SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 21, 2013

Endicott battles Rowan in opener

The Endicott College football team will make its second NCAA Division 3 playoff appearance in four years Saturday when it travels to Glassboro, N.J. to face Rowan University at noon.

The initial inclination for Gulls fans is to find out everything there is to know about the Profs of Rowan University (8-2). The Endicott players, however, are sticking with what’s worked for them this season — staying focused on their own team.

“I think the reason we are where we’re at is we’ve been doing a good job of focusing on ourselves,” said Endicott (8-2) head coach J.B. Wells. “Our success has come from our guys focusing on Endicott. When you ask our guys who their biggest opponent is, they always say themselves.”

The Gulls have two big advantages heading into Saturday’s kickoff. First and foremost, the team has been there before; the Gulls lost in the first round of the NCAAs to Cortland in 2010, so they knows the postseason atmosphere as well as how to handle the week of preparation leading up to the actual contest.

Second, Endicott just played a championship game this past week when it defeated Salve Regina in a showdown where the winner took home the New England Football Conference Division 3 Championship and was ensured a spot in the NCAAs.

“(The 2010 experience) already paid dividends in knowing what to expect this week. We’re not babes in the woods anymore; we should be much better prepared to get on the bus and go down to play this game,” said Wells. “We played a championship level game with championship level excitement and anticipation last week, so it feels like they know how to handle this. We’re going to go down and hopefully play our best game of the year.”

Rowan is a tough, physical football team that actually defeated the two teams Endicott lost to this season in Framingham State and Kean.

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