The struggle against the top teams in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) continued for the Rowan football team this past Saturday.
The Profs fell to #25 with Salisbury University 33-0 and the inability to move the ball down the field was evident.
It was the start of the game that served as the highlight of the day for the brown and gold. After a touchdown by the Seagulls on the first drive of the game, Rowan put together an impressive 13 play drive that took seven minutes off the clock gaining 55 yards in the process. However, kicker Tyler Knighton missed from 39 yards out. After that, eight of the 11 remaining drives were four plays or less, all resulting in punts. The other three ended on the halftime break, a turnover on downs and an interception.
“We shot ourselves in the foot again,” head coach Jay Accorsi said. “If you hit the field goal, maybe you are feeling good about yourself.”
There have been two recurring themes for the Profs in their losses. Offensively, they move the ball well at times but do not score. Defensively, they let up too many big plays down the field. A losing streak like this is not usual to Rowan football.
“It doesn’t happen here very often,” Accorsi said. “Sometimes the lesson is, it’s not expected and things are not always going to be how you want it. You just have to keep fighting the fight.”
Quarterback Quinn Collins went 11 of 16 for 74 yards. He was taken out in the fourth quarter when freshman Brian Furlong took over. He went four for seven for 17 yards and an interception.
The running game was stalled yet again with only 68 yards rushing. Seagulls quarterback Brandon Lewis had 20 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown and running back Brady Curley had nine carries for 84 yards and a touchdown. With Salisbury quarterbacks only having three completions on nine attempts, two of which went for touchdowns, it was clear running the football was the strategy against the Rowan defense as eight rushers totaled 289 team yards on the ground with three scores.
Offensive lineman and captain Darryl Guilford says this stretch has been difficult, but there is still more football yet to play.
“I’m telling people to stay focused and stay on course,” Guilford said. “We need to come out to practice with a lot of energy like we have been doing.”
Two games remain on the 2017 schedule with this week being the final home game for the Profs. They will be taking on Montclair State University. Both teams are riding losing streaks and are out of the playoff picture. However, this game is going to mean a lot for the seniors playing their final game at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium.
“It’s going to be tough,” Guilford said. “Football is my main thing and it’s kind of sad that is almost starting to come to an end. I am taking advantage of every moment I have with these guys.”
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. against the Redhawks. It’s going to be Military Appreciation Day, where all active and military veterans will be able to watch the game for free with valid ID and for every ticket sold, one dollar will be donated to the Honoring Sandrino’s Sacrifice Fund.
“They have to cherish it and relish it and rally the guys,” Accorsi said. “Hopefully they will get the rest of the team fired up to play.”
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