The defense pitches victory over Montclair
Trey Greenwell, Staff Writer~
Last Saturday, the Captains hosted Montclair State University. Student-athletes with grade point averages of 3.2 were recognized at halftime, receiving a standing ovation from a crowd of 2,376. On the field, the Captains played their best game of the season, blanking Montclair State University by a score of 28-0. This gave the Captains their first New Jersey Athletic Conference win of 2021.
The game began with an interception by senior linebacker Sean Wilkinson two plays in, his first of the season. This put the Captains at the Montclair 17 yard line. Four plays later, the Captains got in the end zone to take the lead. After a turnover on downs from Montclair, the Captains continued to dominate the game. A five play drive that ended with a touchdown from freshman running back Aeron Williams put the Captains up 14-0. This was Williams’ second rushing touchdown of the season.
Early in the second quarter, the defense stepped up once again. A lengthy 13 play, seven minute drive ended with another turnover on downs that put the Captains offense at their own 21 yard line. After a punt from both sides, sophomore quarterback Matt Dzierski threw an interception that was nullified by a roughing the passer call on Montclair State. A 16-yard reception from sophomore tight end Kyle Lynch put the Captains at the 8 yard line. On the very next play, junior wide receiver Xander Jedlick caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Dzierski that put the Captains up 21-0 at halftime.
The Captains began the second half with an interception. After punts from both teams, a five play, 30 yard Montclair drive ended with a failed 4th and 13 from the Montclair State offense that put the Captains at their own 23-yard line. A 12-yard receiving touchdown from senior wide receiver Garrison Mayo iced the game, putting the Captains up 28-0 with just over five minutes left. This was Mayo’s fourth touchdown of the season and the 12th of his collegiate career.
For the first time since 2017, the Captains shutout their opponent. This also marked the end of a two-game losing streak that began with a 20-27 loss to Kean University on Family Weekend.
While the Captains offense only averaged 2.6 yards per carry on the ground, they passed for 216 yards and averaged 5.6 yards per play. On defense, the Captains held Montclair to 160 total yards and an average of 3.0 yards per play. Another reason CNU won this game is because of their ability to extend drives. They went 8/13 (62%) on their third down conversions compared to Montclair’s woeful 1/12 (8%). This allowed CNU to keep the ball for just over 34 minutes. The Captains only turned the ball over once while Montclair turned it over twice. Lastly, the Captains took advantage of every opportunity they had in the red zone, scoring touchdowns on all four of their trips.
Next Saturday, Oct. 23, Christopher Newport University (3-4) will face The College of New Jersey (3-3) in Ewing, New Jersey. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 PM.