UPPER MONTCLAIR, NJ - During the summer, the New Jersey Athletic Conference Football coaches had their pre-season poll, projecting where the 10-conference teams would finish the season. Montclair State was selected to finish eighth in the conference, ahead of only Southern Virginia and William Paterson in the conference standings.
Someone, however, forgot to tell Mauro Altamura. The senior from Hasbrouck Heights has been a wrecking ball on the Red Hawks defense, leading Montclair to a 7-2 record with one game remaining in the season. The Red Hawks defense is letting up just a shade over 10 points per game, and ranks in a statistical three-way tie as the best defense in the NJAC.
The team’s leading tackler with 47 unassisted tackles and 37 assisted tackles, Altamura, a NJAC All Conference honorable mention a season ago has been one of the best linebackers not only in the NJAC, but all of Division III.
Named by D3football.com to their Team of the Week and the NJAC Defensive Player of the Week following his 14 tackle effort against Southern Virginia, Altamura has continued to lead the Red Hawks resurgence on defense.
In October, Altamura was named the NJAC Defensive Player of the Week, registering 14 tackles including four and a half behind the line of scrimmage, as Montclair State defeated Salsibury 17-15. Altamura also blocked a punt in the game, leading directly to the Red Hawks first score.
In addition to his team-leading 84 tackles, Altamura has recorded four sacks, and has an interception and two fumble recoveries.
Saturday, Altamura will be playing his final regular season game with Montclair State at William Paterson. The Pioneers are 0-9 on the season.
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