This Week In NJAC Football: September 17th
We welcome you to a new weekly feature series on the New Jersey Athletic football Conference (NJAC), titled, This Week In NJAC Football. We will be talking about all of the biggest stories in the conference from the week prior, as well as giving you scores and predictions for the coming games for all NJAC teams.
Last week for the conference was headlined by the end of William Paterson’s two-year losing streak, as well as a statement victory from Wesley.
William Paterson finally ends a 27-game losing streak
It appears that a new era has dawned upon William Paterson.
On Saturday, the Pioneers finally put it all together en route to a 28-23 victory over a tough Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham Devils football team. The Pioneers scored 28 points in the last 18 minutes of the game to come back from a 17-7 deficit midway through the 3rd quarter.
Offensively, the Pioneers utilized an effective ground game to carry the load, led by star freshman running back Terrique Reddick, who finished with 162 yards rushing on only 11 carries. Junior running back Marcel Mason also had a good day on the ground finishing with 81 yards rushing on 13 carries. Both running backs scored two touchdowns apiece.
Look for the Pioneers to continue to pound the rock more throughout the season as they now have two talented running backs who have proven to be very reliable.
Defensively, the Pioneers came up big when it mattered most. William Paterson put together three straight defensive stops in the 4th quarter which allowed the offense to quickly put points on the board. Freshman cornerback Devyon Blunt played a major role in the team’s victory on Saturday, finishing with five tackles (0.5 for a loss), and two pass breakups. Sophomore linebacker Bryan King was all over the field as well, finishing with 10 tackles and two tackles for a loss.
With the losing streak over, the Pioneers can do something that they haven’t accomplished since 2012: win two games in a row. They’ll get their opportunity on September 28th, where they will have a road game against Maritime College.
Montclair State bounces back after last week’s huge upset loss
The Red Hawks came into this season with lofty expectations after a successful 8-2 record in 2019. Unfortunately, the Red Hawks were stunned by Southern Virginia 34-21 last week, taking away an opportunity for an undefeated season. However, Ja’Quill Burch made sure the Red Hawks would get back on the right track, throwing for 292 yards and three touchdowns as he led his team to a convincing 28-11 victory against Salve Regina.
However, the Red Hawk defense was the big story of this game, as they limited the Seahawks to only 217 yards offensively. If the Red Hawks can replicate the same type of effort against Hobart, they’ll be in terrific shape to come out with another road win.
#22 Wesley With A Statement Victory over #13 Deleware Valley
Wesley came into the season as the favorite to win the NJAC by not only the coaches poll but numerous other media outlets. It’s safe the say the Wolverines have wasted no time this season backing these high expectations up.
The Wolverines outlasted a very strong Delaware Valley Aggies squad in quadruple overtime to win, 24-18. Down 18-10 in the overtime period, senior receiver Ruhaan Peele would come up huge for Wesley as he hauled in two touchdown passes on consecutive drives from junior quarterback David Marrocco to win the game for the Wolverines.
Marrocco has been effective in his first two games as the Wolverines’ full-time starter, averaging 363 yards on 29-52 passing so far. E.J. Lee has continued to be a dependable running back for the team, as he finished this game with 105 yards on 21 carries. With the team looking strong heading into NJAC play in a few weeks, the Wolverines remain the team to beat in the conference.
NJAC Weekly Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: QB Ja’Quill Burch
12-25, 292 yards, 3 touchdowns
Defensive Player of the Week: Junior LB Dante Daniel
12 Tackles, 1.0 tackles for a loss
Special Teams Player of the Week: Freshman Punter Micheal Gillespie
8 punts, 43.5 yards per punt
Offensive Rookie of the Week: Freshman RB Terrique Reddick
11 carries, 167 yards rushing
Defensive Rookie of the Week: Freshman CB Devyn Blount
5 tackles, 0.5 tackles for a loss, 2 pass breakups
Other Week 2 Scores From Around The NJAC
(NJAC team in BOLD)
SUNY Cortland def. The College of New Jersey (0-2), 31-7
Salisbury (2-0) def. Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 24-19
Springfield def. Kean (0-2), 21-14
Linfield def. Rowan (0-2), 35-14
Hampden-Sydney def. Christopher Newport (0-2), 27-24
Quick Picks Week 3 of the Division III football season
(My pick in BOLD)
TCNJ at St. John Fisher
Rowan at Hobart
Wesley at Endicott
Christopher Newport at Brevard