Courtesy of William Paterson Athletics
- Kean (4-3, 4-3 NJAC) piled up 460 yards of total offense and celebrated Homecoming with a 29-2 victory against William Paterson (4-3, 3-3 NNJAC) Oct. 23 at Kean Alumni Stadium.
Sophomore Ryan Gresik (Newton, N.J./Newton) was 10-for-14 for 49 yards under center for the Pioneers. Classmate Dawys German (North Arlington, N.J./North Arlington) led the receiving corps with five catches for 18 yards.
Senior bandit Chris Thomas (West Milford, N.J./West Milford) led the William Paterson defense with nine tackles (six solo). Junior bandit Doug Dudek (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Hills) had seven stops (five solo), an interception and a return of a fumbled Kean extra point for the Pioneers’ only score of the day.
William Paterson received the opening kickoff and got a break when Steven Shawger (Newton, N.J./Newton) forced a fumble by the Kean punt returner and Corey Paladino (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) recovered the football. However, the Pioneers’ drive stalled on the Cougars’ 36-yard line, and the Pioneers were forced to punt again.
Kean marched down the field on its first offensive possession, covering 80 yards on 12 plays. Quarterback Tom D’Ambrisi covered the final three yards with his keeper for the touchdown, but senior cornerback Leer Biddle (Sicklerville, N.J./Lenape) blocked the extra-point kick, keeping it a 6-0 Cougar lead with 4:15 remaining in the first quarter.
The two teams exchanged punts until midway through the second period. D’Ambrisi’s 28-yard run put Kean into the red zone, and five plays later Jason Gwaltney carried for six yards and the Cougars’ second touchdown of the day. Billy Daniels added the PAT for a 13-0 score with 5:26 on the clock.
On fourth-and-six at the Kean 29-yard line, Gresik was sacked for an eight-yard loss, thwarting the Pioneers’ best scoring chance to that point. A Gwaltney 40-yard scamper gave Kean the ball at the William Paterson-15, but Dudek’s interception on the one-yard line kept the Cougars off the scoreboard and maintained the 13-0 score at the break.
Kean added three points with a Daniels 32-yard field goal to end its first drive of the second half, and after getting the ball back near midfield following a three-and-out for WP, D’Ambrisi finished a quick four-play drive when he connected with Chris Suozzo for a 43-yard touchdown. Dudek recovered a fumble of the two-point pass attempt by Anthony Giordano, returning it for the William Paterson defensive PAT and a 22-2 score with 4:39 remaining in the third quarter.
A Pioneer punt later gave Kean the ball at its own 49-yard line, but sophomore safety German Decena (Union City, N.J./Emerson) came up with the Pioneers’ second interception of the contest, thwarting Kean’s drive at the Pioneer 25-yard line.
After the Cougars got the ball back on downs, D’Ambrisi immediately went to the air for a 52-yard touchdown to Louis Haynes 1:06 into the final period, and Daniels’ kick made it a 29-2 contest.
D’Ambrisi was 9-for-17 for 148 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions for Kean. He added 14 carries for 99 yards and a score. The leading rusher in the NJAC, Gwaltney picked up 201 yards and scored once on 32 attempts. Haynes finished with five receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Richard Esdaile led the Cougar defense with six tackles (3.5 for loss). Bekim Bujari had 1.0 sack as part of a five-tackle effort.
William Paterson will host Buffalo State Saturday, Oct. 30, at 1:00 p.m.