CORTLAND, N.Y. – Cortland scored 10 points in the final nine minutes and the Red Dragons remained unbeaten in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play with a 17-7 win over visiting Kean University. Cortland is 2-0 in the league and 2-2 overall. The Cougars drop to 1-3 overall and were playing their conference opener.
Cortland gained possession on the Kean 10-yard line with 10:36 remaining when sophomore Troy Beddoe (Endicott/Union-Endicott) stripped the ball away from quarterback Robert Meade (Colonia, NJ/Bishop Ahr) on a sack. A run and a penalty gave Cortland first-and-goal at the 3-yard line, but the Cougars held and senior Nick Daley (Saratoga Springs) kicked a 25-yard field goal to put Cortland up 10-7.
The Red Dragons forced a punt on Kean's next possession, then drove 47 yards for an insurance score. Quarterback Tyler Augliano (Watertown) kept the drive alive with a 9-yard run on 3rd-and-5 at the Kean 28. A personal foul on the next play moved the ball to the 10, and two plays later freshman wide receiver Joel Nunez (Bay Shore) ran for a 9-yard TD on a reverse to give Cortland a 17-7 advantage.
Cortland led 7-0 at halftime on the strength of a 12-yard TD pass from Augliano to John Babin (Warwick/Warwick Valley) with 2:24 left in the first quarter. Kean tied it on its first possession of the second half with an 11-play, 68-yard scoring drive. Starting quarterback Christian Bailoni (Ocean Township, NJ) was knocked out of the game after being hit at the end of a 8-yard run on the drive's first play. Meade entered the game and led the Cougars down the field. Sean McKee (Middletown, NJ/Middletown North) ran 17 yards on the first play after Meade entered, and he eventually capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run with 6:36 left in the quarter.
Both teams had other scoring chances thwarted deep in opponent's territory. Augliano was intercepted in the end zone by Darren Dixon (Brooklyn/Canarsie) with 1:04 left in the first half after Cortland had driven to the 22-yard line. The Red Dragons also started a drive at the Kean 28-yard line after a fumbled punt early in the fourth quarter, but lost six yards and had to punt. Kean's final drive of the game went from its own 22-yard line to the Cortland 27 before Andrew Tolosi (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) intercepted a pass in the end zone.
Sophomore safety Andre Green (Watertown/Indian River) led Cortland with 14 tackles, 11 solo, along with a fumble recovery and pass breakup. Freshman linebacker Tristan Laurore (Jamaica/Boys & Girls) made 10 tackles, including a sack, and sophomore linebacker Matt Ambrose (Wyckoff, NJ/Ramapo) finished with eight tackles. Tolosi had five tackles and two pass breakups to go along with his interception.
Matt Clerk (Jersey City, NJ/Lincoln) and Stephan Lewis (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional) led Kean with eight tackles each. Joe Drossel (Wantage, NJ/High Point Regional) and Dwayne Brown (Hollis/Bayside) each broke up two passes.
Cortland finished with 271 yards of total offense to Kean's 248. Augliano and Tyler Hughes (Scranton, PA/West Scranton) shared time at quarterback throughout the game. Augliano completed 8-of-18 passes for 116 yards and Hughes was 10-of-12 for 70 yards. Babin caught five passes for 67 yards, and has caught at least one TD pass in 11 of his last 12 games. Nate Burgo (Binghamton/Maine-Endwell) made five catches for 60 yards.
McKee ran for 74 yards on 15 carries for Kean. Bailoni completed 5-of-10 passes for 42 yards before being knocked out. Meade went 5-of-9 through the air for 73 yards. Prince Stewart (Newark, NJ/University) made four catches for 54 yards.
Cortland will travel to Montclair State next Saturday at 2 p.m. and Kean will host The College of New Jersey next Friday night at 7 p.m.