Rowan football looks to bounce back against Christopher Newport on Saturday

Senior wide receiver Jamel Smith avoiding a Frostburg State university defender on Saturday. Smith tallied 10 catches for 79 yards and a score. Photo Editor/Nicole Mingo

The undefeated flight for the Rowan University football team touched down Saturday in Glassboro.

Eleventh ranked Frostburg State University defeated the Profs 24-10 in game that had a playoff atmosphere to it.

Frostburg’s second drive started with their worst field position all game at their own 15 yard line. However, quarterback Connor Cox delivered a deep ball that was tipped into the hands of wide receiver Joe Beckford for a 59-yard touchdown with under three minutes left in the first quarter.

Rowan responded early in the second half with a 22-yard field goal from kicker Tyler Knighton. With the help of stout defense and excellent ball movement, the brown and gold’s offense made great strides down the field including a 13-play, 95-yard drive capped off with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Naldy Tavarez to Jamel Smith. The momentum felt as if it had swung in Rowan’s favor going into the locker room as they held a 10-7 lead.

However, two more touchdown passes from Cox and a 19-yard field goal lead the Bobcats to shutting out Rowan 17-0 in the second half and earning a win that has them tied with Salisbury University for first place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference standings.

“I do not think we took it to that next level to match what they were doing in the second half and that made the difference,” said head coach Jay Accorsi. “That is why they are a good football team.”

Cox didn’t have an efficient day completion percentage wise going 13-of-25, but he made the big plays in the clutch moments with 238 passing yards and three touchdowns.

“You saw him escape out of the pocket and throw the ball down the field when he escaped,” Accorsi said. “You’re not going to be able stop that very often. He played really well in crunch time and it was the big plays that were the difference.”

The top run defense in the nation was as advertised, holding the Profs to just 46 yards rushing. Running back Anthony Diorio had 21 carries for just 54 yards, ending his streak of 100-yard rushing games at three.

The passing game struggled just as much as the ground game, as Tavarez threw a career-high 33 attempts completing just 17 of them for 168 yards and a touchdown. One positive takeaway is that 10 of those completions were to Smith for 79 yards and the score.

“I think some of the success was the blocking inside and out,” Smith said. “I do look forward to being a part of the offense more.”

Defensively, outside linebacker Godwin Asamoah totaled six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He enjoys being a part of the front seven group that is able to apply a lot of pressure.

“I wanted to help out my team,” Asamoah said. “I wanted to be able to contribute for a successful game for the team. I love playing with this group and I love playing for Rowan. This is the only team I really had that everybody is playing with a passion and has a love for the game of football and each other. That is something I never really had.”

The Profs and the Captains are tied with each other for fourth place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference and neither team wants to slip down another spot in attempting to stay in the conference title picture. Since Christopher Newport entered the conference in 2015, Rowan has come out on top in the two meetings.

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