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Rowan Football Falls at Christopher Newport, 20-14; Fourth-Quarter Rally Foiled

NEWPORT NEWS, VA -- Rowan had a fourth-quarter comeback fall just short as the Profs fell 20-14 at Christopher Newport on Saturday in a New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup.

The Profs, who trailed 20-0 after the third, got an early touchdown in the fourth from James Fara and later a big blocked punt helped set up a second score from Fara to put Rowan back in the contest. However the Captains were able to control the ball over the final five minutes to hold on for the outcome.

Fara ran for 99 yards on 22 carries and added three catches for 19 yards in the contest. Quarterback Mike Husni was 13-of-24 for 120 yards and was intercepted once. Six of those completions went to John Maldonado who ended with 73 receiving yards.

Defensively, Ahmad Gantt was trouble for the CNU offense, as the defensive end totaled seven tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. Jason Blanks and Josh Ortiz each collected six stops. Ortiz also registered a sack.

The Captain's Matt Dzierski totaled three touchdowns, as the quarterback totaled 184 yards in the air and 132 yards on the ground.

The Rowan offense was limited to 159 yards through three quarters but found a way in the fourth to stay within reach.

Dzierski connected with Colin Hart on a 34-yard TD pass on the game's opening drive. The extra point was no good for a 6-0 CNU lead. Early in the second, the two connected on 65-yard pass play down to the Rowan two-yard line. Dzierski ran it in on a fourth and goal from the one to make it a 13-0 score. Husni later took the offense down to the Captain 39, but his pass on a third and 7 was intercepted. The Prof defense held on the next series to keep the score the same at the half.

In the third, Dzierski rumbled off a 61-yard TB run to up the CNU lead to 20-0 but the defense looked to give the offense a big spark later in the stanza. Gantt's QB sack of Dzierski at the Christopher Newport 26 led to a fumble where Eric Hill came out with the ball on the 20. Six plays later, Rowan faced a fourth and goal from the 5, but Husni's pass to Maldonado was incomplete.

Fara's first TD plunge came early in the fourth, on a two-yard run. Rowan got great field position to start the drive as a 21-yard punt from the Captain Offense put the ball on its own 31. After a three and out by the defense, the Profs again drove deep into CNU territory, getting to the eight yard-line but were stopped on a fourth down run play.

Rowan's special teams came through after a stop on defense. Zachary Morrison got his hands on a punt, giving the ball back to the offense at the CNU 9. Fara pinballed his way in for his second score with 5:52 left in the game.

Dzierski was able to convert on a fourth and 2 with 2:30 remaining from the Rowan 43 with the Profs out of timeouts, helping the Captains hold on to the ball.

The Profs continue NJAC play as the team hosts The College of New Jersey this Friday night at 6 p.m. here at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium as part of "Friday Night Lights" that will feature a post-game fireworks display.