Rowan football knocked off their third straight New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opponent on Saturday, Oct. 22, defeating Kean University 17-10 to improve their record to 5-2 on the season.
In the first half, the Prof’s offense was firing on all cylinders, with both John Maldonado and James Fara finding the end zone through the ground. The Profs led 17-7 at halftime, but as has been the case in recent games, the offense failed to get anything going in the second half.
This proposes the question of whether or not Head Coach Jay Accorsi is looking to tweak the offense heading into week nine.
“You have to look at the film and see,” Coach Accorsi said. “I thought we played really well in the first half… I think there’s holes. But again, you have to be careful with how you play offense if your defense is playing so well, you don’t want to be over-aggressive on offense, which isn’t really our style. I thought we played really well in the first half, average in the second half. We really have to play better in the second half to match what we’re doing defensively.”
The aforementioned Fara, who led the Profs with 84 rushing yards, spoke about what the offense needs to do to regain the upside we saw out of the unit in the first two weeks of the season.
“We just gotta come out in the second half,” Fara said. “You see every first half… we didn’t score in the second half. And that’s not because they’re better than us, because they weren’t great. We’re gonna see better competition like this week coming up, so we just gotta come out firing in the second half.”
Fara has been the centerpiece of the Profs’ offense for the past few weeks with the passing game being less effective.
“We’re usually a run-first type of team, we run it about 42 times a game,” Fara said. “I just wanna get those three yards and then break. Early, it was going pretty good. But in the second half, I gotta hit some holes faster.”
On the opposite side of the ball, the defense came up huge once again for the Profs. The defense held Kean to just ten points, holding the opposition to 20 or fewer points for the third time in four weeks.
“They played awesome,” Coach Accorsi said. “Every week they’ve gotten better and better. You gotta figure as time goes on, that’s what’s gonna happen. The offense will flatten out a little bit, defense will start to get better. There’s more film, there’s more tendencies. Still at times, allowing some long-yardage plays. But hey, we finished the game off which we didn’t do early in the year, so you gotta give the players and coaches credit.”
Rowan’s defense had one particular drive that sealed up the win. With Kean all the way at the Profs’ eight-yard line, the defense came up with a huge goal-line stand to suck the life out of Kean.
Jason Blanks, who led the Profs with five tackles, explained how the defense was able to stay resilient throughout the drive.
“Bend, don’t break,” Blanks said. “We stayed resilient, and we had each other’s backs. We stood the course, and just finished the game off.”
Riding a three-game winning streak, Coach Accorsi and company have a tough matchup ahead, traveling to Salisbury to face the 6-1 Seagulls.
Coach Accorsi did not hesitate when mentioning the keys to the game in that one.
“Just keep getting better as a team,” Coach Accorsi said. “We just need to continue to get better in all phases of the game. When you play a team like Salisbury, a conference championship-level team, you need to play well in all three phases. We’re gonna need more from the offense next week to get it done, there’s no question. Keep continuing to play on defense and special teams.”
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