Football Downs Rowan, 14-7; Sets Up Championship Showdown with Kean

Glassboro, NJ (11/7/09) - Wide receiver A.J. Letizia (sr., Dumont, NJ / Dumont) recorded 105 yards receiving and one touchdown on four catches to lead Montclair State University to a 14-7 victory over Rowan University in a New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game on Saturday.

The Red Hawks improve to 8-1 overall and 8-0 in the conference.  Montclair State faces Kean University on Saturday, November 14 for the NJAC title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.  The Profs have a 6-3 record with a 5-3 NJAC mark.

Montclair State quarterback Tom Fischer (so. Livington, NJ/Livingston) completed 15 of 25 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown.  Wideout Byron Lewin (so. Carteret, NJ/Carteret) made four receptions for 42 yards.  Running back Jeff Bliss (sr. New Milford, NJ/New Milford) ran for 36 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries.

Linebacker Brian Tweer (sr. Butler, NJ/Butler) compiled 10 tackles, three tackles for a loss (-17 yards), one sack (-12 yards), one interception and one fumble recovery.  Defensive end Chris Merkle (sr. Nutley, NJ/Nutley) made nine tackles, while defensive back Ed Kirschenbaum (jr. Lake Como, NJ/Manasquan) had eight stops and one fumble recovery.  Cornerback Gary Knoeppel (jr. West Long Branch, NJ/Shore Reg.) contributed with six tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.

For Rowan, quarterback Frank Wilczynski (sr. Pine Hill, NJ/Overbrook) threw for 235 yards and one touchdown with 19 completions in 39 attempts.  Superback Ryan Leafey (sr. Westville, NJ/Deptford) rushed for 72 yards on 16 carries.  Wide receiver Vinnie Graff (sr. Fair Lawn, NJ/Fair Lawn) had four catches for 72 yards.  Wideout James Kinloch (fr. Westampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley Reg.) hauled in three balls for 80 yards and one touchdown.  Wide receiver Anthony Barone (so. Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) added five grabs for 43 yards.

Linebackers Jerome Gordon (jr. Browns Mills, NJ/Pemberton Twp.) and Andrew Yezzi (sr. Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Reg.) each registered 13 tackles.  Gordon forced three fumbles and Yezzi had one interception.  Defensive end Matt Hoffman (jr. Burlington, NJ/Burlington Twp.) followed with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss (-14 yards) and one sack (-9 yards).  Linebacker Moe Ghotok (so. Hawthorne, NJ/Northern Valley Old Tappan) forced a fumble and safety Eric Sharkey (so. Manahawkin, NJ/Southern Reg.) and defensive end Frank Olexson (so. Monroe Twp., NJ/Monroe Twp.) both had a fumble recovery.

Montclair State went ahead 7-0 at 4:06 in the first quarter.  Bliss carried the ball into the end zone from two yards out.  Fischer completed three of four pass attempts for 52 yards in the 11 play, 84 yard drive.  At 6:46 in the second period, Fischer threw a 65 yard touchdown pass to Letizia to put the Red Hawks up 14-0 at the half.  Montclair State took over on downs at its own 35 yard line.  Fischer hooked up with Letizia on the first play from scrimmage.

Rowan got on the scoreboard at 12:02 in the third quarter.  Wilczynski connected with Kinloch on a 57 yard touchdown pass.  With 1:17 remaining in the game, Rowan started on its own 20 yard line.  The Profs drove down the field to the Montclair State 32 yard line, but the Red Hawks held their ground for the win.