MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Christopher Newport again relied on a spirited defensive effort Saturday, as the Captains held off Montclair State, 16-8, in New Jersey Athletic Conference action. The road victory at Sprague Field improved CNU's record to 3-1 on the season, and the Captains are now 2-1 in NJAC play.
Christopher Newport held Montclair State scoreless until the fourth quarter, intercepted four passes, recorded five sacks and recovered two fumbles en route to the eight-point triumph. The Captains have now picked off nine passes in the last two games.
"Our defense did a great job again today," Head Coach Art Link said. "They gave up the one big play, but overall to go on the road and perform as they did was remarkable. Again a lot of credit has to go to Coach Jay Kirland and our whole defensive unit." Senior defensive end Chris Coggins registered three sacks senior defensive back Tyrell Noel intercepted two passes for the Captains. Noel now has five picks in four games this season.
Following a scoreless opening quarter, the Captains ended the scoring drought with a 20-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback K.J. Kearney to senior wide receiver Austin Hall with 3:26 to play in the first half. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Captains held a 6-0 advantage at halftime.
Late in the third quarter, the Captains stretched their lead thanks to a six-yard scoring run from junior Jordan McIntyre, capping a drive that spanned nine plays and 89 yards. After freshman kicker Ben Garbarini tacked on the extra point, CNU held a 13-0 lead following three quarters of play. Garbarini gave the Captains a 16-0 edge early in the fourth when he drilled a 30-yard field goal.
Montclair State's only score of the game came on a 63-yard scoring pass with 2:51 left to play. The Red Hawks were able to convert the two-point conversion to cut the lead to eight, but the Captains then recovered an onsides kick and ran the clock down to finish off the hard-fought triumph. The Red Hawks are now 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the NJAC following the matinee on a sunny and 83-degree day in the Garden State. A crowd of 1,377 turned out for Montclair State's first home game of the year.
Kearney, who has now thrown 11 touchdown passes with just one interception in four games, was 19 of 33 for the day for 160 yards. Hall caught four of the passes for 61 yards, and McIntyre also made four grabs for 41 yards and rushed for 27 yards on seven carries.