Football gets back on track against TCNJ, host Wesley for Homecoming

Nick Grosso and Travelle Curry celebrate against William Paterson University this year. Multimedia Editor/Miguel Martinez

After a hard fought 17-14 road victory over conference-foe The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), the Rowan football team will now prepare for a Homecoming weekend matchup versus Wesley College.

Wesley, also a conference rival, stands at 5-1. They blew out Kean University, 54-6, last Saturday. Rowan has lost two out of their last three and have continued to struggle on third down.

The past two games, combined, Rowan is 2/20 on third-down attempts. They rank ninth in the conference on third-down percentage this season [22.5%].

Riley Giles will be under center against the Wolverines. He ranks third best among NCAA Division III quarterbacks in completion percentage with a 71.9 percent marking. Spreading the wealth hasn’t been an issue for Giles either, as he’s completed passes to 11 different receivers, four of which have brought in more than 10 balls on the year. Five receivers have an average over 14 yards per-reception. 

Tight end Cody Madden has been a mainstay on offense this season and one of Giles’ favorite targets. Among all tight ends, Madden ranks first in the conference in receptions [18] this season.

On offense last game versus TCNJ, Rowan got the boost they need as starting tailback John Mannion averaged 5.3 yards a carry and totaled 89 yards on the ground.

The biggest key in the game on Saturday for Rowan will be their aggressiveness. If their play calling is intricate and dynamic, they could have a good chance at winning. Moving the chains consistently will be a point of emphasis for them, as their quarterbacks last game averaged 4.42 yards per attempt. Rowan needs to open up the playbook more and try new designs.

On the defensive side of the ball, defensive end David Gajderowicz continues to shine. He still leads the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) in sacks (7.5) and registered two sacks on Saturday. In Rowan’s last three victories, opposing QBs have a combined 60.9 passer rating against the Profs. 

Wolverines quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs has been the driving force behind Kean’s offense so far, as he ranks first in the NJAC in both yards/game (278.8) and pass efficiency (185.8).

Accorsi has his hands full, preparing for a team whose offense has averaged 42.5 points game this season and who ranks first in the conference in yards a game (488.5).

“I watch a lot of film,” Accorsi said. “They’re a good football team, they played some tough teams in the conference; they’re a lot like you’d expect, they’re very competitive.”

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