Rowan Picked Fourth In NJAC Football Race

Rowan Picked Fourth In NJAC Football Race Veteran Rowan football coach Jay Accorsi has built the program to the level where the Profs expect to be competitive every year and this season should be no different.

During the preseason Rowan was picked to finish fourth in the always competitive New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Wesley, which earned a share of its second consecutive NJAC title and captured the league’s automatic berth to the 2016 NCAA Tournament, was picked as the preseason favorite. The Wolverines received eight of 10 first place votes in a poll of the NJAC head coaches. Frostburg State received the other two first place votes.

Last season Rowan lost a 24-17 decision to Wesley. Rowan was just 3 of 14 on third down conversions for that game.

Here is the NJAC preseason poll: 1. Wesley College, 2. Frostburg State, 3. Salisbury University, 4. Rowan University, 5. Kean University, 6. Christopher Newport University, 7. Montclair State University, 8. Southern Virginia University, 9. William Paterson University, 10. The College of New Jersey.

Accorsi enters his 16th season with a 115-47 record at Rowan. The Profs finished 6-4 last season and will return five starters on offense, three on defense and one on special teams.

The one returning all-conference player is NJAC second-team all-conference choice Shaquille Lee, a senior defensive back from Millville. Last season Lee had 47 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He had seven tackles for loss, including one sack.

Joining Lee as one of the defensive leaders is junior defensive lineman Kevin Stokes of Oakcrest who had 45 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, including 4.5 sacks. He also had one force fumble, two fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks.

The leading returning offensive player is senior receiver Jamel Smith of New Egypt, who had 43 receptions for 491 yards and two touchdowns. He also averaged 20.6 yards on nine kickoff returns. The returning special teams veteran is senior kicker Tyler Knighton of Paulsboro, who hit 10 of 13 field goals, with a long of 40 yards.Rowan is seeking its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2014.

The Profs, who have an intersquad scrimmage Saturday (Aug. 19) in Ocean City beginning at 10 a.m., open their season Sept. 2 against visiting Widener, a team it beat 19-14 on the road last year.

Rowan has not finished the season strong in each of the last two years, dropping three of its final four games each season, so that will be a point of emphasis this year.

Here is Rowan’s schedule

Sat. Sept. 2 Widener, 7

Sat. Sept. 9 Southern Virginia, 7

Sat. Sept. 16 At William Paterson, 1

Sat. Sept. 23 Frostburg State, 1

Sat. Sept. 30 at Christopher Newport, 6

Sat. Oct. 14 The College of New Jersey, 2

Sat. Oct. 21 at Wesley, DE, 1

Sat. Oct. 28 at Salisbury, MD, 1

Sat. Nov. 4 Montclair State, 1

Sat. Nov. 11 at Kean, 1

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Author: Marc Narducci

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