The Montclair State University football team proved that a red hawk is tougher than a lion. The Red Hawks made a statement on Homecoming as they tore down the Lions of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in a 42-7 win.
It was a special night all around for the Red Hawks, Montclair State students, alumni, and all those who attended the Homecoming events earlier in the day. The biggest and most anticipated game of the year drew in a crowd of just over 5,000 people. Those who could not attend in person still got the ultimate experience with the Red Hawk Sports Network’s (RHSN) multi-camera broadcast which included replays, sideline interviews, pre-game, halftime and post-game shows.
Junior linebacker and team captain Nick Burgess was all smiles after the game.
“We’ve got to win homecoming every single year,” Burgess said. “That’s so important for the school, so important for our program, and I’m just excited. Now we’re going to celebrate the win and then we’re 1-0 for Kean.”
Montclair State put on a show-stopping performance on all sides of the ball. The Red Hawks collectively accounted for six total touchdowns including four offensive touchdowns, a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown and an interception returned for another touchdown.
“It felt good to finally put a complete game together. I’m excited about the way we executed today,” Head coach Mike Palazzo said. “I think we just focused on the little things and we simplified a couple of things. We just wanted to make sure that we were executing at a high level and not getting too complicated and I think you saw the result tonight.”
Montclair State’s second touchdown of the game came from a blocked field goal courtesy of junior defensive back Keyshawn Dixon which was then returned 84 yards by sophomore wide receiver Jayden Brimage. The Red Hawk defense accounted for three interceptions including Burgess’s 52-yard pick-six. But why was the offense so dominant with four touchdowns and 315 total yards?
Two words, Andrew Sandborn.
Sophomore quarterback Sanborn spread his wings and soared with 20 completions, 205 passing yards and four touchdown passes. The recent transfer student from American International College put on a show for the thousands in attendance, leaving TCNJ’s defense in shambles.
“Man he’s ballin’, he’s playing so good,” Burgess said. “[He] came in, faced a little adversity being our quarterback, and bounced back this week and it’s so important that he keeps ballin’ out and keeps putting us in the right spots.”
Montclair State heads into the new week preparing to face the Cougars of Kean University. The Red Hawks’ mindset this season is to refresh at the start of every week and treat it as a fresh start each week.
“One game at a time,” Palazzo said. “One game championships, that’s it.”
Montclair State will visit Kean Alumni Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 for their battle against the Cougars.