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Classic Signals: Intense Homecoming win

Every week Features Editor Jessica Ganga hits the archives and finds old Signals relating to current College topics and top stories.

The football team wins in a close game during Homecoming in 2013. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)
The football team wins in a close game during Homecoming in 2013. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)

The College’s football team beat Montclair State University, 23-20, which improved their record to 1-5, on Saturday, Oct. 24. Not only was this game special as the team recorded its first win of the season, but it was during every student’s favorite day of the year: Homecoming. Students and alumni enjoyed the exciting game and celebrated the triumph. In 2013, Sports Editor Peter Fiorilla reported on the dramatic 21-20 win the football team had  when it edged out against Morrisville State College on Homecoming.

The stage was set for something dramatic at the end Homecoming, a game in which quarterback Chris Spellman came alive and the football team’s defense stayed dominant for a 21-20 win over visiting Morrisville State College.

Leading by just a point in front of nearly 1,500 fans with less than two minutes remaining, the conference-best Lions (4-2, 3-0) defense needed to stop Morrisville’s conference-best offense only one more time to push to College to the top of the NJAC standings.

Morrisville drove to the College’s 37-yard line, but the Lions defense did what it needed to do in crunch time: end the game by forcing a turnover on downs, which it has done regularly this year.

“That really comes from our mentality,” senior linebacker Nick Bricker said. “Although we may not be the biggest, fastest or strongest team, we have a great team chemistry and truly believe in one another. Believing that your teammate will get the job done is pivotal to our success. As for our defense, we have a bend-but-don’t-break mentality that has helped us succeed tremendously, especially late in games.”

Bricker led the way with a game-high 19 tackles, including an assist to force fourth down on Morrisville’s final drive, while junior linebacker Ryan Lowe added 15 to limit Morrisville to season-lows of 20 points and 431 yards.

“Our main goal in every game is to shut down their offense,” Bricker said. “We were extremely excited to go up against the top-ranked offense, to truly test our defense. (Defensive coach Rocky) Hager and the other defensive assistants put together a great game plan in defending Morrisville, and our guys executed on game day. It is great to see our defense melding together and some new faces making a huge impact.”

While clutch play from the defense has been largely responsible for the Lions’ four-game win streak, its best stretch since 2010, opportunistic play from Spellman and the passing game put the College on top from the beginning.

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