Lavon Chaney

Football Falls to Kennesaw State at Homecoming

Three-thousand, eight hundred and sixty-nine fans came out to Kessler Field one last time for Homecoming Day, but the Hawks fell to Kennesaw State 49-17 in the stadium’s final game.

Kennesaw State dominated on the ground to a tune of 482 yards and six touchdowns on 65 carries. Redshirt senior quarterback Trey White gained 12 yards on six carries, but four of those found the end zone while senior running back Chaston Bennett ran for 129 yards and two scored on six carries. Twelve different Owls gained positive yards on the ground.

“We had a lot of difficulty stopping the run and in the instances where we did get them into third down situations, we just weren’t able to get off the field,” Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan said. “A lot of credit goes to Kennesaw. They were very efficient in running their option attack and were able to mix in a grind-it-out mentality with a few explosive plays that got them out of trouble and got big chunks of yardage for them.”

MU got off to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a 38-yard field goal from junior kicker Matt White, but Kennesaw State put together three scoring drives on three of their next four possessions to go up 21-3. The Hawks narrowed the gap in the second quarter thanks to two consecutive scoring drives – a 35-yard touchdown from redshirt freshman quarterback Kenji Bahar to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Reggie White Jr. and then a 24-yard run by senior running back Lavon Chaney, cutting the KSU lead to 21-17. Kennesaw State added a score to take a 28-17 lead into halftime and scored three more touchdowns in the second half while shutting out the Monmouth offense to escape with their sixth victory of the season.

Bahar made his first career start and finished 14-28 for 188 yards and a touchdown.

“Kenji was put in a difficult situation because we were behind so much early on in the game,” Callahan said. “But he showed a great deal of poise out there and he showed that he can move our offense efficiently. It was a tough situation to be in and as we got into the second half, we couldn’t use our normal game plan because there was a little more urgency with what we had to do in terms of throwing on early downs, but I thought he did a good job.”

“Our scout defense gave us a great look based on the defense that they showed us and it showed on the field. I got my good reads and came out pretty well but we just couldn’t come out on top,” Bahar said.

Chaney totaled 68 yards and a touchdown on the ground on 17 carries while White Jr. hauled in three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. Senior linebacker Brendan Wharton (14) and senior safety Teddie Martinez (11) recorded double digit tackles.

The Monmouth defense was able to hold Kennesaw State to just 31 yards passing, but their triple-option offense proved to be too much.

“It’s tough because you’re not going to get what you see in practice because the speed of the game is so much different,” junior safety Mike Basile said. “We’ve been prepping and our scout team offense did a great job this past week and still it’s different out there. It’s hard to prep for a team that runs a triple-option.”

Monmouth dropped to 4-5 (0-4 Big South) on the season and will travel to Conway, SC to take on former Big South Conference rival Coastal Carolina on Nov. 5. Kickoff from Brooks Stadium will be at 2 pm.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics