Lions maul Pioneers in opener

Jay Donoghue led the offense Saturday. (Courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The football team wanted to start their season right with a win over William Paterson University, and they did just that with a 24-6 drubbing of the Pioneers on Saturday afternoon.

“The win over Paterson this past weekend meant a lot to us,” senior offensive lineman Jon Power said. “It gave us the confidence we need for the rest of the season.”

Senior quarterback and captain Jay Donoghue led the Lions’ attack, taking both to the air and ground in leading the team against the Pioneers. He passed for 120 yards on 60 percent passing while also rushing for 70 yards. He also had one TD through the air to junior receiver Matt Rosati.

The defense also stood out for the Lions, as junior linebacker Greg Burns intercepted a pass and took it to the one-yard line, enabling junior quarterback William Friedrich to punch it in on the ground.

“We managed to pull ahead quickly thanks to our defense doing a tremendous job holding their offense to almost no points,” Power said.

In addition to Burns’ interception, the defense also came up with two sacks and two more interceptions in the game.

As well as the team played, however, junior tight end Patrick Chirchirillo believes they shouldn’t get full of themselves.

“We still need to execute better, and as a team, we still need to get better physically and mentally if we want to take this year where we want it to go,” Chirchirillo said.

The team’s defense contributed (Courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Where the team would like to go is to the top of the NJAC, and as of right now, they are tied with SUNY-Cortland atop the conference with their 1-0 record in the conference.

“A lot of (teams) looked impressive across the country this weekend,” Chirchirillo said. “We have to keep it moving in a positive direction if we want to compete with all the teams on our schedule week-in and week-out.”

The team must now turn their focus to their first home game against Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham on Friday night at 7 p.m., where they are hoping to take down the Devils for their first home win in front of the home crowd.

“Even though (FDU) is not in our conference, they have become a rival over the last couple of years,” Power said. “It is also a Friday night game under the lights, so that always adds some excitement. A win this weekend will give us even more confidence going forward.”