GLASSBORO, NJ – The Rowan University football team scored the final 14 points of the game but it was not enough to erase an early deficit in a 20-14 setback to The College of New Jersey on Homecoming Saturday afternoon.
The Profs are 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). The Lions (1-5) picked up their first victory of the season. They have a 1-4 conference mark.
TCNJ quarterback Trevor Osler (sr. Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) went 25-of-32 for 340 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Thomas Koenig (sr. Bayville, NJ/Central Reg.) caught four passes for 131 yards and a score. Wideout Vincent Guckin (so. Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill E.) made six receptions for 30 yards and two trips to the end zone. Running back Khani Glover (sr. Jackson, NJ/Jackson Mem.) ran the ball 14 times for 58 yards.
Defensive back Rob Agnoni (sr. Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) and linebacker Max Busca (jr. Medford, NJ/Shawnee) each recorded nine tackles. Busca added a sack. Linebacker Anthony Gambone (sr. Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) made eight stops while linebacker Bryant Sanchez (so. Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central) tallied six tackles. Defensive back Jalen Harmon (fr. Columbus, NJ/Northern Burlington County Reg.) forced a fumble and defensive back Liam Abujawdeh (fr. Howell, NJ/Colts Neck) had one fumble recovery.
For Rowan, running back Anthony Diorio (jr. Medford, NJ/Shawnee) rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts. Running back John Mannion (jr. Verona, NJ/James Caldwell) also had a TD run. Quarterback Quinn Collins (so. Elk Twp., NJ/Delsea Reg.) completed 21 of 29 passes for 148 yards. Wide receiver Jamel Smith (sr. Trenton, NJ/New Egypt) had a career-high 12 catches for 55 yards. Wideout J.J. Kulcsar (so. Haworth, NJ/Bergen Catholic) went for 61 yards on four receptions.
Linebacker Godwin Asamoah (jr. Edison, NJ/Edison) posted four tackles, two sacks and one interception. Linebackers Christian Dawkins (sr. Ocean City, NJ/St. Augustine Prep) and Chris Noesges (sr. Freehold, NJ/Manalapan) totaled seven tackles apiece. Defensive end Kevin Stokes (jr. Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest) produced six stops, including 4.5 for a loss, and two sacks. Defensive linemen David Gajderowicz (so. Medford, NJ/Shawnee) and Kristian Lewis (sr. Union, NJ/Union) registered two and 1.5 sacks respectively.
The Lions reached the end zone twice within the opening five minutes. They began their second drive at their own 21. On the first play, Osler found Koenig deep for a 79-yard touchdown. The Profs fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Abujawdeh recovered at the Rowan 13. Two plays later, Osler hit Guckin for a 10-yard score and the Lions had a 14-0 lead with 10:10 on the clock.
The Profs had an opportunity to get on the scoreboard on their next possession but kicker Tyler Knighton (sr. Gibbstown, NJ/Paulsboro) missed a 38-yard field goal attempt wide right. On the next drive, TCNJ went 80 yards on 13 plays. Osler completed the possession with his third touchdown toss of the day, finding Guckin again from six yards out. The extra point failed and the Lions had a 20-0 advantage with 14:07 to play in the second quarter. The big play came on a 31-yard strike from Osler to Koenig that put TCNJ just outside the red zone.
The Lions had a chance to increase their lead later in the second but Stokes blocked a 28-yard field goal attempt to keep the score 20-0. Rowan found pay dirt on its final drive of the period, going 80 yards on 10 plays. Diorio ended the possession with a one-yard plunge (0:48) and TCNJ was ahead 20-7 at halftime.
The Profs cut the deficit to six on their second drive of the third stanza. After a bad punt, Rowan started at the Lions' 44 and needed just eight plays to reach the end zone. Mannion had a two-yard TD run to make the score 20-14 (8:36). The TCNJ defense held the Profs in check for the rest of the contest, with Rowan unable to drive into the Lions' end of the field after that point.
Next, the Profs begin a two-game road trip at Wesley College on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.