The Rowan University football team made history on Saturday, but not in a good way.
With the 13-3 loss to Montclair State University, the Profs ended their streak of nine consecutive non-losing seasons. Also, it is their first six-game losing streak since 1965.
The game showed all signs of a high scoring affair. Both teams scored a field goal in their first drives of the game. However, Rowan failed to score the rest of the game as the Redhawks made a few more plays that swayed momentum and the result in their favor.
On the first play of the second half for the Redhawks offense, running back Anthony Travisano broke free through the middle for a 66-yard touchdown to put Montclair up seven. They would tack on a field goal early in the fourth quarter and hold on from there. Travisano finished with 20 carries for 128 yards and the touchdown.
The Profs handed the keys to their third different starting quarterback in freshman Brian Furlong. Furlong’s start was cut short in third quarter after he suffered a concussion. He went seven of 15 for 38 yards. Quinn Collins replaced him and went three of five for 24 yards.
“Brian played well before he had to come out,” said head coach Jay Accorsi. “Quinn Collins will obviously start this week. We are going to mix things up with him and try and do the best we can.”
The running game was a distribution of three backs and it struggled yet again. Anthony Diorio had 14 carries for 38 yards, John Mannion had 9 carries for 29 yards and Messiah Divine had 5 carries for 12 yards. After the 14-play drive to start the game, the offense had no more than six plays and 18 yards on a drive afterward.
Defensively, Rowan had one turnover that could have given Rowan the spark they needed. Strong safety Malachi Winters had an interception right before halftime and forced a fumble as well. Cornerback Quincy Jenkins and linebacker Chris Noesges led the team with six tackles apiece.
The Profs will put this game in the rearview mirror as they have once last chance to get a win on the road against Kean University. The brown and gold are 1-3 away from home, while the Cougars are 2-1 when playing in front of their home crowd.
This game is the final time that senior players will suit up in a Rowan uniform and they certainly want to take full advantage of the opportunity to give their program something to be happy about. Kicker Tyler Knighton is the university’s all-time field goals leader with 36 and will look to add to his total for the last time this weekend.
“It’s kind of sad to be done,” Knighton said. “It’s been a tough season, but everybody needs to stay focused and try to get a win in the last game and end the season on a good note.”
Another senior player is defensive captain and safety Shaquille Lee. The third year starter has made two All-Conference second teams and is looking to make his mark one more time on the gridiron.
“It’s bittersweet,” Lee said. “I had a long journey and I am just ready to get it done.”
Kickoff between the Profs and the Cougars is Saturday at 1 p.m.
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