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TCNJ storms past Western Connecticut 55-27

Danbury, CT … The College of New Jersey football team compiled 576 yards of total offense as they dominated Western Connecticut State University 55-27 in New Jersey Athletic Conference play.

The Lions improved to 2-2 on the season and picked up their first conference win to even their record at 1-1 in the NJAC standings. The Colonials fell to 0-4 in 2012.

Senior Justin Doniloski (Rockaway, NJ/Morris Hills) scored a career-high three touchdowns and amassed 170 yards of total offense in the game to lead the attack. He had running scores of five and two yards and also caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Dugan (Clark, NJ/Arthur L. Johnson). Doniloski finished with 27 carries for 127 yard and also caught seven passes.

Dugan also had a big day as he rushed for a pair of touchdown scores and threw for another. He finished 26-of-35 for 263 yards through the air and also gained 40 yards on the ground.

TCNJ did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard. They marched down the field on their opening drive, going 68 yards on eight plays in 2:32. Dugan capped the drive with a 10-yard TD run to take a 7-0 lead. After WestConn responded with a touchdown, the Lions went 69 yards on 10 plays late in the period, punctuated by Doniloski’s first score of the day.

The defense held the Colonials on their next drive, putting the ball back in the hands of TCNJ. They showcased some trickery as senior halfback Nicholas Tyson (Freehold, NJ/Freehold Boro) hit Frederick Sprengel (Wall, NJ/Wall) with a 39-yard touchdown pass to increase the advantage to 21-7. It was the second touchdown catch of the season for Sprengel and third TD pass of Tyson’s career.

Two more scoring runs by Doniloski and a passing touchdown by WestConn made it a 35-14 game at the half.

While offense was the story of the game, the defense had its moments, none bigger than a third-down tackle early in the final period by senior Greg Burns (Hamilton, NJ/Hamilton West). It was his seventh tackle of the game and 285th of his career, making him the all-time tackles leader in Lions’ program history. Burns broke the record held by Carl Jones (1982-85) for over 26 years. In the 88-year history of Lion’s football, Burns stands at the top of the list for defensive takedowns.

Senior James Siracusa (New Providence, NJ/New Providence) also made a big play on the defensive side in the third period. After Mike Barber (Hammonton, NJ/Absegami) forced a fumble 18 yards behind the line of scrimmage, Siracusa picked up the loose ball and raced 34 yards into the end zone to make it a 41-21 game.

Junior Nick Bricker (Middletown, NJ/Middletown South) led TCNJ with nine tackles in the game. Senior Zach Friedrich (Berlin, NJ/East Stroudsburg South) and senior Joe LaFerlita (Lincroft, NJ/Middletown South) each picked off passes in the secondary. LaFerlita returned his interception 35 yards.

Freshman Victor Scalici (Freehold, NJ/Colts Neck) scored the final touchdown for the Lions, racing in from 12 yards out. 

Senior Glenn Grainger (Island Heights, NJ/Holmdel) continues to be a reliable target as he grabbed seven more receptions for 107 yards. Sprengel finished with four catches for 74 yards.

TCNJ is back at home for the first time in over a month as they host SUNY Cortland on Saturday, October 6 in Lions’ Stadium. The Red Dragons defeated Montclair State 20-0 and are now 3-0 in the conference. The game is scheduled for a noon kickoff.