After an early lead, Rowan got blown out on the road last game by No. 6 Frostburg State, 34-7.
In Saturday’s game, the brown and gold were shut out 28-0 from the second quarter onward despite another impressive performance by sophomore quarterback Riley Giles. He went 11-18 for 132 yards, one touchdown pass and zero interceptions. Through four games, he only has one interception in 101 pass attempts.
This season among NCAA Division III qualifiers, Giles ranks second highest in completion percentage (74.5).
Rowan’s final nine drives of the game were not pretty by any means. The offense averaged 3.21 yards per play and went scoreless. On third down attempts they were just 2/13 on the afternoon. For the season, among conference opponents, the Profs rank below average on third down with a 27.5 percentage marker, sixth in the NJAC.
Despite only averaging 3.5 yards/carry, Frostburg’s successful rushing attack was the key to the game as they racked up 184 yards and ran it in for two scores. Among NJAC teams, Rowan’s rush defense ranks third in touchdowns allowed . At the same time, the Bobcats’ rushing attack ranks third highest in yards/attempt [4.1].
Jamaal Morant led Frostburg on the ground with 101 yards, while their special teams unit was reliable too. Chris Ireland’s punt in the second quarter was blocked by wideout Malik Morris, culminating in a Morris fumble recovery for a touchdown. Giving themselves a two-possession lead, the Bobcats never relinquished.
For the game, Frostburg State totaled 441 yards, compared to Rowan’s 166 yards.
Although coming out of the game on the losing end, some good came of the game for Rowan. Junior defensive end David Gajderowicz was named the NJAC Defensive Player of the Week. He had a game-high 15 tackles, 2.5 sacks and became the current conference leader in sacks with five.
Defensive co-captain Travelle Curry picked off Frostburg quarterback Connor Cox with three minutes left in the first after maneuvering through the offensive line and catching Cox off guard.
Cox commenced the scoring with a 68-yard bomb to receiver Malik Morris. Rowan took their only lead of the game, responding with two minutes left in the first quarter, with a 60-yard Elijah Rehm catch from Giles.
Facing another NJAC opponent gives Rowan a chance to get back on track. Coach Jay Accorsi is 86-37 all-time in conference games, including 47-15 at home. The Profs can try to reap the benefits of another Accorsi stat; it’s the element of early games. Since his arrival in 2002, the team is 43-16 in September games.
Rowan is now 3-1 on the season, with their next game coming Saturday evening at home versus Christopher Newport. If the Profs prevail on Saturday, it’ll be the team’s first 4-1 start in three years and the second occurrence in the last 14 seasons. The brown and gold are 7-2 all-time versus Christopher Newport, including 3-0 at home.
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