MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – Host Morrisville State College dominated visiting William Paterson University Saturday afternoon, outgaining the visitors by 300 yards total offense, as they posted the 38-14 convincing New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) win on Drake Field.
The win was the fifth for the Mustangs this season on their home turf, as they wrapped up the home stanza with an undefeated 5-0 record, the first in program history. Morrisville State also improved to 7-2 overall, matching the last seven win season obtained in 2003 when the program went 7-4.
Morrisville State racked up 493 yards total offense on the day, 359 alone in the running game behind the power of quarterback Lemar Johnson (Ossining, N.Y.) and Cristian Pena (Ridgewood, N.Y.). Johnson collected 158 net yards on 22 carries for two scores, and Pena added 148 yards on 23 attempts, also scoring twice. Freshman Darrel West (Syracuse, N.Y.) got the call seven times for a gain of 49 yards, adding a score to his tallies on the day.
Johnson was 11-of-20 in passing on the afternoon, connecting for 134 yards, 106 to fellow senior Josh Powell (Yonkers, N.Y.) on eight receptions.
Powell's tallies put him over the 2,000 mark in receiving yards, as he became the first Mustang to reach that milestone in program history.
Defensively, Colton Evans (West Winfield, N.Y.) and Julian Serrano (Bronx, N.Y.) led the Mustangs with seven tackles each, combining for 11 solo. Evans had a stellar day for Morrisville State, accounting for three sacks for a loss of 18 yards and forcing a fumble, while Serrano also recorded a sack for a loss of six yards.
William Paterson was able to generate most of their offensive in the passing game, as quarterback Austin Fellows completed 17-of-32 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown, six to wide receiver Anthony DiMarsico for 51 yards. Matt Deiana also had 51 yards, catching four, while leading the running game for the Pioneers with 39 yards on 11 carries.
Ben Allen led the defensive unit with 15 total stops on the day, 10 solo, while posting a sack and forced fumble. Elijah DeGuzman added a 12 tackle effort, recovering a fumble.
On the opening drive of the game, Morrisville State marched down the field and scored on its first possession, a 10-play, 75-yard drive that took just 3:33 off the clock. After a seven yard rushing gain by Johnson, the Mustangs powered the ball into the end zone behind three straight carries by Pena, the final a seven yard rushing score for the early lead. Senior Zach Drake (Canastota, N.Y.) completed the drive with the point after.
William Paterson had the chance to put points on the board with 6:28 to go in the quarter, but the 41 yard field goal by Robert Sinegra fell short and Morrisville State regained possession.
On the ensuing Morrisville State drive, Pena broke up field for a 34 yard gain to position the Mustangs within William Paterson territory, setting up the one yard pound into the end zone by Johnson behind center Adrian Cabrera (New York, N.Y.) for the score. Drake's point after conversion gave the Mustangs the 14-0 advantage with just over a minute remaining in the first.
The Pioneers were able to get on the board in the second quarter, taking advantage of a fumbled punt return attempt on the Mustangs own nine yard line, as DeMarisco carried the ball around the left corner on a direct snap for the score.
Morrisville State faced a fourth and mere inch on the ensuing possession before Johnson found a hole along the left side of the field to pick up the first down and more, keeping the drive alive. After three straight attempts to connect in the end zone, Johnson again found hole on the right to get the first down before following up the center with a diving reach over the goal line for the third Mustang score and 21-7 lead.
The Mustangs extended the lead with a 26 yard field goal by Drake as time expired in the half.
West extended the lead to 31-7 minutes into the third quarter, capping off a six play, 94 yard drive with a 27 yard burst around the corner into the end zone.
William Paterson added their final score of the contest on the responding drive, as Fellows connected with Nick Burke who pulled down the ball in heavy traffic in the Mustangs end zone for the tally.
Morrisville State issued the final blow early in the fourth, completing their second longest drive of the game within 15 plays, a possession that took over six minutes and was wrapped up over 93 yards. Pena walked in for the score on a reversal around the right corner to give the Mustangs the 38-14 advantage and eventual win.
Morrisville State returns to the field Saturday, on the road at Montclair State in a battle that could position the Mustangs for a post-season opportunity.