By Maximillian C. Burgos | Contributing Writer
The College of New Jersey opened its season at home against Farleigh Dickson University- Florham Campus on Friday, Sept. 1st. The game was hotly contested and for a while was a blow for blow contest. After a key injury to senior quarterback Trevor Osler, freshman quarterback Andrew Donoghue from Ocean City, New Jersey took over the reins and showed some true promise.
In the third quarter, after escaping some pressure and stepping up into the pocket, Osler took a nasty shot in the middle of the field causing him to throw an interception, ending his night early due to injury. His exact injury has not been disclosed yet, but he was seen on crutches at the game and a wrap on his ankle. Donoghue was promptly rushed into the game and the debut jitters were very evident.
On one of his first plays, FDU covered a screen well and Donoghue tried to make some magic happen with his legs, but there was nothing for him to do. His scrambling led to a fumble but senior offensive lineman Jake Cowperthwait picked up the ball and recovered some of the loss of yards.
In his second drive as the quarterback, Donoghue looked more at home. He showed spurts of true athleticism, while out running pressure on some plays and rushing for short gains when needed. He was a little rough around the edges in some short passes and some longer passes that needed a little bit more touch, but he showed true potential.
He finished the game with 98 passing yards on ten completions and 11 rushing yards. As things stand, Donoghue has a very real chance of starting next week against Frostburg University. Head coach Casey Goff expressed confidence in his freshmen quarterback.
“I thought the youngster did a good job stepping in,” Goff said. “He made some young guy mistakes but his progression has been what we thought it could be. He is a hell of a football player. If he gets out there earlier than we anticipated, then so be it. We don’t plan on skipping a beat.”
Goff is confident about his young quarterback playing in the starting position earlier than he and his coaching staff anticipated. He admitted that it is difficult to lose a senior quarterback and rebound on the season, but he conveyed that Donoghue can step up and make something happen.
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