In a game that will be remembered for stout defense and missed opportunities, the College’s football team lost a heartbreaker to Kean University on Friday, 7-6.
Kean struck first in the game, but not before senior safety Shawn Brown picked off the Cougars’ first pass play. Unfortunately, the Lions fumbled the ball right back, and Kean capitalized with a rushing touchdown.
Brown continued his stellar play in the first half, grabbing another interception. His effort for the day earned him NJAC defensive player of the week honors.
“Early in the game I knew we had to have the ball so we could score points early,” Brown said. “I just cut under a quick pass on the first pass of the first drive. Later in the quarter, (Kean QB Tom) D’Ambrisi was rolling around a little bit and I saw him going for the corner. He overthrew it a little bit and I was there to make the play.”
The offense scored their only touchdown of the day, a run by junior wide receiver Matt Rosati, in the second quarter. However, the snap was muffed on the extra point, and the Lions stood pat at six points.
The Lions would not score again. The second half produced two fourth-down situations inside of the ten-yard line, but both field goal attempts were missed, one on a hook by senior kicker Tyler Olsson and another by a bad hold that sent the ball on a low trajectory and under the uprights.
“The kicking game was a rollercoaster game tonight,” Head Coach Eric Hamilton said. “We had some good plays and we had some bad plays. The field position game was back and forth. They won it for a while and then we got it back. This was a field position game and (Olsson) kept us in the game.”
For Hamilton, there are some positives to take from the defense’s performance, but in the end, the game belongs not to one side of the ball, but the entire team.
“Our defense played their butts off,” Hamilton said. “There’s no question about that. But we win as a team, we lose as a team. It’s all three phases.”
The team will need to bring their A-game to next week’s matchup with The College at Brockport, a team that is 0-4 but played tough NJAC foes Montclair State University and Rowan University to within one score.
“(We) can’t let a game like this affect us next week,” Hamilton said. “And next week is going to be hard.”
According to Brown, this team is far from done.
“We’re going to keep fighting,” he said. “We can beat everyone from here on out. So long as we keep fighting, good things will happen.”
Brandon Gould contributed to this report.