The Lions were facing a team with a lengthy losing streak. Yet, they did not let that losing streak affect the way they played.
After jumping out to a 40-3 halftime lead, the Lions rolled to a 47-10 win over Western Connecticut State University at Lions Stadium. The Lions improved to 6-3 with the win.
There were 18 seniors that were playing in their final home game for the Lions. The players were honored before the game. And those seniors were able to cap off a special season at home.
The Lions are unbeaten at home this season. It is the first time the Lions went undefeated at home since 1998. They are 5-0 at home this season.
“I didn’t realize it until Mark Gola (TCNJ’s Director of Athletic Communications) told me (on Friday),” said TCNJ head coach Eric Hamilton. “I never knew it was that long, but in this conference, the teams that come here to play are tough. These kids deserve credit for that.”
The Lions now leads the all-time series against the Colonials. The Lions improved to 9-6 with the win in the series. It is the second straight year the Lions beat the Colonials.
The Colonials have not won a game since beating the Lions in 2009, going 0-19 since that time. The Colonials won the game in 2009 against the Lions at Lions Stadium by the score of 37-34.
Yesterday’s win also guaranteed TCNJ head coach Eric Hamilton a winning season for the 22nd time in his tenure at the school. He has been the head coach of the football team for the past 35 years.
“It has been a good group,” said Hamilton. “If you really think back and reflect on it, a play here or a play there, it could totally be a different story. You can’t go back and replay anything. We knew the 7-6 loss to Kean and the 23-20 loss to Cortland would come back to hurt us.”
Western Connecticut’s Curtis Walker was the only bright spot in the game for the Colonials. He had 9 catches for 145 yards.
Walker also made an amazing catch in the end zone with 3:56 left in the game. Colonials quarterback Ryan Falaguerra threw a 22-yard touchdown to Walker, who juggled the ball before catching it, to make it 47-10.
The Lions also added a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Daniel Dugan was inserted into the quarterback role with the blowout in hand.
Dugan, who was listed as a wide receiver, coming into the game, came in to replace James Donoghue and William Friedrich, who was inserted for a few plays early. Dugan rushed 7-yard into the end zone with 7:52 left to make it 47-3.
With nearly 5 minutes left in the second quarter, the Lions defense made a big play. Lions’ James Siracusa blocked the Colonials punt. Seconds later, Derek Goreczny recovered the ball.
Goreczny then rushed 19-yards into the end zone. The touchdown gave the Lions a 40-3 lead.
“They (Lions defense) just played hard and that team (Western Connecticut) is struggling,” said Hamilton. “When you play a team that’s struggling, you try not to do things that you know you can do. I give our kids credit for playing hard early, and not falling into the trap. We were able to stay above that.”
After getting past the 50-yard line for the first time in the second quarter, the Colonials had their best drive of the game up until the touchdown late. The Colonials marched down the field and set up a field goal attempt.
Tim Schwietzer would be called upon for the attempt. The 27-yard field goal was good.
Seconds after the start of the second quarter, Donoghue scored a 10-yard rushing touchdown after a 5-play drive. Fellow Lions senior Joe Falco added a 3-yard rushing touchdown with 5:17 left in the first.
“It was not a bad effort,” said Donoghue. “Offense, Defense, Special teams – everybody played a part. We got the win. It wasn’t a tough one to take care of, but you have to do what you have to do and move onto the next one.”
The first three touchdowns for the Lions were passing touchdowns. Donoghue had hit Joe Hoehn for two touchdowns. Hoehn’s touchdowns were for 20-yards and 10-yards.
“Yeah, this is his first year ever at receiver,” said Donoghue of Hoehn. “He made some plays, so I threw him the ball.”
Donoghue also hit Brian Mills for a 32-yard touchdown in between Hoehn’s two touchdowns.
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Anthony Caruso III by The Capital Sports Report is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. Based on work at www.thecapitalsportsreport.com
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