Darius Kinney quietly carries the Kean Cougars
By Dan Canova
How quickly things change.
After starting the young season 0-2, and what looked to be a disappointment, the Kean Cougars have now moved to above .500 with a 3-2 record, and are back on par for the season. Senior running back, Darius Kinney has quietly been the reason for Kean’s success as of late.
“Darius has made huge strides in the past year and a half within our program,” Head Coach Dan Garrett said. “I have watched him mature into a senior leader and his work ethic on and off the field has improved his football ability on the field.”
After four games played, Kinney has 833 rushing yards on only 95 attempts with six touchdowns.
In game one of the three-game win streak, Kinney carried the football 23 times for 207 rushing yards.
“His performance was exactly what we needed. He was the spark on offense and came up with some big plays when we needed him,” said Garrett.
Coach Garrett pulled Kinney off the pedestal.
“I grade him a C+,” Garrett said. “Only because that is what I have been expecting to see- I know what his abilities are. I know he can be and do better than what we saw last weekend. I liked how he was seeing the holes, running hard downhill, finishing runs and reading the defense- and the [offensive line] was doing a great job moving people around and creating gaps for [Kinney] to hit. They were getting a tremendous push on the Brockport [defensive line].”
Kinney took to heart that his coach believed his effort was only a C+ because in the next game against Morrisville State College, Kinney led Kean to a 51-28 win.
Kinney had 22 carries for 242 yards, which is now his career best for rushing yards in a single game.
Kinney’s spectacular performance has earned him honors for NJAC Offensive Player of the Week. He now leads the NJAC in rushing with 801 yards.
Looking ahead into October, Kean has 4 matchups within the NJAC Conference.
“Every game remaining is a conference game, and in this conference you have to prepare to win each week. You cannot look past someone, you have to take care of one week at a time,” said Garrett. “Our goal is to get to 1-0 this week. I told the team, that the last time I checked we are the defending NJAC Champions and each week we defend that.”