Rowan Football Upsets No. 8 Wesley College, 28-27 On Homecoming
GLASSBORO, NJ – The Rowan University football team stunned No. 8 Wesley College, 28-27 on Homecoming in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) action on Saturday. This is the first time since 2013 that the Profs have won against the Wolverines. Rowan is now 5-2 (4-2 NJAC) on the year, while Wesley falls to 5-2 (4-2 NJAC). The Brown and Gold stumbled early in the opening quarter as it turned the ball over on its first two possession. After the Wolverines recovered a Profs' fumble at the Rowan one-yard-line, running back E.J. Lee (jr. Germantown, MD/Northwest) ran the ball in to take a 7-0 lead (11:01). On Rowan's next drive, quarterback Nick Couzzi (fr. Branchburg, NJ/Somerville) connected with wide receiver Elijah Rehm (jr. Clayton, NJ/Clayton) on a 58-yard strike to tie the game. The Wolverines answered as they drove the ball 61-yards on seven plays to pull ahead, 14-7. Quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs (sr. Palmyra, NJ/Paul IV) hit wide receiver Ruhann Peele (jr. Linden, NJ/Linden) on fourth down for a 33-yard touchdown. Rowan evened the game up midway through the second quarter, 14-14. The Brown and Gold drove 80-yards on 13 plays, which was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by running back John Mannion (sr. Verona, NJ/James Caldwell). Wesley bounced back to find the end zone on its next drive to take a 21-14 advantage heading into halftime. Lee scored with a two-yard carry. In the third, Burroughs found wide receiver Corterris Simpson (jr. Waldorf, MD/Lackey) for an 11-yard score, but missed the extra point for a 27-14 lead. Rowan retaliated, when Mannion took the ball 77-yards to the house on the first play of the drive, to cut the deficit to 27-21. The Brown and Gold's defense stepped up for the remainder of the third, causing back-to-back Wesley turnovers. On the first play following the Rowan touchdown, defensive lineman David Gajderowicz (jr. Medford, NJ/Shawnee) forced a fumble to change possession. On the Wolverines' next drive, cornerback Nate Lanier (jr. Sicklerville, NJ/Woodbridge) picked off Burroughs and returned it to the Wesley 11-yard line. Two plays later, Mannion punched the ball in from four-yards for his third touchdown on the day to claim a 28-27 advantage (08:09). Both teams battled it out in the final frame, as neither side could move the ball successfully down the field. Rowan's defense stepped up late to hold Wesley to just three possessions. On the Wolverines' last drive of the contest, defensive lineman Sunny Tapp (fr. Hammonton, NJ/St. Joseph;s) and Gajderowicz each sacked the quarterback to help ice the game and win, 28-27. Couzzi finished the game completing 10 of 18 for 164-yards and one touchdown. Mannion led the ground game with three scores and 156-yards rushing. Running back Messiah Divine (so. Trenton, NJ/Montgomery) rushed 23 times for 91-yards. Rehm finished with a team-high four receptions for 74-yards and a score, while wide receiver Nick Grosso (jr. Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) caught three for 49. Safety Malachi Winters (so. Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) and linebacker Godwin Asamoah (sr. Edison, NJ/Edison) racked up seven stops apiece. For Wesley, Burroughs completed 18 of 29 passes for 234-yards and two touchdowns. Lee ran for 54-yards and reached the end zone twice. The Rowan football team will stay at home for its next game on Saturday, Oct. 27 against Salisbury University, with kickoff set at 1 p.m.