SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 19 Salisbury University football team earned a 36-14 New Jersey Atheltic Conference victory on Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium, topping Kean University.
The Sea Gulls (6-1, 5-1 NJAC) had another dominant rushing performance, going for 457 yards on 55 rushing plays. It marks the fifth time this season that Salisbury has gone for more than 400 rushing yards in a game, and the 8.3 yards per carry is a season best for the Sea Gulls. Senior Connor Canonico and junior Ryan Kolb led the attack, each going for over 129 yards and a touchdown.
Not to be outdone, the Salisbury defense held Kean (3-4, 2-4 NJAC) to just 275 yards of total offense, with senior Dominic Fabrizio leading the effort with eight tackles.
For the first time this season, the Sea Gulls did not receive the game's opening kickoff, with the Cougars winning the toss and electing to receive, but that didn't mean Salisbury wouldn't have possession early. The defense forced a quick three-and-out on Kean's opening drive, and the Sea Gulls marched down the field.
Salisbury went 59 yards on the first six plays, all on the ground, recording three first downs along the way, before going to the air for the first time. Senior quarterback Ryan Jones faked a handoff, and lofted a pass down the right side and into the end zone, which junior Josh McClain ran under for the easy score and the 7-0 lead.
The Cougars drove into the red zone on the next possession, but Harold Kwigova's sack on fourth down ended the threat. The Cougars managed only six first-half first downs against the Salisbury defense, going just 1-for-7 on third down.
In the second half, Salisbury pushed the lead to 23-0 on a 2-yard scoring run from Kolb, who finished with a game-high 184 yards on the ground, before Kean got on the board.
It took a 73-yard drive for the Cougars to find the end zone for the first time, but Kean failed on its two-point conversion try. The Sea Gulls answered back, working their way down the field over just nine plays to cover 70 yards, ending with Canonico's touchdown plunge from 2 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Brandon Lewis scored his third touchdown of the year, running in from 15 yards to cap the Sea Gull scoring in the fourth quarter.
The win keeps Salisbury at the top of the NJAC standings, now in a three-way tie with Frostburg State University and Wesley College, Salisbury's final two opponents of the 2016 season.
Prior to facing the Wolverines in the home finale on November 5, and traveling to Frostburg St. on November 12, the Sea Gulls head south to Newport News, Virginia to battle Christopher Newport University next Saturday, October 29. The contest will begin at 4 p.m.