OCEAN CITY - Rowan University football defensive coordinator Pat Lancetta liked what he saw Saturday as his players chased down the offense.
The Profs applied somewhat softer hits.
The real games are still two weeks away.
Rowan broke up the monotony of preseason practices with its second annual Brown & Gold intra
squad scrimmage at Carey Stadium. Some interested football fans and Rowan boosters showed up to watch the untimed event, which had coaches on the field talking to the Profs' defense in white and to the offense in gold.
Head coach Jay Accorsi and Lancetta called the scrimmage a success since there were no injuries and the team showed progress in its first day of live hitting. It was the seventh day of practice overall for the Profs, who begin their season Sept. 7 at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pa.
"This was a great getaway, and we got some great work in," Accorsi said. "Our main key players got a little bit of work, and it gave us a chance to look at our new players."
Lancetta is in his sixth season as Rowan's coordinator. Expectations are high since the Profs were 7-3 last fall and are ranked No. 1 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference's preseason coaches poll.
"I like being in that (top-rated) situation," said Lancetta, 48, a St. Joseph High School graduate and former Hammonton High School assistant. "We want to be consistently one of the top teams. One thing about Rowan: We always get the best from every team we play.
"Last year was last year. The rankings don't mean anything. Our conference games are brutal, and our out-of-conference games are brutal. You still have to go out and play the game."
Lancetta also is Rowan's safeties coach, and two of his players at that position are Kurt Kingett, out of St. Augustine Prep, and Bobby Barbieri, from Hammonton.
"We have some real good athletes at safety," Lancetta said. "Kurt is our leader, and Barbieri is one of the top three. He played a lot last year as a true freshman.
"NCAA football has tons of teams that throw the ball a lot. Three of the 10 teams from last year (that Rowan played) threw the ball 50 times."
Kingett, a graduate student who is in his junior athletic year, started all 10 games last season. He finished tied for third on the team with 39 tackles, including 24 solos.
On Saturday, Kingett defended against Ed Eisenhart and Warren Oliver, the Profs' two top wide receivers last year.
"Our offense was going at full steam, and if you're going against Warren and Eddie you have to go hard against them," Kingett, 22, said. "But it's tough coming up on passes because you don't want to hurt your teammates. It's really good to get the work."
Rowan made the NCAA Division III playoffs last year but lost to Salisbury (Md.) University 17-9 in the first round.
"Last year it was nice to make the playoffs, but it was just a taste, and this year we want more than one-and-done," Kingett said.
The Profs feature 14 former Cape-Atlantic League players on this year's roster.
Defensive players from the CAL: senior middle linebacker Bobby Reilly (Absegami), senior defensive lineman Darryl Pratt (Egg Harbor Township), junior defensive linemen Josh Popper (Holy Spirit) and Jake Hosko (Hammonton), sophomore defensive lineman Sebastian Ljoka (Holy Spirit), and freshman defensive backs Jared Sanchez (Hammonton) and Zack Storr (Mainland Regional).
"I think it went well today," Reilly, 22, said. "We're all working hard and having a good time. There's some trash talking between the offense and defense, but we're all going for the same goal."
Former CAL players on offense for the Profs: senior tight end Joe Marchiani (Holy Spirit), junior lineman Joe Borden (EHT), sophomore lineman Steven Schwartz (Absegami), freshman lineman Jeremy Hudson (EHT) and freshman wide receiver Bill Wilcox (Mainland).
Two of the fans who showed up at Carey Stadium were Bill Kushner, 80, and Harry Beaudet, 83. They were teammates on the Profs team of 1950, when the school was known as Glassboro State Teachers College. Kushner and Beaudet wore shirts that said "Rowan Gridiron Club."
"The team was quite good last year, and we're optimistic about this year," Kushner, a Cherry Hill resident, said. "They look pretty disciplined, and that's the important thing."
Beaudet, of Washington Township, added, "I've followed the team ever since I played. I think they'll have a good year this year. They have good depth and some good young players. The schedule may be tougher."
Even the Profs mascot, an owl dressed in yellow, was there. He's otherwise known as Shane Karolyi, a Rowan sophomore and Mullica Hill resident.
"They look really good and I'm excited about the season," Karolyi, 19, said. "I'll be on the sidelines every game."
After the scrimmage, the Profs and the coaches got to spend three hours on the Boardwalk until the 6:45 p.m. roll call on the bus back to Glassboro. Lancetta said that he, wife Jeanine and daughters Emily, 11, and twins Brooke and Abbie, 9, were going to enjoy the rides on the Boardwalk.
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