EWING – Quarterback James Donoghue tossed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brian Mills with 52 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter for the game’s only score as The College of New Jersey shutout visiting Kean University 7-0 on Saturday at Lions’ Stadium.
The win was TCNJ’s fourth straight as they improved to 5-4 on the season and 5-3 in New Jersey Athletic Conference play, while the Cougars saw their three-game winning streak come to an end as they dropped to 5-4. The shutout is the first for the Cougars since 2005 when they lost to Montclair State, 3-0, in overtime.
The Lions got the winning score after the Cougars punted the ball away on a short fourth-and-two, giving the hosts possession at their own 22. Donoghue kept the drive alive on third down with a scramble to the near sideline, but the Cougars were flagged for a late hit out of bounds putting TCNJ into Kean territory.
With the Lions facing a third-and-11 at the Kean 26 Donoghue lofted a strike to the far corner of the end zone where Mills made an over-the-shoulder catch for his second touchdown of the season. Tyler Olsson then kicked the point after for a 7-0 lead.
The final minute saw a couple change of possessions as TCNJ’s Michael Lambert intercepted a Tom D’Ambrisi pass. The Cougars, however, got the ball back for one final play after the Lions turned the ball over on downs, but TCNJ’s defense held on keeping their win streak alive.
The Lions had two good chances to get on the board in the opening half driving the ball inside the Kean 20-yard line. The first drive stalled when senior Andre Dozier intercepted a pass at the Kean 3 yard-line in the opening quarter, while the Cougars then halted the Lions with a goal-line stand in the second quarter with four straight plays inside the five yard line, including a fourth-and-one.
TCNJ had another chance to break the scoreless tie as Kean’s James-Edwards Boyd got a piece of a 45-yard field goal attempt by Olsson in the closing moments of the opening half preventing the score.
The Cougars tried a pair of long field-attempts in the second half, but Billy Daniels saw his attempts from 51 and 47 yards come up wide and short.
Donoghue was 10-for-17 through the air for 122 yards and churned out 57 yards on the ground carrying the ball 12 times.
Running back Joe Gwaltney inched his way closer to Kean’s single-season rushing record finishing with 93 yards on 19 carries. Those yards raised his season total to 1,385, leaving him 21 yards shy of the program record.
For the Cougars on defense Jerelle Peay had a big game as the freshman had a game-high 11 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss. Dozier finished with two interceptions on the afternoon, bringing Kean’s total to 18 this season.
TCNJ’s defense was led by the tandem of Shawn Brown and Greg Burns as each player finished with eight tackles.
The Cougars head to Wesley College for their lone non-conference game of the season to close out the regular season next Saturday.
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