With zero postseason aspirations entering the season finale against Kean University, Montclair State University’s hopes were only stale and filled with personal discontent in the Red Hawk’s 28-21 loss at home against the Cougars.
Montclair State received the opening kickoff and quickly took advantage of the situation with a 54-yard Denzel Nieves touchdown on the fourth play from scrimmage with 13:30 left on the clock. Kean would bounce back with a blocked Montclair State punt that would roll and be recovered in the end zone, making the score 7-7 with 9:14 left in the first quarter.
Senior defensive lineman Josh Brown recovered a fumble and Rahmein Herron intercepted a pass and returned to the Kean 10-yard line. Montclair State would have to settle for a 27-yard field goal attempt, but Ryan DeLeon would miss wide right.
Between the two teams, an almost unfathomable 25 penalty flags were thrown, which would equate for a total of 264 yards on both sides. Both teams would score due to penalties with only 4:39 left in the half.
Kean took control of the scoreboard late in the third via an Aryeh Moslavi 20-yard field goal, but Montclair responded in the beginning of the fourth with a John DiStefano 14-yard touchdown run. Moslavi would return the favor again with a 31-yard field goal with 7:54 left in the game.
The final blow would eventually come via Cougar quarterback Charles App, who pieced together a 14-play, 77-yard drive that finished with a left side rollout for a touchdown with eight seconds left on the clock. Montclair State would receive a final shot of redemption, but a LeRon Dillard interception on the game’s final play locked up the Kean victory.
Red Hawk running back Nieves rushed for 118 yards and linebacker Joshua Betts tallied 11 solo tackles on the day. Ryan Davies would record 14-for-30 at 151 yards, and Julianee Prince and Aaron Williams both earned four receptions for 61 yards. Linebacker Michael Klimek had 10 total tackles while Michael Tenpenny and Billy Shimko would account for nine each.
In the end, the Montclair State Red Hawks finished their season at 4-6.