Montclair State Football: The Process of Revival

By Alex Hand, Staff Writer

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Montclair State football improved to 2-3 on the season. Photo courtesy of MSU Sports.
Montclair State football improved to 2-3 on the season.
Photo courtesy of MSU Sports.

In just two weeks, Montclair State University football has racked up a total of 109 points. Last Saturday, the Red Hawks traveled down to Buena Vista, Va. to face Southern Virginia University in an inevitable blowout, destroying the winless Knights 45-0.
The Red Hawks began their opening drive by completing nine plays for 65 yards and scoring within the first six minutes of the game. Quarterback Ryan Davies hit wide receiver Aaron Williams on two passes of 13 and 16 yards, respectively, and running back Denzel Nieves then popped off for a 13-yard run that brought the senior down to the one-yard line. Nieves crossed the goal line on the following play to make the score 7-0.
After the Knights had been forced to punt, Montclair State compiled an 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 38-yard bomb to freshman receiver Julanee Prince, placing the score at 14-0 with 3:33 left in the first quarter.
Late into the second quarter, defensive back Billy Shimko took one to the house off a Shawn Honeycutt 29-yard pick six to place the score at 21-0 with 3:42 left in the half.
Kicker Frank Schneeberger kicked one through the uprights, topping off the score at 24-0 as both teams headed into the locker room at halftime.
In the first play of the first quarter, Shimko once again picked off the SVU Knights, which eventually turned into an offensive, seven-play, 60-yard drive that was completed with junior running back John DiStefano exploding for a nine-yard touchdown run. That extended the score to 31-0 with 12:05 left in the third quarter.
In Montclair State’s next possession, sophomore wideout Michael Petrizzo caught an 11-yard pass during a key third-down situation that brought the Red Hawks down to their own 42-yard line. Seven plays later, Davies found a way to toss a 40-yard Prince touchdown pass off of a botched shotgun snap, bringing the score to 38-0 with 5:24 left on the clock.
Freshman tailback Willie Barr won the NJAC Rookie of the Week for his performance in the Red Hawks’ final scoring drive of the game, in which he racked up 46 of the total 64 offensive yards before finishing with his one-yard touchdown run.
The Red Hawks accounted for 491 yards of offense with 308 coming through the air. Davies was 17-for-24 while Prince and Williams each tallied five catches for 114 yards and 59 yards, respectively. Petrizzo had three receptions for 72 yards, Barr racked up 78-yards off of 14 carries and both Nieves and DiStefano equaled out at 43-yards each.
On the other side of the ball, senior linebacker Michael Tenpenny registered six tackles that included his 100th of his career. Defensive back Michael Stradford and defensive lineman Josh Brown racked up five tackles each, which helped keep SVU to 176 total yards of offense. Sophomore defensive back Rahmein Herron got a 79-yard pick six and teammates Craig Pitts and Chris Palma tacked on one sack apiece.
On Saturday, Oct. 17, Montclair State will be home against Christopher Newport University at 1 p.m.

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