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Football Team Blanked by Duquesne in Homecoming Game

The Hawks were shut out on Homecoming Saturday against Duquesne, 160. With this loss, Monmouth really hurt its chance at a Northeast Conference (NEC) title.

The Homecoming football game was a disappointment this year. The fans had to deal with tough conditions, and the team was unable to get anything done on the field.

The weather was wild for this game. When you think of October football, snow and freezing rain doesn’t usually come to mind. Along with 35 mile per hour wind, these were some crazy conditions.

MU fell to 44 on the season, 32 in the NEC. Duquesne is now 72 on the season, 51 in the conference. The Hawks would need some luck to be able to catch DU in the standings.

It’s been a while since the last time Monmouth was shut out in a game. The last time was September 25, 2004 against Stony Brook. The Hawks lost this game 270, and it was their only loss that season.

The home field struggles continue for the Blue and White. They are now 04 at Kessler field. Two of these games were against strong nonconference opponents (Lehigh and Colgate) and two came against conference teams (Robert Morris and Duquesne).

“It was a tough afternoon for us. I think field position and turnovers were two keys in the game. We gave them a couple of short fields, which they capitalized on. We had a short field early, and weren’t really able to get anything out of it,” said Head Coach Kevin Callahan. “I thought they were a little more successful when they tried to throw the ball than we were able to be. Ultimately, that was the difference in the game. They were able to capitalize more so on those situations than we were.”

Monmouth’s best chance at scoring came early in the game. On Duquesne’s first possession, Monmouth’s Ian Simon hit the quarterback and knocked the ball loose. The Hawks recovered and took over in Duquesne’s territory. They were not able to capitalize and score points.

Julian Hayes had a huge workload in this contest. He was given the ball 34 times. He gained 114 yards, but was kept out of the end zone. In the two previous games, Hayes had scored three times in each. Hayes also had one reception for 12 yards. Hayes fumbled the ball twice, losing one of them.

Craig Peterson didn’t have too many opportunities to throw the ball. That’s to be expected when playing in 35 mph winds. He completed just five of 13 passes for 41 yards. He also threw an interception and was sacked three times.

Tight end Tyler George was the leading receiver. He had two catches for 18 yards. He also lost a fumble in this contest.

The defense put forth a solid performance, only allowing 16 points. Simon recorded the team’s only sack. Safety Jose Gumbs led the team in tackling with eight tackles, seven of which were solo.

Duquesne remains second in the NEC. Albany won again, improving to 50 in the conference and stand alone in first place. Bryant and Sacred Heart are tied with Monmouth in third place. Monmouth no longer controls its own destiny to win the conference. They would need to win the rest of their games, and have a lot of help.

As a young team, the Blue and White can’t just roll over now that the season appears lost. This is an opportunity for players to step up and become leaders. A strong finish to the season can create confidence for the team moving forward.

The Hawks look to get back on track next week. They travel to Pennsylvania for an NEC game against Saint Francis.