Football secures homecoming victory over NJAC opponent

By Matthew Shaffer
Staff Writer

The football team secured a big homecoming win on Saturday, Oct. 19, as it defeated Kean University by a score of 7-3. 

To start the game, Kean won the coin toss and elected to receive. It drained five minutes off the clock en route to a 25-yard field goal. 

Ciempola celebrates with a teammate after scoring the game’s only touchdown (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk).

The score remained 3-0 for the rest of the first half, thanks to big defensive plays by sophomore defensive back Luke Young and freshman linebacker Joe Ciempola. Young defended a short pass to force a turnover on fourth down. 

On the following Kean possession, Ciempola partially blocked a punt, setting up the Lions with great field position. The offense was unable to capitalize in Kean’s territory and punted right before halftime. 

After junior quarterback Andrew Donaghue threw two interceptions in the first half, the College talked things over in the locker room and made a change at the quarterback position. It was sophomore quarterback/wide receiver Dave Jachera who took control of the offense for the rest of the game. 

The switch-up brought new energy to the field, eventually resulting in a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. 

The fans at Lions’ stadium erupted when Ciempola scooped up the ball on the one-yard line, thanks to the block from sophomore running back Cam Caorsi. 

The score put the lions up 7-3, and the defense was able to hold on for the rest of the game. Senior defensive back Xavier Santos came up with the game-saving stop after offsetting flags on fourth down. 

The turnover on downs led to a knee by the College, increasing its record to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference. The Lions’ next game is on the road against Christopher Newport University on Saturday, Oct. 26.

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