Photo Courtesy of Rowan University/Nick Feldman

Costly penalties doom Rowan as they fall to Salve Regina

The Profs football program picked up the first loss of the season, falling to Salve Regina, 28-24, on Saturday afternoon to move to 2-1 on the season. Rowan's offense had a solid first half outscoring the Seahawks 17-0 in the first half. The Seahawks, coming from Rhode Island to Glassboro, New Jersey, fought back in the second half, scoring 21 points in the first 17 minutes of the second half.

Rowan's offense, led by quarterback Mike Husni, tried its best to gain a home victory but came up short. Salve Regina signal caller Jake Stack struggled heavily in the passing game in the first half, with five straight incompletions to start the game. A strong running game by the Seahawks in the second half helped Stack get comfortable in the pocket and propelled them to victory over the Profs.

Rowan's offense was hot in their first two games, scoring over 38 points, which led them to two victories to begin the 2022 season. The Seahawks' defense was a lock down unit in their first two wins out of three games. However, the Seahawks' offense only averaged 13.6 in their first three games, so the Profs looked to get their offense started early.

Husni, who can run and pass, had a strong game with his legs to lead a great drive. The drive ended when he made his way in for the day's first touchdown on a one-yard QB sneak. The senior later showed off his arm after a 50-yard touchdown to wide receiver John Maldonado. The catch gave the Profs a 17-0 lead with 1:08 left in the first half. Maldonado had six catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

The second half was all Seahawks, as Stack seemed more comfortable throwing the football and driving the Seahawks down the field, leading to a one-yard touchdown run by Ryan Janes early in the third quarter. The Seahawks had an explosive fourth quarter outscoring the Profs 21-7.

The Seahawks took over possession after a Rowan turnover and downs. Stack connected with his favorite target in the second half Hayden Hulme on a fade route for a score cutting the Profs' lead to 17-14. On the pursuing kickoff, Rowan wide receiver Terry Carlstrom made a costly fumble that gave the Seahawks the ball back on the Profs' 25-yard line.

Stack threw another fade in the red zone to Hulmes, who almost caught it, but defensive back Miles Cook committed a pass interference penalty that gave the Seahawks the ball on the four-yard line with a fresh set of downs. Another costly penalty led to a one-yard touchdown score that gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game.

In the fourth quarter, it was fourth-and-10 with only four minutes remaining in the game. Husni chucked it up to Maldonado once again and the receiver made a huge grab in the end zone that gave the Profs back the lead.

Stack and the Seahawks' rushing game drove down the field, resulting in the Seahawks having a fourth and goal opportunity. The Seahawks decided to go for the win by kicking a chip shot field goal. From the Profs seven-yard line, the Seahawks go for the win when Stack throws to Holmes down the middle of the end zone, but it fell incomplete. The Profs' defense caused another costly penalty as they were flagged for roughing the passer to give Salve Regina a fresh set of downs. On the next play from the 3-yard line, Stack ran the ball in for a score with 21 seconds left to give the Seahawks a win.

Penalties were costly for this game as the Profs lost their home opener in a very exciting football game. The Seahawks pulled off the crazy comeback to beat the Profs once again as the Profs now move into the thick of their conference schedule in the next few games and look to bounce back from this tough loss.

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