Every year, students and alumni gather during the joyous celebration of Homecoming in and around Lions Stadium as the football team highlights the sporting events of the weekend.
This year, the College’s football team was looking to win its Homecoming game like last year. But by the end of the game on Saturday afternoon, the Lions had dropped their fifth-straight game, and the Homecoming festivities took a hit.
The William Paterson Pioneers defeated the Lions 21-0 at Lions Stadium.
In the past two games, the Lions (1-6, 0-4 NJAC) were outscored 49-7. Their lone touchdown in these games came with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter against Montclair State when freshman running back Khani Glover scored on a 33-yard run.
The Lions could only muster 163 offensive yards against the Pioneers. William Paterson (3-4, 1-3 NJAC) had 268 yards.
“We just didn’t execute well (Saturday),” sophomore quarterback Michael Marchesano said. “We need to do a better job of that.”
Pioneers freshman Austin Fellows went 10 of 20 for 142 yards and a touchdown. The College had Marchesano begin the game as the signal caller, before being replaced by freshman Tyler Osler.
Marchesano went three of 15 for 12 yards. Then, Osler came in and went six of 11 for 62 yards.
“Osler did some things well,” Coach Wayne Dickens said. “When he was in there, we were able to complete a long ball.”
Lions freshman Gabriel Rios had a 34-yard reception, while junior Conor Mulholland had two receptions for 18 yards and sophomore Jeff Mattonelli added two receptions for 13 yards. Juniors Nick Craig and Andrew Lachawiec each had a reception for eight yards.
The Pioneers were led by junior receiver Anthony DiMarsico, who had five receptions for 62 yards. Fellow junior Dwaine Dabney added two catches for 46 yards, while sophomore Matt Delana had two for 20 yards. Junior Ian Leary had a catch for 14 yards.
Delana had 56 rushing yards, while Dabney added 52 yards and DiMarsico contributed 45 yards.
Junior Lions back Brad Young had 60 rushing yards, while Glover added 26 yards.
The Lions had trouble marching down the field offensively, and Coach Dickens tried to jumpstart the offense by putting new players in, but nothing worked the way he had hoped.
“We’ve tried most of the bullets in the gun,” Dickens said. “It’s just not happening right now. We’re having a tough time getting out of our own way.”
The William Paterson offense struggled in the first quarter before getting on track in the second quarter. Then, in the second half, the Pioneers scored twice.
Pioneers sophomore defensive back Jason Montalvo picked off Osler with 3:11 left in the game. Following the extra point, the visitors went up 21-0.
DiMarsico scored the other two touchdowns. He caught a 15-yard touchdown reception by Fellows at 7:26 left in the fourth quarter. He also added an earlier 39-yard rushing touchdown with 2:20 left in the second quarter.