Football Downs Colonials for Third Consecutive Win

The Monmouth Hawks’ football team (3-3) defeated the Robert Morris University Colonials (2-3) by a score of 35-9 at Kessler Field on Friday, Oct 4. With the victory, MU continues their three game winning streak and improves their record to 3-3.

“I thought in the first half, we left some opportunities out there on the field and didn’t always take advantage of some excellent field position,” said head coach Kevin Callahan. “In the second half, we came out and I think we continued to play very solid defense. We were able to get the ball back to our offense with good field position and capitalize on those opportunities with points.”

In the fourth quarter, following a third quarter that took 24 minutes to play, the Hawks put the game away for good by riding the legs of senior running back Kwabena Asante. With 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Asante got into the end zone on a 10-yard run following a turnover on downs for the Colonials’ offense.

“I think we’re building a lot of chemistry. Down the stretch, we wanted to build an identity and become more of a team,” fifth year defense back Clark Coe said. Coe, when asked about the play that led to his interception, said, “The call was to the left and the play went to the right. I just went under it, and sure enough, he threw it my way and I was able to pick it.”

Following the interception by Coe, Asante dashed down the Hawks’ sideline for a 55-yard touchdown run. Junior Julian Hayes, the other half of the running back duo, led the Hawks with 104-yards on the ground on 26-carries while Asante chipped in with 103-yards on 15-carries and two scores. For the fourth consecutive week, the Hawks were able to field two 100-yard rushers in a game.

“Our O-Line does a great job of opening the running lanes for us. They do their job and it just makes things easy,” Asante continued. “We [he and Hayes] like to believe that we run the ball really hard, so we won’t let the first man tackle us. With that, mixed with our O-Line, I feel like it makes us really successful.”

Callahan concurred with Asante as he said, “Any time you can play good defense and run the ball very well, those are two very important ingredients into being successful and I think that’s where I think our identity is beginning to take shape.”

Senior wide receiver Neal Sterling had his first multi-touchdown game of his career with three scores. Also contributing to the passing attack were Eric Sumlin who had three catches for 53-yards, Lamar Davenport with two receptions for 26-yards, and Elijah Phillips made one catch for 11-yards.

“Everything was just falling in place,” Sterling continued. “Coverages were just getting me open and Brandon [Hill] seemed to get me the ball at the right time. With the play-calling and the coverages, it opened things up for me on the outside. Different plays we were doing were getting me open.”

It would appear as if Hill has found his place in the offensive line-up as he threw for 189 yards on 12 completions and accounted for three touchdowns.

When asked about his comfort level with the offense and his new teammates, Hill said, “We have all of our base plays in and we add in play weekly, but I feel comfortable back there.” Hill continued by saying, “We had a good run game and I feel like today, me and Neal clicked a little bit.”

On the opposite side of the football, the Hawks’ defense managed to hold the Colonials’ offense to 254-yards, yielding only 71-yards on the ground. Coe and fifth year linebacker Gary Onuekwusi led the way for the Hawks with 6-tackles with junior Nick Carroll and senior Tevrin Brandon contributing with five and four tackles, respectively. Over the last three weeks, the Hawks have managed to hold the opposition to only two third down conversions, giving up the only two to the Colonials. “This team is continuing to make progress every step of the way,” Callahan said. “A season is a process. It’s not about plateaus and peaks and valleys.”

The Hawks will next verse Saint Francis at Loretto, PA on Saturday, Oct 12. Game time is set for noon.

PHOTO COURTESY of Taylor Jackson