Kean football goes ‘bowling’ to end 2016 season

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By Brittany Pavlichko | Published Dec. 12, 2016

Kean University’s football team won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Bowl Championship, ending their 2016 season with a 7-4 record.

Throughout the season, the team suffered major injuries which made them fall in the middle of the season. Linebackers Robert Meade and Darin Hungerford were injured, leaving the Cougars suffering in the homecoming game against Frostburg State University.

Even though the Cougars had setbacks mid-October, they battled to the end, earning a spot in the ECAC bowl against SUNY Cortland on Oct. 18. For the second year in a row, the Cougars are ECAC champions, ending their last season game with a score of 30-27 for the victory.

“I think people should look at this season and look at all the obstacles we overcame, and realize to never give up,” said linebacker Kyle Wiggins, a senior. “We wanted to go to another bowl and get another ring, and that’s what we did.”

Additionally, multiple players won New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) honors. Hungerford, Stephan Lewis, Robert Meade III, Austin Davis and David Coleman received defensive first team all-conference. Brain Matthews, Joe Bick and Justin Rodriguez received offensive second team honors. LaRon Dillard, Peter Lejawa and Aryeh Moslavi were named to the honorable mention team.

“It’s truly a blessing to win it, it’s just a testament to the hard work I put into the off-season day in and day out,” said Hungerford, one of the linebackers who suffered an injury during the season. “On the honor I would just like to thank my coaches and teammates for supporting me and putting me in the best position to be successful.

Despite the challenges and setbacks the team faced in the beginning of the season, they had a special bond on and off the field that contributed to the team’s overall success.

“That family atmosphere that they’ve created in the locker room gave them the opportunity to have another championship season,” said Head Coach Dan Garrett. “I’m most proud of the comradery, the chemistry, the selflessness, the lack of egos and this team has really battled to put themselves into contention to be champions again.”

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