The Montclair State University’s football team started the season off with a bang, taking down Gettysburg College 32-21 in their first game of the season. The Red Hawks showed signs of improvement in their new “Palazzo Era.” Mike Palazzo rightfully earns his first win as head coach.
This was the second consecutive year that Montclair State opened the season with a win after they defeated Thiel College 27-6 in 2022. Gettysburg scored first with a field goal to open things up, but the Red Hawks answered with a touchdown of their own run by sophomore quarterback Andrew Sanborn. Montclair State never lost the lead for the rest of the game.
Sanborn had an outstanding collegiate debut, throwing 19 completions for 180, a touchdown pass, and carried the ball himself for 40 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The play of the game though went to sophomore running back Henry Lewis who broke free for a 66-yard touchdown run and increased the Red Hawks’ lead.
This was the very first meeting between Montclair State and Gettysburg, but the Red Hawks made themselves known especially on defense. The offense wasn’t the only side of the ball that showed up as the defense had 70 total tackles (five tackles for a loss of yards), two fumbles recovered and four sacks. Team captain and junior linebacker Nick Burgess led the defense with 12 tackles of his own and two sacks.
The game went into a weather delay with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, with Montclair leading 32-13. Once the game resumed, the Bullets were able to tack on another eight points, but it was not enough to come back.
The 1-0 Red Hawks now prepare for the week ahead where they will face Franklin and Marshall College in their home opener on Saturday, Sept. 16. It will be the second time the Red Hawks play a team for the first time. The Diplomats also hold a 1-0 record after defeating Lebanon Valley College in a 16-12 contest. Montclair State will head into the upcoming week with plenty of optimism, and eager to win at Sprague Field.