Montclair State Red Hawks Soar to a 42-7 Homecoming Victory Over the TCNJ Lions

Written by on October 2, 2023

By Nikko Ikonomidis

Montclair, NJ

In a memorable Homecoming Saturday Night football game that will be remembered for years to come, the Montclair State University Red Hawks delivered an electrifying performance to overcome the TCNJ Lions with a 42-7 statement victory.


From the opening kickoff, the Red Hawks (now 2-2 overall, 1-0 in the NJAC) made their intentions very clear, they wanted to let all opposing teams in the NJAC know that this is a new era of Montclair State University football by letting their actions speak for themselves.  Starting with possession of the ball, Montclair took off for a quick 65-yard drive downfield, which was wrapped up by a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Sanborn to Anthony Roige, who broke a tackle and eluded multiple defenders on his way to the end zone, which would set an inspiring tone for the evening.


Looking to make intentions clear on their side of the ball, Montclair’s defense came to life. On TCNJ’s first possession, Sherrod Cooper’s breakup stopped the Lions offense, forcing a critical fourth down, which forced the Lions to settle for a 28-yard field goal attempt. TCNJ’s hopes were dashed by Keyshawn Dixon, who blocked the kick. Jayden Brimage scooped up the loose ball and went on a 84-yard return, firing up the crowd with a touchdown. Montclair’s defense continued to impress, with Nicholas Burgess intercepting Trevor Bopp’s pass and racing 52 yards for a pick-six the following possession. 


The second quarter was no different for the TCNJ defense, as Sanborn connected with Roige once again, this time for a seven-yard touchdown. Montclair’s offense continued to fire on all cylinders, ending the first half with an impressive 35 points.


While trailing throughout the game, TCNJ managed to score their first points in the third quarter, as they scored on a two-yard run. 


Montclair State University gained back momentum of the game by scoring early in the fourth quarter when Henry Lewis carried the ball for 55 yards on two carries, setting up Sanborn’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Keyshawn McCurdy.


Key Players For Montclair State University: 

  • Andrew Sanborn, Montclair’s quarterback, who completed 20 of 26 passes for four touchdowns and 205 yards. 
  • Receiver Anthony Roige, who showed off his ability with seven receptions, gaining 76 yards and two touchdowns
  • The defense was led by the relentless Nicholas Burgess, who was all over the field throughout the night, contributing 12 tackles and an interception. Nate Exil also made a significant impact with eight tackles and an interception, while Sherrod Cooper recorded six tackles, four pass breakups, and a pick.


The Red Hawks’s dominant victory marked their first win by a margin of 35 points or more since October 10, 2015, when they defeated Southern Virginia 45-0. Additionally, the win was Montclair’s first Homecoming victory since 2019, which resulted in a 24-0 win over Christopher Newport University. 


In front of an electric Homecoming crowd, Montclair State University left a memorable impression with their dominating performance, showing their potential as a dangerous force on both sides of the ball in upcoming games.