Rowan Football’s offense struggles against Ursinus

James Fara rushes for a gain. Fara recorded 68 yards in Saturday's game against Ursinus. - Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. - Photo via Lee Kotzen

The Rowan football team entered Richard Wackar Stadium on Sept. 16 in hopes of winning their first home game of the season and building off the momentum of last week’s 49-28 win over McDaniel. Unfortunately for the Profs, they were unable to stack another win against The Bears of Ursinus College, who came in and cooled off the Profs’ red-hot offense, holding them to just three touchdowns in a 44-21 defeat.

Ursinus’ defense was flying to the ball all day causing the majority of the Profs’ offensive drives to stall. As a result, Rowan finished the first half with just 104 total yards of offense and no points from the offense.

“Ursinus dominated the line of scrimmage offensively and defensively,” Head Coach Jay Accorsi said. “I thought that was the key of the game, their offense and defensive lines were better than ours.” 

After forcing a punt on Ursinus’ first drive of the game, the Profs’ offense was faced with a 4th and 1 at Ursinus’ 49-yard line. Instead of punting, Coach Accorsi decided to trust his offense to get that yard, giving the ball to their All-Conference running back, James Fara, who was stopped by the front seven of Ursinus.

That stop gave the Bears good field position for their next drive, which resulted in a seven-play drive that was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run from Dawson Fresses.

“I kick myself over that 4th and 1 … I look back on it and think I shouldn’t have gambled that early in the game, that’s on me,” Accorsi said. 

Ursinus would later score their second touchdown through a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cameron Dennis to wide receiver Jalen Bradford, putting the Bears up 14-0 with six minutes to go in the second quarter.

While the offense struggled to move the ball in the first half, the defense got the Profs on the board after junior defensive back, Eric Bryant, recorded his second pick-six of the year, this time returning it 52 yards to make it a 14-7 game with 1:10 to go in the second quarter.

Ursinus wouldn’t let the momentum slip too far away from them however, as they immediately responded to the pick-six with an 80-yard drive that ended in a two-yard touchdown reception and made it a 21-7 game at the half.

“We were holding on and to still be in it 14-7, to give up that touchdown before the half was just a huge momentum change,” Accorsi said.

That lead was one that Ursinus didn’t look back from, as they put up 23 more points in the second half en route to their 562 total yards of offense. Despite the amount of yards and points that were given up by the Profs, they were still able to force three turnovers and showed the ability to get stops. 

“We didn’t complete our assignments… I know our defense can get stops, we just have to consistently win our one-on-ones,” Bryant said.

Ursinus’ defensive game plan was clear: do not let Fara beat them, and it worked like a charm. The Bears limited him to 68 rushing yards on 22 carries, which put more pressure on the young quarterbacks for the Profs.

Both sophomore quarterbacks, Thomas Goldsborough and Noah Brunatti, had a hard time on Saturday to get anything going through the air. Goldsborough completed 5 of his 10 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown while Brunatti completed 4 of his 6 passes for 39 yards. 

Goldsborough’s lone touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter when he found junior wide receiver Corey Gordon, who ran 75 yards for the score. Freshman Nunes Bukula IV also scored his second touchdown in back-to-back weeks, sprinting 65 yards for the score to begin the fourth quarter. 

“We all have to come together as a team… This next week the guys who are banged up will be able to rest and heal up as we fix those mistakes so we’re ready for Johns Hopkins.” Fara said.

The Profs have a bye this week and will spend that time recuperating and preparing for Johns Hopkins, who come into Richard Wackar Stadium on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.

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