Freshman quarterback Jory Tanner (Adams, N.Y.) connected on 12-of-24 passes for 214 yards through the air, two to AJ Latta (Middletown, N.Y.) for 69 yards and a touchdown, and three for 56-yards to Robert Clarke (New York, N.Y.) for 56 yards and a score.
Earl Snead (Wappinger Falls, N.Y.) added 73 yards on 13 carries to the Mustangs offensive totals in the running game, while Emmanuel Johnson (Staten Island, N.Y.) carried the ball eight times for 46 yards.
Jeremy Stewart (Moravia, N.Y.) and Enrique Robinson (St. Paul, Minn.) led the Morrisville State defensive efforts, each registering nine tackles. Of Stewart’s nine, seven were solo stops.
Kean’s offensive game centered around running back Darius Kinney, who for the second straight week surpassed a career best in rushing, netting 242 total yards on 22 carries. The Cougars registered 531 yards total offense, 312 alone on the ground.
Christian Bailoni connected on 12-of-16 passes for 219 yards and five touchdowns under center for the Cougars, hitting Deandre Fowlkes four times for 133 yards and two scores.
Defensively Gianni McLaughlin posted a team high eight tackles in the win.
On the first play of Kean’s game opening drive, Kinney broke free through the middle of the line and found the end zone just 20 seconds into the contest for the 59-yard rushing score to put the visitors up early 7-0.
A quick three-and-out by the Mustangs on the following drive returned possession to the Cougars who used a 21-yard field goal by Bill Cullen to go up 10-0 less than five minutes into the quarter.
Early in the second, Kean completed an 84-yard drive that started midway through the first as Bailoni connected with Louis Haynes for a 19-yard scoring pass play with 14:12 showing on the clock.
Morrisville State reached the red zone midway through the second, utilizing a 26-yard rush by Snead and 38-yard reception from Tanner to Maurice Betton (Buffalo, N.Y.) to drive deep into Kean territory. Tanner found Anthony Gray (Smallwood, N.Y.) from two-yards out to put the Mustangs on the board and cut the Kean lead to 17-7.
Kinney responded for the Cougars on the ensuing drive, again beating the Mustangs up the middle, reaching the endzone on a 65-yard rushing score to regain the 17 point lead.
Kean forced Morrisville State to put on its next drive and again struck quick, as Bailoni found Fowlkes wide open down field for the 79-yard scoring pass play, giving the Cougars the 31-7 halftime lead.
A turnover on downs on Morrisville State’s first possession of the second half gave Kean the ball on the Mustangs own 35 yard line, and within minutes Bailoni found Sean McKee to cap off the five play, 35-yard drive with an 11-yard scoring throw over center.
On the ensuing drive, the Mustangs offense found its rhythm, as Tanner connected with a wide open Latta on the side line, who broke three Kean tackles and reached the end zone 69 yards later, capping off the three play, 87-yard drive in just over a minute of play.
Midway through the quarter, Kean reached Morrisville State territory and attempted a 48-yard field goal, but defensive tackle, Jack Glen (Syracuse, N.Y.) got a hand on the ball to block the kick attempt, setting the Mustangs up at midfield.
After two straight carries by Snead, Tanner hit Clarke on a cross route who beat the defense for the second straight Mustang drive, capping off the three play, 60-yard drive with a scoring 39-yard reception to cutting into the Kean lead.
The Cougars added their second score of the quarter on the ensuing drive, as Bailoni found Fowlkes on a 27-yard scoring pass play with 1:42 to go in the quarter.
Forcing Tanner out of the pocket, Brett Yajcaji was able to tip and later intercept Tanner, setting up the final Kean score of the day on a six yard pass from Bailoni to McKee.
Morrisville State posted the lone score in the fourth quarter, on a four-yard rush by Mike Hardamon (Roosevelt, N.Y.).
The Mustangs return to the field Oct. 13 following a bye week, traveling to Western Connecticut State University.