Homecoming Day was a success for Montclair State football. The Red Hawks defeated The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) 21-7 at Sprague Field on Saturday, in the 84th edition of the oldest active collegiate football rivalry in the Garden State. Montclair State improves to 4-3 on the season.
The Red Hawks have now won 13 of the last 18 games between both teams. After destroying William Paterson during last year’s homecoming win by a margin of almost 60 points, the Red Hawks only scored 21 points this year, all during the first quarter of the game. The Red Hawks successfully rebounded following last week’s 28-21 overtime loss to Christopher Newport University.
Montclair State started to attack TCNJ early. The Red Hawks scored two touchdowns early in the first quarter within a span of two minutes. Red Hawks quarterback John Apicella completed a pass to wide receiver Julanee Prince for 47 yards for the first touchdown of the game.
A minute later, TCNJ quarterback Trevor Osler was sacked by Red Hawks defensive lineman Joe Falato, forcing a fumble that was recovered by fellow lineman Nick Volpe, who rushed in for the second touchdown. Running back John DiStefano dove to the edge of the end zone before the end of the first quarter and scored his team-leading 10th touchdown of the season.
John DiStefano with his 10th touchdown of the season as the Red Hawks defeated TCNJ earlier today 21-7 at Sprague Field. #HomecomingDay2016 pic.twitter.com/jjBZftIwKI
— The Montclarion (@TheMontclarion) October 22, 2016
The Lions scored their only touchdown in the second quarter as Osler forced his way in the end zone, breaking through the the pack of defensive linemen. After back-and-forth drives by each team in the second half, neither side was able to capitalize on their opportunities as the score remained the same.
The Red Hawks will be back in action next Saturday at 1 p.m. for a New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup on the road against Wesley College in Dover, Del.