September 23, 2014

Misericordia Football - Historic day for Dunellen’s Jeff Puckett

Coming out of Dunellen High School, Jeff Puckettsigned on to help start a football program from scratch at Misericordia University instead of playing for an established Division III program.

“I liked the idea of being a part of history,” he said.

On Saturday, Puckett etched his name in the books in big, bold letters as the Cougars won at home for the first time. The junior quarterback rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries and threw a 17-yard touchdown pass in a 35-0 romp of FDU-Florham.

It was a long road to this point – Misericordia went winless in 2012 and triumphed just once in 2013 – but Puckett stayed with it and is reaping the rewards.

“Starting a program from the beginning is a ton of work, but you have a chance to play and that’s the biggest thing everyone wants to do,” said Puckett via phone Monday afternoon. “I’ve taken my lumps before, when I first started playing at Dunellen. You have to stay optimistic, stay positive.”

After guiding Dunellen to a 10-1 record as a senior in 2011, Puckett was named Misericordia’s MVP as a freshman and sophomore. Through three games this season he has run for 438 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per attempt.

# 4  Jeff Puckett
Position: QuarterbackHeight: 5-9
Class: Junior
Hometown: Dunellen, NJ
High School: Dunellen
2013:  Started all 10 games... Led the MAC in rushing and finished 20th in the nation with 1,300 yards.  He also led the MAC and tied for 10th in the nation with 19 rushing touchdowns... Puckett had five 100-yard games on the year, including 301 yards in the season opener, the sixth-highest single-game total in MAC history... He scored a MAC record six touchdowns in the season finale win over FDU-Florham while tying the MAC record with 36 points.... Puckett added 875 passing yards and five touchdowns with a 54.7% completion rate (81-148).

2012: Started eight games at quarterback... Completed 75-138 passes on the season for 625 yards with four touchdowns... Also added 231 yards on the ground on 81 carries with one touchdown... Was 13-21 for 113 yards in his first collegiate start at Gettysburg... Went 14-23 for 109 yards and threw the first touchdown pass in MU Football history at Lebanon Valley... Posted season-highs in completions (17), yardage (193) and touchdowns (2) at King's... Carried 10 times for 64 yards with a touchdown against Stevenson... Was 9-11 for 63 yards with a touchdown and added 46 yards rushing at Wilkes.

Prep: Three-sport athlete, participating in varsity football, basketball, and baseball... Earned multiple honors as a senior, including 1st-Team All-Group I Defense, All-GMC, Home News All-Area, Star Ledger All-Area, and All-Conference.