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Rick Giancola Reflects on Win Over Rowan as Montclair St Prepares For William Paterson

(Photo by Tom Horak - Double G Media)

(Photo by Tom Horak – Double G Media)


Montclair State head coach Rick Giancola is just amazed at the talent of senior running back John DiStefano.

For the third consecutive week, DiStefano reached the century mark. He carried the ball 35 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 49 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter, as the Redhawks (2-1, 1-1 NJAC) defeated Rowan University 21-14 in the home opener at Sprague Field in Montclair, New Jersey.

“He is an outstanding back and things that seem to always pop-up in the first three games are he makes a run and everyone thinks he’s already tackled and pops out of the pile and there he goes,” said Giancola. “He did it again on Saturday with the last touchdown and quite frankly I didn’t see it and there he is in the end zone.”

Freshman quarterback Ryan Adzima went 10 of 21 for 202 yards with one TD and two interceptions. The longest pass play was a 73-yard strike to junior wide receiver Julanee Prince in the fourth quarter.

“Ryan is improving, a young man and freshman trying to get acclimated to our system and working hard at it,” said Giancola. “Certainly the two interceptions were critical during the game at that point of the game but bounced back and made some really key plays in the last drive and series. Completed two passes and ran for a first down. It was an important part for him in terms of his maturity.”

On the defensive side of the ball, senior defensive lineman Joe Falato and junior linebacker Nick Catalano had 10 tackles apiece while junior defensive back Shaon Stephenson added nine.

“We were moving to the football very well and getting off blocks,” said Giancola. “We were reading our keys very well and put guys in positions to make plays. When you get several guys to do that you are controlling down and distance and stopping offense from getting multiple first downs. During the course of the game, we did a good job of controlling the tempo.”

Looking ahead to the match-up at William Paterson University, last season the Redhawks won in convincing fashion 64-7.

“Last year was just an unusual situation and we weren’t 64 points better than them,” Giancola said. “They just imploded and didn’t play well and certainly a better team than indicated.”

“Coming into this game I’m concerned that approach to the game in terms of coming off a big win and going to play William Paterson at their place,” the coach continued. “Our minds are right, have right approach and attitude and don’t want to get caught in a trap game and don’t play as well as we are capable of playing.”

Kickoff at Wightman Stadium in Wayne, New Jersey on Saturday is at 1:00 p.m.

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Sunil is the Rockland Boulders Beat Writer for and also covers North Jersey High School Sports
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