By: Jaime Alicea III
The Kean University football team’s season is officially over after a gut-wrenching 16-14 loss to NJAC rival, Montclair State on Sat., Nov. 15. The team posted a record of 2-8, with a conference record of 2-5 in the NJAC.
The team began the season with a three-game losing streak. After posting a win against Southern Virginia University, it looked as if the Kean Cougars had found their rhythm and would rally back under longtime head coach Dan Garret. The Cougars would lose the next four games dropping them to a 1-6 record and all but ending the team’s hopes for a playoff berth.
The team would go on to win one more game against William Paterson University before finishing the season with a four game losing streak in the programs’ worst season since 2003 and the worst of Garret’s nine-year tenure.
Although their record doesn’t show it, the Kean Cougars showed that their defense had the heart and will power to make sure their team stayed in games. The majority of the Cougars games came down to the wire with the Cougars resilient defense always keeping them in the game. The Cougars defense held opponents to an average of 13 points in all of their games played, with the exception of one meltdown game that got out of control against the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor.
One of the many issues had to be the offense, which had its lowest-scoring season this year— throwing for only 10 passing touchdowns and rushing for only 10 touchdowns to finish out the season. The main issue for this team is the 203 points that they allowed off of turnovers. The Cougars have a tough ahead of them next year, but if they can be more aggressive on offense, make fewer mistakes and add more quality players to their resilient defense, then watch out NJAC because this team will have the makings of a championship contender. Like the great Vince Lombardi once said, “If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride and never quit, you will be a winner and the price of victory is high, but so are the rewards.”