Reggie White

Football Falls to No. 11 Charleston Southern in Home Opener

In the 24th and final home opener at Kessler Field for the Monmouth football program, the Hawks saw firsthand the gap that stands between them and the defending Big South champions.

MU held Charleston Southern to just seven first half points, but the No. 11 team in the country showed why they are one of the top teams in the nation as the Buccaneers topped the Hawks 35-7 on Saturday afternoon.

“We had opportunities early in the game, but we hurt ourselves with some penalties. Against a team like that, you’re only going to get so many opportunities so you have to make sure you maximize them and make the most of them,” Head Coach Kevin Callahan said.

The blue and white held the Bucs offense to just seven first half points, a 20-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Robert Mitchell to redshirt freshman wide receiver Kameron Brown with 7:40 in the second quarter.

But on the first play from scrimmage out of the locker room, senior running back Mike Holloway sprinted down the far sideline for a 75-yard touchdown run, putting Monmouth in a hole they would be unable to climb out of.

“In the second half, we came out and gave up a long score on the first play. It put us in a situation where we had to play from behind at that point,” Callahan said. “One of the things we said going in is we didn’t want to give up big plays to them, and we gave up too many big plays today.”

The Hawks answered that score with one of their own. Sophomore quarterback Cody Williams scrambled on fourth-and-14 and heaved the ball in the end zone, where he was able to connect with sophomore wide receiver Reggie White Jr. for a 31-yard touchdown.

“Cody did a great job of extending the play and I was just trying to get in his vision. He threw a great ball in the corner of the end zone and I caught it for a touchdown,” White said.

“I had some pressure so I just stepped up to the left and Reg just kept running his route across the field,” Williams said. “I saw his hand in the air and I gave him a shot. He made a great play.”

But CSU scored 21 unanswered points from there as running backs Darius Hammond, Ben Robinson and Holloway each found the end zone to extend the Buccaneers’ lead to 35-7.

Williams finished 15-31 for 172 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Lavon Chaney ran for 38 yards on 14 carries after missing the previous game with a shoulder injury.  White hauled in four passes for 72 yards and a touchdown, while junior safety Mike Basile recorded 10 tackles.

Monmouth (2-2, 0-1) is home again on Saturday, Oct. 1 as the Fordham Rams (2-1, 0-0) of the Patriot League visit West Long Branch. The Hawks lost at Fordham last season, 54-31.

“They’re a very explosive offense team and they strike quick. Fordham has the ability to put up a lot of points as we saw last year. Every team on our schedule is going to have the ability to score points and most of them are very good defensive teams,” Callahan said.

Kickoff from Kessler Field will be at 1 p.m. and will air on ESPN3.

PHOTO COURTESY of Mark Brown/B51 Photography