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No. 15 TCNJ Clinches NJAC Football Title with Win at Buffalo State

Posted: November 3, 2007
BUFFALO, NY—No. 15-ranked College of New Jersey (8-1/6-0) clinched its first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship since 1998 and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs with a 27-14 win over host Buffalo State (2-7/1-6) today at Coyer Field.

TCNJ quarterback Chris James (Brick, NJ/ Brick Memorial) was 11 of 28 for 176 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for a team-high 40 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Cam Richardson (Burlington, NJ/Burlington Twp.) led the Lions with five receptions for 106 yards and a score. Nick Steffner (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater) led the Lions defense with nine tackles, including a sack and two for loss.

Buffalo State quarterback Dan Aquilio (Depew/Depew) was 16 of 42 for 164 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Greg Meyer (Lancaster/Lancaster) had eight catches for 111 yards. Kevin Dukes (Buffalo/Medina) carried 19 times for 65 yards and a score, all in the second half. Peter Nguyen (Buffalo/South Park) had six solo tackles and his sixth interception of the season. Scott Forster (E. Otto/Catt.-Little Valley) led the Bengals with 13 tackles.

TCNJ forced the Bengals into a three-and-out on the game’s opening drive, and then marched 45 yards on six plays, capped by a Richardson 24-yard reception from James to take a 7-0 lead.

The Lions then survived four first-half turnovers to maintain the 7-0 advantage heading into the intermission, holding the Bengals to just 58 total yards and five first downs in the first 30 minutes.

TCNJ opened the second half with a nine-play, 71-yard drive that culminated with a James one-yard sneak for a touchdown on fourth down, extending the Lions’ lead to 14-0.

Buffalo State drove into Lions’ territory on the ensuing possession, but Andrew Larkin (Hamilton Square, NJ/Notre Dame) picked his sixth interception of the season and returned it 91 yards for the score. After a blocked extra point try, TCNJ led 20-0.

Then Bengals finally got on the board on the next possession, when Dukes scored his first career touchdown on a 2-yard run. The score capped a 10-play, 65-yard drive that included four receptions for 49 yards by Meyer.

After a 58-yard kick return to the Bengals’ 10-yard line on the kickoff by Matt Kreider (Delran, NJ/Delran), Bill Picatagi (Hamilton, NJ/Hamilton West) scored on the first play from scrimmage on a 10-yard quarterback keeper to restore the 20-point lead.

Buffalo State answered again with a 15-play, 60-yard drive that ended with an Antonio Speed (Buffalo/East) 5-yard touchdown catch, closing the lead to 27-14 early in the fourth quarter, but neither team would score again.

Buffalo State will wrap up its season next Saturday when it hosts Brockport in the I-90 Bowl at 1 p.m.
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