Football was defeated by the Princeton Tigers, 51-9, in the inaugural matchup between the two teams on Powers Field at Princeton Stadium on Saturday night, dropping their record to 2-2 on the season.
“There obviously weren’t a lot of positives out there tonight for us,” Head Coach Kevin Callahan said. “When you play a good football team you need to do things right. We have a long way to go, we have a lot to work on.”
On the first play from scrimmage, sophomore running back Pete Guerriero took off for a 71-yard rush before being tackled inside the Tigers’ red zone. Princeton’s defense forced Monmouth to kick a 27-yard field goal by junior kicker Matt Mosquera to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead.
Princeton answered with back-to-back touchdown drives and the Tigers took a 14-3 lead late in the first quarter.
In the final drive of the first quarter, Monmouth went down the field and scored six after a junior quarterback Kenji Bahar to senior wide receiver Vinny Grasso 37-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion after was incomplete, leaving the score at 14-9 in favor of the hosts.
Princeton shutout the Hawks for the rest of the game.
After two punts a piece for Monmouth and Princeton, a botched snap for the Hawks that landed in the end zone was kicked out of play by Bahar, giving Princeton the two point safety. After the Monmouth kick to Princeton, the Tigers went 60 yards in four plays that ended with a 29-yard passing touchdown, giving them the halftime score of 30-9.
The Tigers continued to attack in the second half, scoring on three of their four total drives, the fourth being the final drive of the game. The first touchdown was scored in the opening second half drive which ended with a seven-yard quarterback run to extend Princeton’s lead to 37-9. Midway through the second, the hosts scored on an 81-yard passing touchdown. The last scoring play was another passing touchdown, this time for 13 yards to give the Tigers the final score of 51-9.
Monmouth saw two drives end in the Princeton red zone, both resulting in a turnover on downs after the Tigers defense tightened up.
Senior wide receiver Reggie White Jr. ended the game with 98 yards on eight receptions, achieving the milestone of 200 career catches in the process. White Jr. now sits on 208 total receptions, just four short of all-time leader Neal Sterling’s 212 Monmouth receptions. The wide receiver is also now second in total receiving yards, passing Sterling with 2,646 yards.
Bahar passed for 232 yards on Saturday, going 23-35 with a touchdown pass. Guerriero finished with 110 rushing yards. On the defensive side, sophomore linebacker Da’Quan Grimes racked up a career-high 13 total tackles against Princeton.
Next up, the Hawks (2-2, 0-0 Big South) will return home as they face the Wagner Seahawks at Kessler Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN+.
PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell