UNION, N.J. (10/23/10) – Kean University rolled up 460 yards of total offense, while the Cougar defense limited William Paterson University to just 45 total yards, as Kean defeated the Pioneers, 29-2, in front of a Homecoming crowd in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Jay Gwaltney rushed for more than 200 yards for the third straight game and eclipsed 1,000 yards for the season, as Kean (4-3, 4-3 NJAC) won its second straight game.
The Pioneers (4-3, 3-3 NJAC) managed just 49 yards passing and -5 yards rushing, as the Cougars made 13 tackles for a loss of 54 yards in the win.
The Cougars took a 6-0 lead in the opening quarter following a 12-play, 80-yard drive that junior quarterback Thomas D'Ambrisi capped with the three-yard touchdown run with just 4:15 remaining in the quarter. D'Ambrisi opened the drive with a 16-yard completion to senior tight end Matt Puorro and added three rushes for 20 yards and a pair of completions for nine more yards, while Gwaltney had four carries for 28 yards on the scoring drive.
After the Kean defense forced the Pioneers to punt after a three-and-out on their first possession of the second quarter, D'Ambrisi completed 2-of-3 passes for 16 yards and added three carries for 35 yards, including a 28-yard run on third down, before Gwaltney closed out the drive with a six-yard touchdown run to give the Cougars a 13-0 lead following the extra point with 5:26 left in the half.
The Cougars scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter, first extending the lead to 16-0 on the 32-yard field goal by kicker Billy Daniels, before D'Ambrisi connected with junior wide receiver Chris Suozzo on the 43-yard scoring strike. The Pioneers managed their only points of the game on the ensuing extra point when Kean mishandled the attempt and Pioneer junior Doug Dubek picked up the ball and ran it back for the defensive PAT.
Kean closed out the scoring on its first play of its first drive of the fourth quarter, as junior wide receiver Louis Haynes caught the short pass from D'Ambrisi and cut back across the field for the 52-yard touchdown reception.
The Cougars controlled time of possession, as they ran the ball 54 times for 312 yards and had the ball for more than 37 minutes on offense. Five Kean drives lasted longer than four minutes apiece, including the final drive of the game that was more than eight minutes long to run out the clock.
D'Ambrisi had 247 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, as he finished with a career-high 99 yards rushing and had 148 yards passing (9-of-17). Gwaltney carried the ball 32 times for 201 yards and now has 1,035 yards rushing this season to become the fourth player in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
In the win, Haynes had five receptions for 79 yards, while Puorro made two catches for 18 yards.
Defensively, junior outside linebacker Richard Esdaile made a team-high six tackles, including three and a half tackles for a loss of 16 yards. Junior inside linebacker Bekim Bujari and junior defensive end James-Edwards Boyd each had five tackles apiece, as Bujari had one sack and three tackles for a loss of 11 yards and Boyd finished with two sacks and two and a half tackles for a loss of 15 yards.
For the Pioneers, Dudek made seven tackles and had an interception in addition to his defensive PAT. Senior defensive back Chris Thomas made a game-high nine stops, including six solo tackles.
Pioneer sophomore quarterback Ryan Gresik completed 10-of-14 passes for 49 yards.
The Cougars close out a three-game homestand next weekend, when they face The College at Brockport in NJAC action at 1 p.m.