WAYNE, N.J. – William Paterson (3-5, 1-4 NJAC) had its opportunities but couldn't cash in, suffering a 20-9 football loss to visiting Rowan (5-2, 3-1 NJAC) Oct. 26.
The Profs struck first when sophomore Withler Marcelin ran off right tackle and burst up the seam, a 30-yard touchdown 4:40 into the contest.
After a WP three-and-out and a 61-yard punt by senior Julian Frazier (Plainfield, N.J./North Plainfield), Rowan was pinned back at its own one-yard line. A screen pass was caught by junior Frankie Goris in the end zone and he was dropped by freshman free safety Jason Montalvo (Hoboken, N.J./Hoboken), a safety that made it a 7-2 score with 8:32 remaining in the first half.
The Profs later elected to go for it on fourth-and-goal and freshman Khalil Pierce broke the plane, a one-yard touchdown run to extend Rowan's lead to 14-2 two minutes into the second quarter.
William Paterson had a chance to cut into that lead less than three minutes before halftime, but the drive stalled on the Rowan-24 after four straight incompletions, included a dropped pass and a pass breakup by junior defensive lineman Chris Alvarez.
The Pioneers received the kickoff to start the second half and sophomore running back Darius Kersey (Dover, N.J./Dover) turned a short third-down completion into a 63-yard touchdown. Junior Robert Sinegra (Wharton, N.J./Morris Knolls) kicked the extra point and WP found itself trailing by just five, 14-9, with 13:50 remaining in the third quarter.
The two teams traded punts until early in the fourth quarter when William Paterson had moved the ball to midfield. Senior quarterback Ryan Gresik's (Newton, N.J./Newton) pass was tipped straight up by Alvarez and snared by senior defensive lineman Mike Rinaldi, who returned it to the WP-30. Eight plays later, Marcelin converted the turnover into points with a two-yard rushing touchdown (20-9, 6:33).
Again the Pioneers moved the ball down the field, but a pass off a receiver's hands was intercepted by junior Anthony Verrilli at the Profs' 10-yard line with 2:49 to play in the contest.
Gresik was 22-for-46 for 210 yards and a touchdown under center, and sophomore running back Matt Deiana (Somers, N.Y./Somers) carried seven times for 27 yards. Kersey caught four passes for 79 yards and a score.
Sophomore linebacker Carlo Caponetta (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) had a career-best 15 tackles (nine solo), and junior defensive lineman Pat Thomas (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) collected 11 stops (three solo, 1.0 TFL).
Sophomore Bill McCarthy was 6-for-13 for 58 yards for Rowan. Marcelin gained 173 yards on 33 rushing attempts, scoring twice. Junior Ed Eisenhart caught two passes for 38 yards.
Junior linebacker Tyler Jenkins made 12 tackles (four solo, 0.5 TFL) to lead the Prof defense. Alvarez finished with nine stops (five solo, 2.0 sacks) and two pass breakups.
William Paterson will play at Montclair State Saturday, Nov. 2, at 6:00 p.m.