William Paterson’s Second-Half Surge Comes Up Just Shy in Season Finale, 27-20

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MONTCLAIR, N.J. – William Paterson (0-10, 0-9 NJAC) twice made it a one-possession game during the fourth quarter, but host Montclair State (5-5, 5-4 NJAC) held on for a 27-20 victory Nov. 11 in the Pioneers' football season finale.


After spotting the Red Hawks a 20-0 first-quarter lead, WP found the end zone 16 seconds before halftime. A 16-yard completion by sophomore quarterback Cornelius Kinchen to senior wide receiver Tyler Vivian and a 13-yard carry by sophomore running back Dahmiere Willis moved the ball to the MSU-20, and a pass interference call on fourth-and-goal from the seven set up a one-yard touchdown run by senior running back Aqeel Daniels-Lundy. Sophomore Brandon Harley kicked the PAT for a 20-7 margin.


Neither team could add to its point total again until the 9:46 mark of the fourth quarter when Kinchen connected with senior running back Kelvin White, Jr. for a seven-yard score. The PAT attempt was no good, and the Pioneers trailed by a 20-13 count.


Senior defensive back Tyquese Jackson stretched Montclair State's lead to 27-13 with a 32-yard interception return with 7:50 left, but William Paterson answered with a 14-play, 73-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown reception by freshman wide receiver William Frese. The successful point-after kick narrowed the deficit to 27-20 with 3:00 on the clock.


The Pioneer defense forced a three-and-out, giving the ball back to the offense at its own 24-yard line with 1:37 to play. Kinchen's completions to senior James Waldron for 14 yards and White for 18 yards twice moved the chains, and an 11-yard pass to Vivian on fourth-and-10 kept WP's comeback hopes alive at the MSU-33. A final pass attempt on fourth down was intercepted at the 28-yard line, and the Red Hawks were able to take a knee to run the final 30 seconds off the clock.


Kinchen finished 19-for-44 for 209 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions. Willis rushed 11 times for 36 yards, and Vivian caught seven passes for 89 yards.


Junior linebacker Charles Faulkner paced WP with nine tackles (five solo, 1.0 TFL), and freshman defensive back Chad Elliott added six solo stops. Freshman defensive back Alex D'Angelo and freshman wide receiver Isaiah Douze each recovered a Montclair State fumble, while sophomore linebacker Hunter Baillie intercepted a pass.


Sophomore Kason Campbell returned the opening kickoff 91 yards to put the Red Hawks ahead by a 7-0 count, and senior defensive lineman Nick Volpe returned an interception 23 yards to make it a 14-0 score at the 11:06 mark of the first quarter.


Junior Hunter Daly connected on field goals of 40 (17-0, 5:03) and 27 (20-0, 3:37) yards later in the first period for Montclair State.


Montclair State junior quarterback John Apicella went 7-for-16 for 40 yards and an INT. Junior Anthony Travisano carried eight times for 41 yards, while senior Taj Huggins gained 19 yards on three receptions.


Senior linebacker Nick Catalano collected 11 tackles and senior defensive lineman Chris Palma added nine stops for the Red Hawks.


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