WAYNE, N.J. – Visiting Morrisville State football ran wild offensively and accumulated a record breaking 795-yards total offense, as they posted a 51-48 last second New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) victory over host William Paterson University Saturday afternoon in Wayne, New Jersey.
The win is the second straight for the Mustangs (2-2, 1-0 NJAC), and comes on the foot of junior kicker Zach Drake (Chittenango, N.Y.) who nailed the 27-yard field goal with just over a second remaining on the clock after a 60-yard offensive frenzy in the closing minute.
Morrisville State registered 455 yards in the passing game with junior quarterback Lemar Johnson (Ossining, N.Y.) completing 32-of-52 pass attempts for four touchdowns; 12 completions to wide receiver Josh Powell (Yonkers, N.Y.) who amassed 207-yards and a score.
The Mustangs dominated the running game, outgaining the Pioneers 340 to 73, including a 216-yard net performance from Cristian Pena (Ridgewood, N.Y.) who also tallied two scores. Johnson added 93 in the assault, also posting a rushing score.
Jeremy Stewart (Moravia, N.Y.) led the Morrisville State charge defensively, making nine total stops, including eight solo, while registering two passes defended. Delroy Young (Binghamton, N.Y.) added eight, including two that were for a loss of 15 yards, sacking William Paterson quarterback Ryan Gresik for a loss of 12.
Gresik went 34-for-52 for 519 yards and five touchdown scores, hitting wide out Mick Paye seven times for 151 total yards.
Matt Deiana recorded 44 net yards rushing and a score to lead the Pioneers in the ground game.
Four Pioneers were in double figures in tackles, including Pat Thomas and David Zurla who posted 12 apiece.
Morrisville State struck quick, scoring on the opening drive on a 38-yard pass play from Johnson to Pena for the early lead, but William Paterson responded with three straight scores in the final seven minutes of the quarter to claim the 21-7 lead after one.
The Pioneers went ahead 28-7 early on in the second before Morrisville State found the offensive momentum behind a 13-yard completion from Johnson to Anthony Gray (Smallwood, N.Y.) to cap off the nine-play, 84-yard scoring drive.
The Mustangs defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing Pioneer drive, and with three straight carries by Pena, moved the ball into William Paterson territory where Johnson hit Gray for a second time for the 12-yard passing score, cutting the lead to just seven at the half.
The third quarter belonged to the Mustangs, and proved to be the difference in the game, as they put together a 222-yard offensive quarter, behind Johnson's 7-for-10 effort in passing and Pena's 82-yard gain on the ground.
Morrisville State made it a tied ball game midway through the third on a keeper from Johnson, who found his way into the endzone after a 13-yard run with 7:29 to go.
Pena put the Mustangs ahead minutes later on his own scoring scramble from 27-yards out, before capping off the quarter with his second score of the afternoon, this time from six yards out with 1:16 to go.
William Paterson got back to within a score at the close of the quarter, returning the kickoff 91-yards before sending the game into an offensive shootout for the final 15.
In the fourth, Gresik connected with Darius Kersey early on following a fumble recovery to tie the game at 41 but midway through the quarter Powell went up over the defender into the endzone to regain the Mustang lead, 48-41 with 7:48 to go.
William Paterson evened the contest at 48 with 40 ticks remaining on the clock, as Gresik found Kersey for the second time on the afternoon, but the Mustangs remained composed and with 35 seconds to go, went to work.
Facing a third and seven situation, Johnson hit Powell who ran out of bounds following an 11-yard completion that brought the Mustangs down to the Pioneer 41with under 15 seconds to go. Following a spike to stop the clock, Johnson lofted the ball 31-yards to Gray who was able to get out of bounds with 1.6 seconds showing in regulation at the William Paterson 10.
Drake was sent on the field to attempt the 27-yard field goal, and he came through, redeeming himself from two earlier misses, as Morrisville State posted the programs first conference win against a New Jersey opponent.
Morrisville State returns to the field Saturday, Oct. 12, hosting Rowan at noon on Drake Field.
Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students.
Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for
opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An
action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a
national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative
and effective community service programs, the college was named to
the 2012 President's Higher Community Service
Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to
experience, Morrisville in motion.