Football defeated future conference opponent Hampton 56-28 after being down 14-0 in the first quarter.
“It is six straight wins here at Kessler Stadium and it is our first win of 2018 and a lot occurred out there that we can build upon,” Head Coach Kevin Callahan said.
The Hawks started off the game down 14-0 in the first half of the first quarter after Hampton scored on back-to-back opening drives.
MU struck at the end of the quarter from a senior running back Devell Jones three-yard rushing touchdown to make it 14-7.
Junior running back Pete Guerriero scored his first of three rushing touchdowns to tie the game at 14 all.
“We got to keep playing, next play. We have to settle down and do our jobs,” Callahan said to his team after going down 14-0. “Once we got a couple of scores on the board we were able to gain confidence and that confidence on offense transcended to our defense.”
The Blue and White scored two more rushing touchdowns before the end of the half, again by Jones and Guerriero to make it 28-14 at halftime.
“We thought we handled that adversity very well and we came back and scored 42 straight points and we had the game in control,” Callahan said. “Along the way I thought we saw a tremendous explosiveness apart of our offense. With Pete [Guerriero] running the ball and what Kenji [Bahar] was able to do throwing the ball to a number of different receivers, Vinny [Grasso], Reggie White Jr., and Jake Powell among others. I thought it was a very balanced offensive attack.”
Hampton scored for the first time since the first quarter after a 25-yard rushing touchdown made it 42-21. The Hawks answered quickly with Guerriero scoring his third rushing touchdown from one yard out to make it 49-21 at the end of the third.
Guerriero finished the game with 209 rushing yards, making him the first 200-yard rusher for Monmouth football since 2009. Guerriero was later named Big South Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
“My offensive line and tight ends have been doing a wonderful job blocking inside,” Guerriero said. “I can’t thank them enough.”
The Pirates responded with a 28-yard passing touchdown in only 20 seconds. Monmouth scored their final touchdown of the game in the middle of the fourth with a Bahar to Grasso passing touchdown from 25 yards out to make it the eventual final score of 56-28.
“Kenji got me the ball and I was able made a few people miss and then run as fast as you can to the end zone,” Grasso said. “Kenji did a good job getting me the ball and it was a good call by coach.”
For the game, Bahar finished with a career-high 326 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. White Jr. had five receptions for 145 yards.
Monmouth (1-1, 0-0 Big South) will look to build off of their first win of the season as they head to Easton, PA to face the Lafayette Leopards on Sept. 15 at 6:00 p.m.
PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell