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Missed opportunities by Kean leads to big loss to Delaware Valley

Kean’s offense woes led to a dominating performance by the Aggies.

Missed opportunities by the Cougars and a sensational performance by senior quarterback Anthony Fontana led the #14 ranked Delaware Valley Aggies football team to a dominating 37-7 victory against the Kean Cougars at Kean University.

At the beginning of this game, it looked like the Cougars could potentially pull off a monumental upset. On the Aggies first offensive drive, a huge fourth-down stop at the 1-yard line by safety Anthony Bassani quickly swung momentum in favor of the Cougars. However, the surge of momentum was quickly halted as the Cougars first offensive drive ended in a safety as senior running back Jeffery Asare was stacked up in the endzone.

This was a common theme throughout the game as Cougars head coach
Dan Garrett acknowledged that any small momentum that the Cougars mustered quickly shifted back into the Aggies favor.

“Every time we had a big play [throughout the game], it was coupled by mistakes such as offensive penalties, or drops,” Garrett said.

Delaware Valley would waste little time going down the field. Fontana would hit senior fullback Nate Pauls streaking through the Cougars secondary for a 50-yard touchdown. Senior placekicker Nick Restaino would convert on the PAT to make it a 9-0 Aggies lead with 6:59 remaining.

After a quick three-and-out by the Cougars, the Aggies would drive down the field. Fontana ran the option to perfection. Del Val also received some tough runs by the running back tandem of Donte Simmons and Quadir Strothers. The drive was capped off by Fontana’s 22-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Dan Allen. The Restaino extra point made it 16-0 Aggies with 1:21 remaining in the first quarter.

The Cougars would not lay down without a fight. With 10:52 left in the second quarter, a huge sack by senior defensive lineman DeShawn Reed on fourth down gave the Cougars favorable field position on their own 42. Unfortunately, a holding penalty and a huge interception by sophomore Anthony Broccoletti would once again halt the little momentum that the Cougars had built up.

Throughout the game, the Cougars would alternate quarterbacks between Broccoletti and fellow sophomore quarterback Tyrae Taylor. Taylor’s first drive of the game came late in the second quarter. Unfortunately, it led to another interception, this time by junior Aggies cornerback Justin Harris.

Despite their struggles with both quarterbacks, Coach Garrett remains committed to Broccoletti as the starter for now. Tyrae Taylor will continue to get reps as a wildcat quarterback.

“He [Tyrae Taylor] gives us another dimension, with the read-option offense while Broccoletti is more of a pocket passer,” Garrett said. ” There is no controversy, Broccoletti is our starter, but we will still have that package for [Tyrae Taylor].

Harris would return the ball to the Cougars 10-yard line. On the next play Fontana would stroll into the endzone on a 10-yard dash. Restaino would make the PAT to make it a 23-0 Aggies lead with 3:05 remaining in the half.

The second half would be more of the same. The Cougars struggled to move the ball as the alternating of quarterbacks did nothing to spark Kean’s offense. On the other side, the Aggies continue to move the ball effectively. The Aggies lengthy first drive of the half was capped off by beautiful touchdown pass from Fontana to Allen, who took advantage of a busted coverage by the Cougar secondary.

Restaino would convert his fourth PAT of the game to extend the Aggies lead, 30-0.

Despite the blowout, the Aggies would keep their starters in. Anthony Fontana would pad his rushing stats via a dazzling 27-yard rush. The drive was capped off by a 4-yard touchdown run by senior running back Mario Nigro. Restaino would kick his 5th PAT to make it a 37-0 game.

Kean, who moved the ball slightly better in the second half with Tyrae Taylor taking most of the reps in the half, would finally score late in the fourth. Jeffery Asare would make up for his first-half safety with a 1-yard touchdown with 1:47 remaining in the game. Del Val would run out the clock to finish the game.

It was a rough night for the Cougars, who finished with only 135 yards in total (including -9 yards rushing). Defensively, they allowed 452 yards in total. While issues need to be ironed out on both sides of the ball, Tyrae Taylor believes that these issues are more about execution.

“The biggest thing we need to work on is mental and physical execution,” Taylor said. “If we execute on the field, nobody deserves to be on the field with us.”

With another tough opponent coming up in Springfield this Friday, the Cougars will have to be better to get through what is probably one of the more brutal non-conference schedules in the region.

“We have to continue to work to get better from this point because we are aren’t defined by one loss,” Coach Garrett said. “We need to continue to develop on the things we are good at and work on the things that we struggled on, or else it’ll be the same result against Springfield.”

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Corey is a College Sports Writer for DoubleGSports and will primarily cover the New Jersey Athletic Conference sports teams (Division III). He is also the assistant sports editor for his college campus newspaper, The Montclarion.
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