In a game where the seniors had everything to prove against a bitter conference rival, the College’s football team pulled out an unconventional 7-0 win over Rowan University on the road.
The Lions shut out the Profs, their first win against Rowan since the 2007 season. More interestingly, however, the College won without scoring a single touchdown. The team’s scoring was a product of two safeties and a field goal, a testament to its solid defense.
“Even though we didn’t score, we moved the ball, got field position, and (got) in a situation where we could have scored,” Head Coach Eric Hamilton said.
Senior running back Joe Falco ran for a team-high 77 yards on the game, while senior quarterback Jay Donoghue threw for 157 yards.
The defense was the real star, however, as it limited the Profs to 187 yards of total offense. Sophomore linebacker Nick Bricker continued his defensive dominance, registering 12 tackles and a sack en route to his third NJAC Defensive Player of the Week award on the season. Senior defensive lineman John Kinzel also registered one-and-a-half sacks of his own.
The main highlight of the game was the fact that the seniors went out on a high note, dropping the Profs for the first time in their careers as Lions.
“You lose a Shawn Brown, a Jon Power, a (Donoghue), a (Falco), all good players, all good kids,” Hamilton said. “We’re going to miss those guys. They were the heart and soul of what we were and what we accomplished. But the question now becomes, can the guys we have fill their shoes?”
This season, while not a first-place season, was definitely a success for the team as a whole.
“We were right there and we just fell a little short,” Hamilton said. “And I think that speaks volume of the effort our guys gave us … It was a pretty special year because of how far they came from Paterson to Rowan.”
The team will now be looking toward next year, when it will likely be led by junior running back Nick Tyson and junior quarterback William Friedrich, who will be taking up Donoghue and Falco’s mantle.
To Hamilton, one of the most important parts of next season will be fan involvement at home games.
“I just think if we can get some students fired up and make a home football game like some other places in the country on a college Saturday, (Lions’ Stadium) could be a pretty neat place,” Hamilton said.