Montclair, NJ (12/6/11) – Senior safety Chad Faulcon (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) was named the Defensive Player of the Year as Montclair State placed eight players on the D3Football.com All-East Region Team released on Monday evening.
Faulcon, who last month was named the NJAC Defensive Player of the Year, became the first Montclair State player to grab one of the region's major awards. Joining Faulcon on the First Team were running back Chris D'Andrea (Union, NJ / Union), center Dan Aguilar (Belle Mead, NJ / Montgomery) and linebacker Dan Avento (Montvale, NJ / Pascack Hills). Punter Joe Liscio (Little Falls, NJ / Passaic Valley) and cornerback Kevin Cloghessy (West Hempstead, NY / West Hempstead) were named to the Second Team along with Dan Keegan (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex), who was also selected as Third-Team wide receiver. Kicker Jake DelVento (Island Heights, NJ / Toms River South) was named to the Third Team.
Keegan and Liscio each picked up their second D3Football.com All-Region honors in as many years. The teams, selected in ballotting by East Region sports information directors and D3Football.com staff, were chosen from 251 nominationa by Division III member schools. A total of 78 players were selected to the three teams. Montclair State finished the season at 8-2 overall, 7-2 in the NJAC.
Faulcon became the first Red Hawks to win Defensive Player of the Year honors since linebacker Cornell Hunt won it in 2008. Keegan's honor marked the third straight year an MSU player won the Special Teams honor as kicker Marco Capozzoli was selected in 2009.
A two-time NJAC Defensive Player of the Week selection, Faulcon was tapped as the region's top defender after producing 72 tackles and three interceptions for the NJAC runner-up Red Hawks. He ranked tied for eighth in the NJAC in interceptions per game (0.30). Faulcon made several key plays for MSU this season, including a two-interception performance in a 20-0 win over William Paterson in October. He also had a game-saving tackle at the end of the fourth quarter in the Red Hawks 37-31 overtime win at Rowan.
D"Andrea put together the best season by a Montclair State running back in program history. He broke the single-season record for yards with 1,583 and also scored 15 touchdowns on the ground and another through the air, the 16 TDs the second-best single-season total in program history. He had two 200-yard performances during the season and leads Division III in rushing yards. He led the conference in that category and was also led the conference in scoring and all-purpose yards.
Keegan, the two-time NJAC Special Teams Player of the Year and Second-Team All-East choice in 2010, was a dangerous playmaker throughout the season with the ability to change games with a single punt return. He averaged 17.9 yards per return on 17 returns this year as many teams opted not to kick to Keegan, who also surpassed the 3,000-yard mark for all-pupose yards in 2011. Keegn led the NJAC in punt returns and currently ranks fifth in the nation in the category. He also led Montclair State with 52 receptions for 559 yards and six touchdown receptions.
Aguilar played an important part in helping D'Andrea to his record-setting season with their blocking up front. A two-time First-Team All-NJAC selection, Aguilar was part of an offensive line that allowed just 13 sacks in 10 games that ranked second in the NJAC. As a team, the Red Hawks ranked second in the NJAC in rushing offense (183.20 per game), fourth in scoring offense (27.5 ppg) and fourth in total offense (367.10).
Avento and Cloghessy keyed the MSU defense along with Faulcon as Montclair allowed just 188 points this season ranking among the best in the NJAC. Avento led the team with 93 tackles and added three interceptions and seven passes defended while Iachetta posted 30 tackles, one sack and interception return for a touchdown, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Cloghessey led the team with four interceptions, including one for a touchdown as well as 35 total tackles and a team-best nine passes defended.
DelVento connected on 14 field goals this season, the second-best single-season total in Montclair State history. Ranked fifth in Division III in field goals made, he led the NJAC in that category and ranked seventh in the nation. DelVento booted two field goals in each of the Red Hawks first six contests hiseason and had four of 40-plus yards, including a long of 46 in the season opener against Salve Regina. He ranked third in points (71) in the NJAC and was selected to play in the D3Senior Classic in Salem, VA on December 9.
Liscio averaged 36.5 yards per punt this season and had 13 punts downed inside the opponents 20 yard line. Of his 45 attempts this season only 17 were returned. Last season, Liscio, an Honorable Mention All-NJAC selection, was tabbed Third-Team All-America by D3Football.com and was a preseason First-Team selection by the organization in 2011.