Football Tramples Columbia for Second Win of Season

The Monmouth University Football team continued their stellar play when they defeated the Columbia University Lions, 37-14, at Wien Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 28. The Hawk’s win improves their record to 2-3 while the loss drops the Lions to 0-2.

“I thought we played very well,” said head coach Kevin Callahan. “It was as close to a complete game as we have played yet this season.”

The Hawks dominated almost every aspect of the game as they collected 461 total yards to the Lions 226 yards. “Offensively and defensively, we complimented ourselves very well,” Callahan said. The Hawks more than doubled the Lion’s time of possession.

MU defense was stifling as they held Columbia to only 108 passing yards while also creating three turnovers, two fumbles, an interception, and giving the offense an advantage in field position.

The defense was driven by their defensive ends. Junior Pat O’Hara had five tackles accompanied by two sacks, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery while redshirt freshman, Darnell Leslie, had four tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception.

Callahan commended his defense’s play, “Defensively when you’re able to get some turnovers you provide the offense with good field position. Although it took us a little while to get going on offense, I think once we did, we were able to turn those opportunities into points.”

Once again the dynamic running back tandem of junior Julian Hayes and senior Kwabena Asante led the Hawk’s offense. Hayes finished with 34 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. Asante added a career-high 132 yards, on 15 carries, and a touchdown. For the third consecutive week, the potent duo each eclipsed the 100-yard mark.

Callahan realizes the privilege of having two exceptional running backs. ” We have got two very talented backs who are tough physical runners,”Callahan continued. “Being able to alternate them allows us to always keep a fresh player at that position.”

Columbia took an early 7-3 lead when the Lion’s running back, Marcorus Garrett, scored on a 41-yard touchdown run. The Hawks answered in the first quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run from senior wide receiver Thaddeus Richards. Monmouth would not relinquish the lead. Although they only led by 10 points at halftime, the Hawks took complete control of the game outscoring Columbia 24 to 7 during the second half. Hayes opened the scoring in the second half with a 17-yard rushing touchdown early in the third quarter.

Junior quarterback Brandon Hill had one of his superior games of the season completing 17 of 37 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown. Hill threw a 13-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Lamar Davenport early in the fourth quarter, which extended the Hawk’s lead to 30-14.

The Hawks concluded their scoring with a 13-yard rushing touchdown from Asante late in the fourth quarter.

Despite the impressive win on the road, Callahan believes that there is still room for progress. Coach Callahan said, “There were some opportunities that I thought we left out there on the field. We need to improve a little bit so that we can capitalize on them.”

Callahan hopes that the success of the last two weeks will propel the team forward. “The success of the last two games is certainly something that we can build on,” stated Callahan.

Hayes echoed the sentiment of his head coach. “We continue to see progress each week. It helps the offense’s confidence so much when the defense can continue to make stops. I think we are really going in the right direction right now,” said Hayes

The Hawks will look to continue their winning streak at Kessler Field when they take on former Northeast Conference rival the Robert Morris Colonials on Saturday, Oct. 5. The game’s start time is 1 pm.