Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kerschner Records 18 Tackles in Defensive Battle at Rowan

Photo Courtesy of Widener Athletics
GLASSBORO, N.J. – Casey Kerschner had a career-high 18 tackles to go along with two sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss, but the Widener football team fell to the Rowan Profs 6-0 in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night.

The defense starred for Widener in the opening half as Kerschner led the way with 11 tackles and a sack in the opening 30 minutes. The Profs scored the only points of the half after converting a pair of third downs late in the first quarter en route to a 21-yard field goal. Topping the offense for the Pride was Sean McGaughey who went 5-for-9 for 55 yards and James Gillespie who made two catches for 25 yards.

In the second half, the two teams continued the defensive battle as neither team mustered triple figures in yards for the first 25 minutes of the second stanza. Capitalizing on a turnover, Rowan connected on another field goal late in the third.

With time waning in the fourth, the Pride offense came up with a huge play as McGaughey delivered a 45-yard strike to Montrell Hicks-Taylor, getting the ball down to the Rowan 23. A couple more passes brought the ball down to the nine, but a sack and an interception dashed the hopes.

Kerschner had the most tackles for a Widener player since James Woodley notched 19 against Lebanon Valley on Oct. 31, 2009.
Brian Armstrong also recorded a career-high with 12 tackles in the contest.
The Pride allowed Rowan just 15 yards passing, the lowest total for an opponent in two years.

The Widener defense came up early as on 4th and 1, on Pride 40, Casey Kerschner came up with a tackle-for loss to change the possession in Widener's favor. Rowan scored the first points of the game on a 21-yard field goal by Tyler Knighton. The Profs were able to convert a pair of third downs to keep the drive going. Brian Armstrong had seven tackles in the quarter and Kerschner had four tackles and a sack.

James Cranmer came up with back-to-back takedowns on two plays, recording his first career sack and a third down stop to force a punt on Rowan's first offensive possession. The stops began a big quarter for the D as the Pride forced a three-and-out on all five Profs' possessions. After Rowan recovered a fumble on a punt return to set the Profs up with good field position, the sterling defensive quarter concluded as the Blue and Gold was able to force one last empty series for the half, maintaining just a three point deficit heading into intermission. Sean McGaughey started to find his rhythm, going 3-for-5 in the quarter for 35 yards.

After forcing another defensive stop, Widener endured a tough break as a deflected pass led to a Rowan interception. The Profs took advantage, delivering their second field goal of the game to take a 6-0 lead. Once again Kerschner led the way for the defense with four tackles in the quarter including a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Widener continued to play good defense holding the Profs off the scoreboard in the quarter.
In their final possession, the Pride marched down the field, thanks to a 45-yard strike from McGaughey to Hicks-Taylor. After a run by Donnell Shuler, McGaughey and Hicks-Taylor connected again to take the ball down to the nine before the drive stalled and Rowan ran out the clock.TWEETABLES (140 characters or less) Kerschner led @Widener_FB with a career-high 18 tackles. He also had two sacks and three TFL. RollPride GoWidener
Casey Kerschner had the most tackles for a @Widener_FB player since James Woodley had 19 against LVC in 2009. RollPride GoWidener

The Pride returns to Chester for the home opener at Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 9 when they host the FDU-Florham Devils in a Middle Atlantic Conference contest. Kickoff is slated for 1:07 p.m.