Rowan shuts down Endicott in 24-0 first-round victory
GLASSBORO, N.J. -- Running Back Withler Marcelin ran the ball 43 times for 223 yards and one touchdown as Rowan defeated Endicott 24-0 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Saturday.
The Profs move on to the second round where they will face Mary Hardin-Baylor on Nov. 30. Mary Hardin-Baylor defeated Redlands 35-7 in the first round.
Rowan is now 9-2 overall, while Endicott finishes its season with an 8-3 record. This is Rowan's first NCAA win since defeating Wilkes 21-14 in the second round in 2006. The shutout was the first in the playoffs for the Profs since a 48-0 victory against Ithaca in the 2001 quarterfinals.
Marcelin's rushing attempts and yards in the game were both career-highs. He also set the Rowan record for rushes in a season (273) and yards gained in a season (1,397). Running back Khalil Pierce had 15 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown. Kicker Dan Dawson kicked a 35-yard field goal and three extra points.
The Rowan defense held Endicott to 113 yards of total offense (30 rushing, 83 passing) and six first downs. Linebacker Tyler Jenkins recorded a team-high seven tackles. Defensive lineman Chris Alvarez recorded six tackles. Linebacker Darren Dungee tallied five tackles and returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown. Defensive lineman Josh Popper and defensive back Jared Sanchez each also had an interception.
"I thought we played well in all three phases of the game," commented Rowan head coach Jay Accorsi after the victory. "The interception return for a touchdown set the tone and the defense was outstanding for the whole game. The way we were able to run the ball in the second half really wore them down. The guys played hard all the way through and I couldn't be more proud of my team."
For Endicott, quarterback Drew Frenette completed 13 passes in 31 attempts for 83 yards. Running back Spencer Walsh (so. Malden, MA/Melrose) carried the ball 16 times for 42 yards. Split end Alex Matys caught four passes for 26 yards. Defensive back Jason Silva made 18 tackles, while linebacker Marjan Solomon recorded 14 tackles.
"I was disappointed in some of the ways that we played especially offensively, but I was really pleased with our defense," said Endicott head coach JB Wells after the game. "I thought the defense did a good job trying to keep things close and trying to keep Rowan in check for as long as they could. It was a defensive day as our offense really wasn't in sync for the whole game."
The defense put Rowan on the scoreboard first as Dungee picked off Frenette and returned the ball 46 yards for a touchdown with 4:25 to play in the first quarter. Marcelin made the score 14-0, carrying the ball into the end zone from 37 yards out at the 2:01 mark of the second. The scoring drive was 10 plays and 84 yards. Marcelin carried the ball seven times for 82 yards on the drive.
In the third, Dawson pushed the Prof lead to 17-0 with 1:53 on the clock, converting a 35-yard field goal. Rowan drove the ball 36 yards in nine plays. Pierce ran the ball four times for 21 yards during the drive. Pierce capped off the scoring with a 63-yard touchdown run on the Profs' final drive of the third quarter.