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BREAKING NEWS: Zucconi wins second NJAC Special Teams’ POTW award of 2009

September 27, 2009

With his contribution to his team’s seven-touchdown effort that smashed the school’s single-game scoring record, Lions’ kicker Marc Zucconi captured honors as the NJAC Special Teams Player of the Week Sunday–his second award of the season.

Recording touchbacks on his first two place kicks, Zucconi effectively helped tip the scales during a brief field-position battle, otherwise offset by rampant touchdown drives.

His first punting appearance wasn’t until six minutes in the third-quarter, though it was well worth the wait. Zucconi delivered a rocket for 67 yards, capped by diligent special teams effort from cornerback Dean Misura, downing the punt inside Morrisville State’s 1-yd line.

For his contribution on the scorecard and during a brief field-position battle, Lions' kicker Marc Zucconi won his second NJAC award for top special teams performer

Adding four points toward the scorecard and an edge during a quick field-position battle, Lions' kicker Marc Zucconi eanred his 2nd NJAC award for top special teams performer

Mustangs’ quarterback Jamieson Crest succumbed to a relentless Lions’ pass rush, forced into an errant throw while pinned deep in his own territory. Following cornerback Derek Goreczny‘s opportunistic interception, the Lions’ scored a touchdown on the team’s ensuing possession.

Zucconi averaged 58.5 ypp on his afternoon’s only two efforts.

A portion Saturday’s performance from Marc Zucconi was expected, adding to his cumulative season punting average, one that ranks atop the conference (43.7 ypp; 1st in NJAC). But it seemed that the easiest kicks presented the most trouble for the former All-NJAC performer.

Zucconi entered the contest with a pristine point-after record, only missing one field goal on the year (16-16 PATs; 2-3 FGs after Week 3). Miffing three point-after tries–including one blocked by Morrisville State and another sent crashing into the upright–Zucconi successfully added four points to the Lions’ 67-point scoring portfolio.

Zucconi didn’t attempt a field goal in the contest (team called fake-FG before half).

After his third outing, Zucconi’s proven a valuable asset to the Lions’ scoring depot, maintaining his top spot atop the conference’s top kicking scorers (8.7 ppg ranks 1st in NJAC).

The release also dubbed the week’s top offensive, defensive and rookie performers–each captured by performers from separate institutions.

Montclair State quarterback Tom Fischer earned accolades as Offensive Player of the Week, throwing for over 300 yards and two scores while rallying his team toward a fourth-quarter comeback win over NJAC foe, The College at Brockport.

Completing only 23 of his 39 passes, Fischer manufactured a prolific 57-yard scoring drive–capped by a 14-yard touchdown–to seize victory for his squad. Fischer rushed for 13 yards and another touchdown in the effort, during which he also delivered a four-yard touchdown throw.

    Zucconi's consistency on PATs (here vs. FDU-Florham) has solidified his spot atop the conference's kicking scorers (8.7 ppg ranks 1st in NJAC)

Zucconi's consistency on PATs (here vs. FDU-Florham) has solidified his spot atop the conference's kicking scorers (8.7 ppg ranks 1st in NJAC)

Fischer currently ranks third among the NJAC passers for average passing output.  (241.3 ypg).

Nathan Bull’s performance in the same game earned him honors as Week Four’s Defensive Player of the Week. Despite its role as part of a losing effort, Bull’s tenacity permeated on the stat sheet, as the senior linebacker recorded 17 of his teams’ total stops. Of his 10 solo tackles, two sent Brockport ball-carriers back to the huddle after losing yardage.

Bull also intercepted Fischer in his plea for his second award of the season, stumbling for a 13-yard return that set up a Brockport touchdown drive.

At week’s end, Bull’s 15.7 tackles per game ranks best in the conference–2nd in the NCAA.

Finishing as the Profs leading receiver in a 28-13 win over William Patterson–one that earned Rowan its 300th win in the program’s storied history–freshman wide receiver T.J. Pratt received honors as the week’s top rookie performer. Pratt recorded two catches for 39 yards.

Recording 12 tackles in Buffalo State‘s 37-26 win over Western Connecticut, freshman linebacker Eddie Weiser earned and won his bid for Defensive Player of the Week. In a dominant team effort that limited the Colonials to 215 yards of total offense, Weiser recorded four solo stops, including 3.5 for losses.

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