Football 11.15.17

Football Wins, Finishing Perfect Season at Home

Football defeated Gardner-Webb 41-14 to finish the season with a perfect 5-0 record at the brand new Kessler Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Monmouth will now play Kennesaw State for the Big South conference championship next Saturday.

“I know our players are very proud to play in this new facility,” Head Coach Kevin Callahan said. “The guys are excited to play here and I think that shows. Our performances at home have been really outstanding this year.”

Running backs Pete Guerriero (sophomore), Devell Jones (junior), and Michael Jolly (senior) ran for a combined 277 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the game. Guerriero lead the team with 108 rushing yards, Jolly and Jones were behind them with 85 and 84 rushing yards, respectively.

 The Hawks defense would hold Gardner-Webb to 223 total yards, including forcing Gardner-Webb to only five total yards in the first quarter.

On the opening drive, MU started the game off with a Jones one-yard rushing touchdown to make it 7-0 early. The touchdown was his 11th on the season.

The Hawks would score again, this time on a sophomore quarterback Kenji Bahar to freshman wide receiver Joey Aldarelli touchdown pass.

The touchdown was Aldarelli’s first career touchdown on his only second-career reception. After a missed point after, the score was 13-0 Hawks.

Bahar would then find junior tight end Jake Powell for a six-yard touchdown pass. Then on the next drive, Bahar would find junior wide receiver Reggie White Jr., this one from 14 yards out to make the score 27-0 MU. For the first half, Bahar finished with 147 yards and three touchdown passes to lead the Hawks to a convincing halftime lead.

Gardner-Webb would score with 38 seconds left in the first half on a 24-yard passing touchdown to make the halftime score of 27-7.

In the second half, the blue and white would score twice, first on a second Bahar to White, Jr. passing touchdown and a Jolly six yard rushing down to make it 41-7. Gardner-Webb would add a late touchdown to end the game at 41-14 Hawks.

“It has been great to see how much this program has improved from my freshman year until now,” senior safety Mike Basile said.

“It was a lot of hard work from the older guys to the younger members of the team. We just wanted to get the win today,” Basile added.

For the game, Bahar finished with 175 yards on 15 completions and four touchdowns. White, Jr. had 46 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions. Basile ended with nine tackles and also earned a sack.

With the win, Monmouth (9-1, 4-0 Big South) will look to for their first-ever Big South Conference championship when they play Kennesaw State on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 2:00 p.m. The winner will advance into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs.

“I’m very excited for this team to be in this position,” Callahan said. “The message that we talk about as a team, as a program is win each day, and if you do that, when you get to the end of a season you’ll be where you want to be. It’s a credit to these guys. They bring a lot of energy. I’m just very happy for their success.”

The Hawks will be looking for their first-ever win against Kennesaw State. They lost to the Owls 49-17 last season.

PHOTO COURTESY of B51/Mark Brown