SU solid against Kean; New Jersey here Saturday

Michael Fowler runs toward space created by a block from Jacob Phillip in the Sea Gull’s big win over Kean University.

The Salisbury University football team opened New Jersey Athletic Conference play on Saturday afternoon with a 28-0 victory over visiting Kean University. A 21-point second half and solid defense throughout the contest aided the Sea Gulls, who shutout the Cougars for the first time since 2004.

Sophomore Jack Navitsky contributed to the Salisbury (2-0, 1-0 NJAC) victory by tossing his first collegiate touchdown pass while rushing for 55 yards. Kadarrius Campbell racked up two rushing touchdowns of his own, both coming from within the five yard line.

After a scoreless opening quarter that saw five total possessions totaling three punts, a missed field goal, and a turnover on downs, the Salisbury offense found its rhythm. After the defense forced a Kean (0-2, 0-1 NJAC) punt, sophomore quarterback Jack Lanham engineered a nine play, 84-yard drive that was capped off by a Campbell two-yard touchdown run.

The big play on the drive came on one of Lanham’s three completions of the afternoon on a third-and-seven. Lanham threw a beautiful ball down the near sideline, hitting wide receiver Cameron Carlyle for the first down at the Cougars 27 yard line.

However, that was all the scoring the opening half would produce as the teams headed to the locker room with the Gulls holding the slim 7-0 lead.

Coming out of the break, Navitsky managed to engineer a scoring drive to help build the maroon and gold advantage. Navitsky and the offense put together another long, methodical nine play, 81-yard drive capped off by Navitsky finding Carlyle in the near corner of the end zone for the 14-0 lead.

The score remained a two-touchdown advantage until the defense helped put the game out of reach late in the third quarter. With 3:35 left to play in the third Kean quarterback, Rylan Pangborn, rolled to his right looking to get the ball down field but was hit from behind by Matthew McFarland fumbling the football. McFarland scooped up the loose ball and returned it 35 yards for the touchdown and 21-point advantage.

Campbell would slam the door shut in the fourth, punching in his second touchdown of the afternoon and finishing off a seven play, 64-yard drive by the maroon and gold offense.

The defense was exceptional throughout the day, holding the Cougars to just six rushing yards on 24 attempts while limiting the passing attack to just 135 yards. Sophomore safety Sean Carroll led the team with five and a half tackles, five solo. McFarland totaled four of his own while adding a forced fumble and fumble recovery to his stat line. Devinne Greene and Tommy Meyer combined for four tackles and two sacks while adding in two tackles for a loss each.

It is the Sea Gulls first home shutout of an NJAC opponent since back-to-back shutouts last season when they defeated Southern Virginia and Rowan 42-0 and 33-0 respectively in back-to-back weeks.

Salisbury returns to action on Saturday, September 22 when its hosts The College of New Jersey at 6 p.m. under the lights at Sea Gull Stadium.

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