Rowan Football Gives up 495 Rushing Yards in Their Loss Against Springfield College

Rowan's Calvin Harper attempting to tackle Springfield's Ryan Deguire in their game this past weekend. Rowan's defense gave up 495 rushing yards to Springfield. Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. - Multimedia Editor / Nick Feldman

Rowan football lost their second game of the season, 46-24, this past Saturday to Springfield College 46-24 and now their record is 0-2.

After losing the first game this season to Widener University, Head Coach Jay Accorsi knew his team still had improvements to make. Coming into the matchup against Springfield, the focus for the Profs was on improving their run defense. 

Springfield operates out of a triple-option offense, and they run the ball almost exclusively. Springfield established their run-offense right out of the gate, marching 82 yards on 12 plays in their first drive of the game. Fullback, Tim Callahan, rushed for his first touchdown of the afternoon.

Springfield rushed for 495 yards, scoring points on every drive except for their last in the game. Defensive end, AJ Akins, says it was a matter of missing assignments for Rowan’s defense that caused them to struggle against the run game.

“With this kind of offense, you’ve got to run assignment football. And all week we just kept going with, ‘If you’ve got the dive, you have to tackle the dive. If you’ve got the quarterback you have to tackle the quarterback,’” Akins said. “We lost our assignments, and we lost track of where the ball was. And that’s when they had those 70-80 yard runs. So, we just weren’t on our assignments all game. And, as you see with the score, that’s what happens.”

Accorsi recognized that youth and inexperience played a role in the loss. With conference play only a few weeks away, the team needs to learn quickly to stay in the competition.

“This is a whole new team. There’s 77 new players that were not with us in 2019. Again, so it sounds like an excuse. It is, but it’s the reason why a lot of things happened. We just don’t have a lot of experienced players in these types of situations, and we need to grow up really fast,” Accorsi said.

Springfield runs a similar offensive system to New Jersey Athletic Conference [NJAC] opponent Salisbury University, who ran for 496 yards against the Profs back in 2018. After a game against a similar offense in Springfield, Accorsi plans to prepare his defense to be more prepared against Salisbury on Oct. 16.

“We’ve got to watch the film and see. I’m sure there’s a lot we’ve got to correct,” Accorsi said. “Defensively, we wanted to face a team like this, because we [will] see it against Salisbury. I think we did some decent things against it in strides, but obviously we’ve got some work to do with it.” 

Although a loss can be tough, the Profs are using what they’ve learned from the last two games to prepare themselves for the other teams they will face later in the season.

“Again, they’re a good football team too. They’re really good at what they do and, you know, that’s the purpose of this game. You know, we could try to play somebody else, but the purpose of this game is for other things to do down the road for when Salisbury plays us.”

The team will have an off week before traveling to Rhode Island to face Salve Regina. With so much time before playing again, Akins wants the team to keep their head up and move on from the tough loss.

“We just got to settle down and take it week by week. Get back in the film room, get back on the field and attack the next week and not linger on this loss. It’s very easy to linger on a loss, and I feel like me, along with the other leaders on the team — the other seniors — we just got to get the younger guys to realize that it’s football,” Accorsi said. “It’s a game. We’re going to lose, and we’re going to win. And just realize that there is always a next week.”

For comments/questions about this story, tweet @TheWhitOnline.