News Center

Back to News Center

Defense helps TCNJ set single game scoring record

Release courtesy of Mark Gola, TCNJ SID

Ewing, NJ - Ranked second nationally in points per game, The College of New Jersey football team did nothing to hurt its national standing as the Lions lit up the scoreboard again this time for a school-record 67 points as they ran past visiting Morrisville State College 67-34 on Saturday at Lions’ Stadium.

The Lions (3-0, 2-0 NJAC) entered the game ranked averaging 52.5 points a game, trailing only Springfield College at 56 a contest. The 67 points not only put them in a position to become the top scoring team in Division III at 57.3, but also established a new school mark for points in a game. The previous record dated all the way back to 1921 when the Lions blanked Cathedral, 64-0. Springfield came up well short of its average on Saturday falling 49-28 at Alfred University.

It was TCNJ’s defense that set the table for the offense early forcing the Mustangs (0-4, 0-3 NJAC) into three incomplete passes on the opening drive turning the ball over to the offense after just 14 seconds had expired. Quarterback Chris James (Brick, NJ/Brick Memorial) guided the hosts into the end zone a few plays later as he threw over the middle to receiver Bill Picatagi (Hamilton, NJ/Hamilton West), who bulled his way through the middle to pay dirt on a play that went for 35 yards.

Later in the quarter, James ran the ball in from five-yards out before the special teams added to the scoring. That touchdown came off a blocked punt as Shawn Brown (Long Branch, NJ/Long Branch) scooped up the loose ball and raced 29 yards for a score. That gave the Lions a 20-0 advantage.

Morrisville got on the board with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jamieson Crast (Mannsville, NY/South Jefferson) to Kyle Gordon (Riverhead, NY/Riverhead).

The scoring increased in the second quarter with the Lions tacking on three more touchdowns and the Mustangs countering with a pair of scores.

James threw for two of them connecting with Mark Gardner (Flemington, NJ/Bishop Dunne (TX) from 29 yards and Michael Yetka (Holmdel, NJ/Holmdel) from 44 yards. Sandwiched between those scores was an eight-yard run by Chase Misiura (Holmdel, NJ/Holmdel).

Crast engineered both scores for the Mustangs throwing touchdown passes to Hodges Sneed (Syracuse, NY/Onondaga) and Maurice Mitchelson (Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy). Hodges’s score covered 19 yards and Mitchelson’s seven, which came in the final minute making it a 40-20 TCNJ lead at the break.

Morrisville crept closer early in the second half, but TCNJ was able to find the end zone just over four minutes later.

The Lions got that score right back as it was set up by key plays on special teams and on defense. Punter Marc Zucconi (Marlton, NJ/Holy Cross) boomed a 67-yard punt that pinned the Mustangs at their own one and several plays later Derek Goreczny (Somerville, NJ/Hunterdon Central) intercepted a Crast pass deep in Morrisville territory.

James then cashed in with his fourth touchdown pass of the game hooking up with Colin Weber (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) for 14 yards making it a 47-27 game.

After Morrisville’s Peter Enriquez (Staten Island, NJ/Tottenville) closed the Mustangs to within 47-34, the Lions reeled off three straight touchdowns capping off the record-setting performance.

Misiura got the first of those on a short run (eight yards) and Justin Doniloski (Rockaway, NJ/Morris Hills) scored his first of the day from four yards.

On a day that set an offensive record, it was the team’s defense that set the record as Brown returned a fumble 34 yards.

James had his second straight 300-yard passing game as he finished 19-for-24 for 323 yards and four touchdowns.

Crast also threw four touchdown passes completing 25-of-40 passes for 299 yards and one interception.

TCNJ will face a new challenge in its next game as they play on the road for the first time heading to Kean University. That game is set for Friday, October 2 at 7 p.m., while the Mustangs remain on the road playing at Western Connecticut State University on Saturday, October 3 at noon.