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Morrisville State football falls 41-31 to The College of New Jersey

EWING, N.J.¬ – A pair of key defensive plays lifted The College of New Jersey football team to the conference win over Morrisville State College Saturday afternoon in Ewing, New Jersey, in the first meeting between the two programs.

Midway through the fourth quarter TCNJ’s Ryan Flannery (Galloway, NJ) blocked the potential game-tying field goal and minutes later denied Morrisville State on a fourth down opportunity to secure the win.

The Lions were the first to put numbers on the board, as Chase Misiura (Holmdel, NJ) ran the ball one-yard for the score with 1:24 remaining in the first quarter.

Morrisville State responded with a touchdown just seconds into the second quarter, with Mel Betts (Huntington Station, NY) capitalizing on a seven-yard run at 14:27.

Within minutes the Lions regained the lead with Michael Yetka (Holmdel, NJ) crossing the goal line on a three-yard rushing attempt. Morrisville’s Louis Nauditt (Campbell Hall, NY) evened the contest for the Mustangs with 8:00 remaining, receiving a six-yard pass from quarterback Billy Poling (Waretown, NJ).

TCNJ rallied for two scores to take the 24-14 lead at the half, the first a 27-yard pass to Colin Weber (Scotch Plains, NJ) from Chris James (Brick, NJ) at 6:52, and the second a 30 yard field goal from Marc Zucconi (Marlton, NJ) at 2:28.

Early in the third, the Lions extended their lead to 13, as Zacconi hit a 37-yard field goal at the 13:54 mark. Just over a minute later, Morrisville’s Eddie Hull (Syracuse, NY) caught a 57-yard pass for the touchdown score from Poling, cutting the lead to six. Hull caught ten for a total 186-yards on the afternoon, a collegiate best performance.

At 8:28 in the third, TCNJ’s James snuck just inside the goal line flag to give the Lions the 13-point cushion.

After a 28-yard field goal by Morrisville’s Kyle Ippolito (Clarence, NY) late in the third quarter, Morrisville was able to bring the game within three with 10:25 remaining in the fourth quarter as Daryle McClenic (Amityville, NY) capped off a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a four-yard rushing score, making it a 31-34 contest.

In a quick three and out series for the Lions, Morrisville State regained the ball with 9:14 remaining on the clock, following the 53-yard punt return by Hull to the TNCJ seven-yard line. Unable to get past the defensive line in the series, Morrisville’s 24-yard field goal attempt to tie the contest was blocked, giving the Lions possession on their own 32-yard line with 7:17 remaining.

On the third play of the series for the Lions, Morrisville State’s EJ Maeweather (Syracuse, NY) forced a Misiura fumble that was recovered by the Mustangs Dale Ross (Syracuse, NY) at the 41-yard line of TCNJ, setting the Mustangs up for their final drive of the contest.

Reaching the TCNJ 23-yard line in four plays, Morrisville turned the ball over on downs with 4:46 remaining in the contest.

With less than a minute remaining in the contest, the Lions secured the win with a one yard rushing score from Yetka, bringing the contest to the 41-31 final.

Misiura led TCNJ with 88-yards on 11 carries and one score. James was 22-of-34 for 244 yards and a score and Bill Picatagi (Hamilton, NJ) 4-of-6 for 33-yards as the Lions tallied 409-yards of total offense. Cam Richardson (Burlington, NJ) led the receiving corps for TCNJ with eight catches for 104-yards.

Justin Beres (Galloway, NJ) and Paul Mychalczuk (Hillsborough, NJ) each tallied nine tackles to lead the Lions defensively, Beres adding an interception returned for 21-yards.

Poling led the Mustangs on the ground, netting 43-yards on 11 carries while completing 15-of-28 passes for 283 yards and two scores. Mike Sollo (North Babylon, NY) was 3-of-4 for 32 yards, relieving the injured Poling late in the fourth quarter. Wendall Williams (Syracuse, NY) caught four passes for 95 yards to add to Hull’s 186 receiving as Morrisville racked up 417 yards total offense on the afternoon.

Morrisville State’s Maeweather led the defensive unit with 11 tackles, four solo, while forcing two fumbles and recovering one. Elizear Torres (Bronx, NY) added nine, including two break-ups as Ross tallied eight, recovering a fumble.

Morrisville State returns to the field Saturday for homecoming weekend, hosting Western Connecticut State University at 1 p.m. on Drake Field on the Morrisville State campus.

Morrisville State enters its third year as a provisional member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division III in 2008. Upon successful completion of the provisional period, Morrisville State will be a candidate for full accreditation as a member of the NCAA.

Morrisville State College offers more than 75 bachelor and associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.