Rowan football aims to knock off second-straight ranked opponent

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The Rowan football team improved to 3-1 on the season after taking down then-No. 22 ranked Christopher Newport University on Oct. 1. The brown and gold also added another win to their New Jersey Athletic Conference record, bringing them to 2-1, while handing the Captains their first loss of the season.

Despite playing an offensive powerhouse like Christopher Newport, the Profs managed to hold their opponent to only one touchdown in a 10-7 victory. 

Junior running back Gawain Bragg helped the team by scoring their only touchdown as he gathered 62 yards on 13 carries on the day.

However, the defense was the biggest factor in the game, as the brown and gold did not allow a score in the first or fourth quarter.

The brown and gold have struggled with turnovers this season but managed to capitalize on two scoring drives set up by takeaways. The team pressured the Captains into two interceptions and forced a fumble, which was returned by sophomore defensive end Kevin Stokes for 57 yards to set up a 34-yard field goal.

Stokes has proved to be an impactful player on defense this season, having blocked two kicks while registering 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and 17 tackles, including 10 against CNU.

With No. 11 ranked Salisbury University coming to Glassboro this weekend, the Profs will need all the help they can get as they face off against another offensive juggernaut.  

However, head coach Jay Accorsi will not have to worry about getting his players excited for another high-profile game against a talented conference opponent.

“They’re a great team,” Accorsi said. “You add Homecoming, another home game, they’re nationally ranked. Those things get the players excited already so you don’t need to do that as a coach, you just have to keep staying with the things you’re doing and what has helped you be successful so far.”  

While the win over Christopher Newport was impressive, the Profs will have to put that game behind them as they prepare for undefeated Salisbury University (4-0, 3-0 NJAC).

The Homecoming game that is scheduled for this Saturday is the 24th meeting between the two programs. Rowan holds the advantage at 13-9-1, but Salisbury is playing at a high level on offense, outscoring opponents, 150-66, and dominating in both passing and rushing with 1,945 total yards of offense this season.

The Seagulls are coming off an impressive 41-6 win over The College of New Jersey where the offense racked up 611 yards of total offense, 410 yards of those coming from their run game.

Rowan’s defense will have to step up to the challenge if they hope to contain another team with a great offense.

“I trust my teammates more than anything,” Stokes said. “If I trust that they’re going to do what they’re supposed to do and I do what I’m supposed to do, I know we’ll be very successful. That’s just going to be our trend for the rest of the season.”

Rowan will host No. 11 Salisbury this Saturday at 2 p.m.

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