Montclair, NJ (10/15/11) – Senior defensive end Alex Iachetta (Spring Lake Heights, NJ / Manasquan) returned an interception 27 yards to punctuate a solid effort by the Montclair State defense as the No. 7/11 Red Hawks blanked William Paterson, 20-0 at Sprague Field on Saturday evening.
Senior running back Chris D'Andrea (Union, NJ / Union) rushed for 193 yards and a touchdown as MSU took over sole possession of first place in the NJAC with the victory. Montclair, which improved to 6-0 overall, 5-0 in the NJAC, won its 18th straight game against it local rival as well as its 25th consecutive regular-season home victory.
Senior linebacker Jim Hamill (Stanhope, NJ / Lenape Valley) posted 12 tackles and Clifton Gaze (Palmyra, NJ / Palmyra) added 10 and a fumble recovery for the William Paterson, which fell to 2-4 overall, 1-3 in the NJAC.
Montclair State held the Pioneers to just 121 yards of offense in the victory while forcing six turnovers, including four interceptions, two by Chad Faulcon (Cranford, NJ / Cranford).
Punt returner Dan Keegan (Fairfield, NJ / Fairfield) returned a punt 53 yards on the first possession of the game giving MSU great field position at the WPU 30. A 15-yard penalty was tacked on putting the ball at the 13. However, Montclair could not capitalize and then came away with no points as Stanley Howard (Somerset, NJ / Franklin) blocked Jake DelVento's (Island Heights, NJ / Toms River South) 32-yard field goal.
After WP went three-and-out on its next possession, Keegan brought back a punt 44 yards as Montclair began its drive at the Pioneers' 28. This time the Red Hawks would cash in as D'Andrea ran in from a yard out with 5:01 left as Montclair State led 7-0.
The lead grew to 10-0 in the second quarter as DelVento connected from 41 yards out to cap off an 11-play, 56-yard drive as the Red Hawks took that margin into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Red Hawks forced one those turnovers by William Paterson as Sotiris Spilitopoulos (Dover, NJ / Dover) sacked Joe Salame (Lodi, NJ / Lodi) forcing a fumble that was recovered by Jeff Koubek (Howell, NJ / Freehold Township) near midfield. Montclair drove to the WPU 8 and scored as Drew Cathey (East Rutherford, NJ / Becton Regional) hit Keggan for a touchdown. But the play was nullified by a clipping penalty and the Red Hawks setted for a 43-yard field goal by DelVento for a 13-0 lead with 4:12 left in the third.
Iachetta accounted for the final score as he picked off a Salame pass and returned it for the touchdown with 3:46 left.
D'Andrea carried 37 times as Montclair State rushed for 225 yards. Cathey, making his first career start for an injured Tom Fischer (Livingston, NJ / Livingston) was 11-of-23 for 83 yards. Keegan caught four passes for 29 yards. Bobby Skinner (Staten Island, NY / New Dorp) led the defense with six tackles, including a sack while Joe Koonce (Cliffside Park, NJ / Cliffside Park) ad four tackles, two for losses and a breakup. Iachetta also recovered a fumble.
Dawys German (North Arlington, NJ / North Arlington) rushed for 75 yards on 16 carries for the Pioneers. Salame was 4-of-13 for 37 yards. Doug Dudek (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Hills) had eight tackles while German Decena (Union City, NJ / Emerson) and Webb Greer (Sparta, NJ / Sparta) posted seven tackles apiece.
Both teams return to action next week with NJAC road contests. Montclair State heads to The College of New Jersey for the latest installment in the oldest active collegiate football rivalry in New Jersey. Kickoff at Lions Stadium is scheduled for 2:00 pm. William Paterson heads to Cortland for a 1:00 pm contest with the Red Dragons.