Daly Wins it in Overtime as Football Edges CNU, 17-14
Newport News, VA – Senior HUNTER DALY connected from 25 yards out in overtime as Montclair State is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2011 following a 17-14 victory over Christopher Newport at POMOCO Stadium on Saturday afternoon. JALEN HARRIS helped set up the kick with an interception on the Captains' first possession of the OT as MSU (2-0 NJAC) handed CNU its first loss of the season (2-1, 1-1 NJAC). Montclair also evened the series and reversed the script from two years ago when it lost 28-21 in overtime on the same field. Tied 14-14 at the half, neither team was able to muster any points in the second half although the Captains did appear to take the lead late in the third quarter. D.J. Wright intercepted a pass at his own 36 and raced 64 yards for a touchdown. But it came back as CNU was flagged for an illegal block nullifying the score. Christopher Newport had nine penalties for 100 yards. MSU won the toss in the overtime and elected to play defense. After a no gain on the first play, Gisueppe Gugliuzza and Rodney DiPrenda combined on a sack pushed the ball back to the 34-yard line. Harris picked off Jack Anderson on the next play giving the Red Hawks a chance to win the game. Junior running back CRAIG MERKLE converted a 3rd-and-4 with a nine-yard rush to the CNU 10. Merkle carried three more times down to the Captains' 2 setting up a 4th-and-goal. Attempting the field goal, Montclair, which also had nine penalties for 100 yards, committed a false start pushing the ball back to the 7. CNU iced Daly with a timeout however it did not work as Daly sent the ball through the uprights for the victory. Montclair State took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter as JA'QUILL BURCH found BRIAN KOWALCZYK on a two-yard touchdown capping a 10-play, 74-yard drive. CNU tied it up early in the second with a long drive of its own. The Captains went 77 yards on 12 plays, including a 3rd-and-17 conversion. Hunter Rogers finished off the drive with a two-yard run knotting the score at 7-7 with 12:59 to go. Later in the quarter, Garrison Mayo hauled in a pair of passes to help set up Newport's go-ahead touchdown. The first a 35-yard catch on 3rd-and-3 that moved the ball to the MSU 25. Five plays later it was a 17-yard pass from Nick Hunter in the end zone making the score 14-7 with 5:50 left before halftime. Sophomore cornerback ZAHIR WILDER intercepted Anderson late in the first half that turned into the game-tying touchdown. Wilder's pick and runback gave MSU the ball at the Captains' 21. Following a six-yard gain and an incompletion, Burch found CARSEN JOHNSON from 15 yards out with 2:22 left as Montclair re-tied the game at 14-14. Burch finished 16-of-30 for 162 yards while Merkle and WILLIE BARR had 45 and 39 yards on the ground, respectively. STEPP OZIEGBE had four catches for 37 yards. Defensively, MAURO ALTAMURA and SEAMUS NELSON each had 11 tackles with Altamura posting two for losses. Gugliuzza and BRENNAN RAY each recorded seven tackle apiece. The Red Hawks are back on the road next weekend with a game under the lights. Montclair will face Kean University on Saturday, September 29 with kickoff at Alumni Stadium set for 7:00 pm.