WAYNE, N.J. – William Paterson (3-7, 1-6 NJAC) finished off its 2013 football season with a 27-3 loss against visiting The College of New Jersey (5-4, 4-2 NJAC) Nov. 9 on Senior Day at Wightman Stadium.
Junior defensive lineman Pat Thomas (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) had a career-high and game-best 19 tackles (three solo, 1.5 TFL, 0.5 sack), and junior linebacker Ben Allen (Ventnor, N.J./Atlantic City) contributed 17 stops (four solo, 1.5 TFL). Senior quarterback Ryan Gresik (Newton, N.J./Newton) went 11-for-23 for 131 yards, and sophomore wide receiver Nickolas Burke (Maple Shade, N.J./Maple Shade) caught four passes for 39 yards.
The WP defense forced a three-and-out to start the contest, but on their second offensive snap the Pioneers fumbled, setting up the Lions at the William Paterson 29-yard line. Sophomore quarterback Sam Paladino converted the turnover into points with a five-yard pass to sophomore tight end Andrew Lahawiec, and Evan Costello's PAT made it a 7-0 score 4:11 into the contest.
The Pioneers answered with an eight-play, 73-yard drive the ended with a Robert Sinegra (Wharton, N.J./Morris Knolls) 24-yard field goal, pulling WP to within four at 7-3 with 8:13 remaining during the opening period.
Neither team threatened again until midway through the second quarter when freshman quarterback Craig Cicardo connected with Lachawiec for a 13-yard score (14-3, 6:56). Sinegra had a chance to cut into that margin, but his 26-yarder missed wide right three minutes before halftime.
Paladino threw his second touchdown pass of the day, this one an eight-yarder to sophomore running back Victor Scalici, to make it a 21-3 game midway through the third quarter, and Cicardo's six-yard TD pass to sophomore wide receiver Conor Mullholland finished the scoring with 2:00 to play in the fourth.
Gresik finished his career as the Pioneers' leader in completions (580), attempts (992), yardage (6,615) and touchdowns (40), and he surpassed the single-season yardage mark today with 2,546, breaking the record of 2,516 established by Rob Warchol in 2001. In addition, senior wide receiver/punter Julian Frazier (Plainfield, N.J./North Plainfield) broke the WP single-season punt average of 40.0 yards/punt (Mickey Hulse, 2001), finishing the year with a 42.30 yards-per-punt average.
Junior defensive lineman Trevor Sackawitch (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel) chipped in 10 tackles, and senior linebacker David Zurla (Rutherford, N.J./Rutherford) had nine stops.
Paladino was 6-for-11 for 49 yards and two touchdowns for TCNJ, and Cicardo finished 4-for-5 for 49 yards and a pair of scores. Scalici gained 93 yards on 20 carries, and Lachawiec's two catches resulted in 18 yards and two TDs.
Senior linebacker Nick Bricker led the Lion defense with six tackles (1.5 TFL), and senior defensive lineman Patrick Kimball had five stops, including 2.0 sacks.
Prior to the game, the Pioneers honored their 18 seniors – running back Chris Bachand (Newington, Conn./St. Paul Catholic), linebacker Jedd Blackowski (West Milford, N.J./West Milford), offensive/defensive lineman Anthony Cimino (East Patchogue, N.Y./Bellport), offensive lineman Derek Clay (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel), free safety/wide receiver Anthony Costantino (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI), defensive back J.P. Etienne (Morris Plains, N.J./Parsippany Hills), Frazier, defensive lineman Webb Geer (Sparta, N.J./Sparta), Gresik, linebacker Matt Heyman (Sussex, N.J./High Point Regional), offensive lineman Dashawn Johnson (Jersey City, N.J./Hoboken), defensive lineman Bobby Moriggia (Eldred, N.Y./Eldred Central), wide receiver Mick Paye (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley Regional), defensive back Andre Snead (Atlantic City, N.J./Atlantic City), tight end Rich Vivian (West Long Branch, N.J./Shore Regional), tight end Brian Winfield (Newton, N.J./Newton), linebacker Sam Ynfante (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) and Zurla.