Rowan's Second-Quarter Explosion Leads No. 23 Profs Past Montclair State, 33-7
Montclair, NJ – Senior quarterback Louie Bianchini (West Long Branch, NJ / Red Bank Catholic) completed 14-of-19 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns in the first half as 23rd-ranked Rowan University erupted for 27 unanswered points in a 33-7 victory over Montclair State on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore wide receiver Ed Eisenhart (Mullica Hill, NJ / Clearview Regional) pulled in four passes for 105 yards and a touchdown as the Profs (5-1) remained unbeaten in the NJAC at 4-0 with their first win over the Red Hawks since 2005, snapping a seven-game losing streak to MSU.
Junior running back Bill Roman (Annandale, NJ / St. Peter's Prep) rushed for 107 yards for Montclair State which fell to 2-4 on the year, 2-2 in the NJAC.
Bianchini completed touchdown passes to four different receivers as the Profs scored on four of its seven first-half possessions.
Rowan struck first on its second possession of the game. Bianchini connected with Warren Oliver (Beverly, NJ / Palmyra) for 11 yards on a 3rd-and-5 to the Montclair 38 before finding Eisenhart for a 38-yard touchdown as the Profs led 6-0 with 8:11 to play in the first quarter as the extra point attempt hit off the left upright.
Two possessions later the Profs were backed up to their own face and were forced to punt from their own end zone. Junior Joe Janovic (Montvale, NJ / St. Joseph's (Montvale)) mishandled the snap but managed to get an attempt away that went out of bounds at the Rowan 44 giving Montclair great field possession.
The Red Hawks would take advantage as Drew Cathey (East Rutherford, NJ / Becton Regional) hit Bryan Ogden (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Hills) for 10 yards before Roman ripped off a 22-yard run down to the Rowan 12. After a two-yard run by Rowan, Cathey found Vin Fischer (Livingston, NJ / Livingston) in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown as the Red Hawks led 7-6 with 1:09 remaining.
Rowan's dominant second quarter began with two plays left in the first as Bianchini connected with Eisenhart on two plays for 63 yards as the Profs moved to the ball from its own 25 to the Montclair 11. After another completion down to the MSU2, Keith Corcoran (Atlantic City, NJ / St/ Joseph's (Hammonton)) barreled in from a yard out giving the Profs a 13-7 lead 63 seconds in to the second quarter.
That lead grew to 19-7 with 5:41 before halftime as Bianchini found Anthony Barrone (Hammonton, NJ / Hammonton) for a 27-yard score. The Profs defense then forced a three-and-out by MSU and a 21-yard punt return by Dan Reed (Westmont, NJ / Haddon Township) off a short kick gave Rowan the ball at the Red Hawks 15. Bianchini found Oliver on the first play for a touchdown as Rowan's lead grew to 26-7 with 3:10 left.
Rowan added one more scored before half moving 65 yards in seven plays, the biggest coming on a 54-yard completion from Bianchini to Withler Macelin (Ocean Township, NJ / Ocean Township) down to the MSU 1. The Red Hawks would hold on successive running plays. After a penalty pushed the ball back to the MSU 7 with 10 seconds left, Bianchini hit Corcoran out of the backfield for the touchdown as the Profs went into the half up 33-7.
The Profs defense, which limited Montclair State to just 223 yards of offense in the game, came up big twice in the third quarter as they held MSU out of the end zone after the Red Hawks moved the ball inside the 15 yardline. Patrick Ruley (Margate, NJ / Atlantic City) knocked down a fourth-down pass to stall one drive with eight minutes remaining and MSU misfired on a second fourth-down with 3:52 to go in the third.
Macelin led the Profs ground attack with 55 yards while Corcoran finished with 34. Oliver had four receptions for 105 yards. Defensively, Rule led the way with eight tackles while Frank Rubino (Belle Mead, NJ / Montgomery). Steve Williams (Westmont, NJ / Haddon Township), Casey Dillon (Northfield, NJ / Mainland Regional) and Darren Dungee (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) had five tackles apiece.
Cathey was 14-of-31 for 115 yards with Ogden pulling in seven passes for 50 yards. Freshman Michael Klimek (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) had 10 tackles with C.J. Conway (Folsom, NJ / Hammonton), Bill Shimko (Manahawkin, NJ / Southern Regional) and Marc Aspinwall (Little Ferry, NJ / Ridgefield Park) recording seven tackles each.
Montclair State returns to action on Saturday, October 14 as they host The College of New Jersey in the 80th meeting of the oldest active collegiate football rivalry in New Jersey. Kickoff of the MSU Homecoming contest is 3:00 pm. Rowan is off on a bye week and heads to Cortland on October 20.