DANBURY, Conn. (Oct 27) – On the third play of its possession in overtime, junior halfback Octavius McKoy (Stratford, CT) plunged in from the one yard line to give Western Connecticut State University a 20-14 victory over Montclair State University on Senior Day at The WAC on Saturday afternoon.
The victory ends the Colonials' 28-game losing streak, which began on November 14, 2009, the final game of the season, a loss to William Paterson, 34-7.
McKoy's heroic run was set up by a 24 yard reception by Marquies Highsmith (West Haven, CT) from sophomore signal caller Will Arndt (Newtown, CT). Highsmith did a reverse summersault into the endzone but was ruled down inches from paydirt.
Western held the Red Hawks on their opportunity to score in overtime and John Schubert (Maybrook, NY) missed a 44-yard field goal attempt, wide to the left.
The two teams went into intermission tied at 7-7.
With 23 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the visitors got on the scoreboard first when Patt Caggioano (Cedar Grove, NJ) capped off a 12-play, 81-yard drive with a four-yard run off the left guard.
Western, 1-7 overall and 1-6 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, knotted the game when senior defensive end Michael Farnsworth (Mystic, CT) returned a fumble 19 yards and Hunter Leili (Danbury, CT) converted the point after.
Junior defensive end Devin Myers (Waterbury, CT) forced MSU junior running back Bill Roman (Annandale, NJ) to fumble the ball and Farnsworth came out of the pile with the ball and went virtually untouched in for the score.
Although the score would not indicate it, the Red Hawks dominated the first half of play, out gaining the Colonials, 256-46 in total offensive yards and controlling the ball for 23:29 of the half's 30 minutes.
Arndt had been stifled over the first 30 minutes, completing just five of 12 passes for 41 yards and throwing two interceptions.
That changed in the second half as he converted 13 of 15 passes for 122 yards and connected with Highsmith from 16 yards out to give Western a 14-7 advantage with 10:36 remaining in the third stanza.
Highsmith finished with a game-high 82 yards on six catches while McKoy pulled down five passes for an additional 38 yards. He led the Colonials with 20 carries for 63 yards, 17 carries and 54 yards coming after intermission.
Roman drew the team even when he scampered in from five yards out with 6:49 left in regulation.
Leili had a chance to win the game with four seconds remaining in the fourth, but his 26-yard field goal attempt went wide to the right.
Roman led all rushers with 160 yards on 38 carries while Brian Ogden (Wayne, NJ) hauled in six catches for 74 yards to lead Montclair's air attack.
Drew Cathey (East Rutherford, NJ) finished the day completing 18 of 32 passes for 178 yards, but threw three interceptions and was sacked four times. He only completed four of 12 passes for 48 yards in the second half as the Western defensive line began to penetrate successfully.
Defensively, Michael Lacaria (Watertown, CT) led all players with 12 tackles while Phil Santana (New Fairfield, CT) made 11 tackles and had a crucial interception on his own 25 yards line midway through the third quarter.
Western will enjoy a bye week next week then finish the 2012 campaign, and its membership in the NJAC, at William Paterson, Wayne, NJ on November 10. Kick-off is slated for 1 pm against the Pioneers.
The Colonials will become an affiliated member in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference beginning in 2013.