/seasons/2011/contrib/201109102y3unt

Kean Opens Season with 31-28 Upset of #3 Wesley

More news about: Kean

UNION, N.J. (9/10/11) – The Kean University football team blocked a pair of punts and forced a key turnover deep in their own territory with 50 seconds remaining in the 31-28 upset victory over third-ranked Wesley College to open the 2011 season on Saturday afternoon.

Junior T.J. Denehy caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from senior Thomas D'Ambrisi with 1:18 remaining and freshman linebacker Matt Clerk forced the late fumble, as the Cougars post their biggest win in program history and snapped a 27-game regular season winning streak for the Wolverines. 

Wesley, who handed the Cougars a 48-10 loss a year ago in the regular season finale, advanced to the NCAA Semifinals in each of the last two seasons and suffers their first regular season loss since the season opener in 2008.

Special teams ignited the Cougars, as Kean blocked a pair of punts on back-to-back Wesley possessions in the second quarter to take a 17-6 lead.  Trailing 6-3, Clerk blocked the first punt and the Cougars would take over at the Wesley 24-yard line midway through the second quarter.  On the first play of the ensuing drive, D'Ambrisi went straight to the back corner of the endzone, hitting sophomore Lester Smith with the diving catch for the 10-6 lead after the Billy Daniels extra point.

Kean forced Wesley into a three-and-out on their next possession and the Cougars charged three at the punter, as junior Nick Graff blocked the punt, picked up the loose ball and returned it six yards for the touchdown, giving the Cougars a 17-6 lead after Daniels converted the extra point with 5:17 remaining in the opening half.

The Wolverines pulled to within a field goal at 17-14 before halftime, as tight end Sean McAndrew capped a 13-play, 77-yard drive with the eight-yard touchdown reception and then was on the receiving end of the two-point conversion from quarterback Shane McSweeny with just 16 seconds left in the half.  McSweeny completed 6-of-8 passes for 59 yards on the drive.

In the third quarter, the Wolverines regained the lead at 21-17 with 6:48 remaining when McSweeny connected with junior Matt Barile on the 73-yard touchdown pass down the Wesley sideline.

Both teams punted on each of their next two possessions, before Kean regained the lead on a 50-yard touchdown pass from D'Ambrisi to Smith with 9:36 remaining, as the Cougars took the 24-21 lead after the extra point.

Two possessions later, Wesley caught a break on special teams, recovering their own fumble near midfield following the Cougar punt.  Eight plays later, McSweeny hit junior wide receiver Jared Morris across the middle of the field and Morris dove just inside the left side of the endzone for the 21-yard go-ahead touchdown pass, as the Dan Tryon extra point gave the Wolverines the 28-24 lead with just 2:43 remaining in the game. 

After Kean senior Jamahl Williams returned the kickoff 25 yards to the Kean 40-yard line, the Cougars executed the two-minute drill, as D'Ambrisi had an 11-yard rush and completed three passes for 29 yards, before a pass interference call on fourth-and-one gave the Cougars a fresh set of downs at the Wesley 11-yard line with 1:20 left in the game.  On the very next play, D'Ambrisi found Denehy one-step into the front right corner of the endzone with the 11-yard touchdown reception.  Daniels converted the extra point for the critical three-point advantage with just 1:18 remaining.

On Wesley's final drive of the game, McSweeny completed the 19-yard pass to Morris to move into Kean territory, before the face-mask penalty gave the Wolverines first-and-ten at the Kean 30-yard line with less than a minute remaining.  On the next play, McSweeny hit Barile with the 10-yard reception across the middle of the field, before Clerk knocked the ball loose and junior linebacker Jerelle Peay immediately recovered the fumble to seal the victory. 

Wesley took a 6-0 lead on its first possession of the game, as Morris' 16-yard touchdown reception from McSweeny capped a 12-play, 83-yard drive.  McSweeny completed 6-of-7 passes for 74 yards on the drive.  The Cougars cut the lead in half in the second quarter on the 28-yard field goal by Daniels. 

D'Ambrisi completed 21-of-36 passes, including 11-of-13 in the first half, for 259 yards and three touchdowns.  Denehy had a career-high six catches for 69 yards and one touchdown, while Smith made three catches for 88 yards and two TD receptions.  Senior wide receiver Chris Suozzo added six catches for 54 yards.

Defensively, senior Bekim Bujari made a team-high 10 tackles, while Peay had eight tackles and the fumble recovery. 

For the Wolverines, McSweeny accounted for 388 of the team's 463 yards of total offense, completing 23-of-34 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 18 rushes for 77 yards.  Sophomore wide receiver Jeremiah Howe had a game-high eight receptions for 96 yards and Morris added four catches for 62 yards and two touchdowns. 

Senior linebacker Mike Asiedu led the Wesley defense with nine tackles, while senior linebacker Jeff Morgan added six solo stops, including two for a loss of six yards. 

Kean faces its second straight ranked opponent next week, as the Cougars open their New Jersey Athletic Conference schedule against #13 SUNY Cortland in Cortland, N.Y.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
Live stats Tickets
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
Live stats
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live stats
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
Live stats
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live stats Live stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
Video
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live stats
1:00 PM
Greensboro at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
Live stats
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
Video
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
Video
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
North Park at Anderson
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
7:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live stats
Maintenance in progress.