Football defeated the Campbell Fighting Camels 38-21 behind freshman running back Juwon Farri’s 239 rushing yards and two touchdowns to begin Big South conference play 1-0 on Homecoming Saturday afternoon.
“We are certainly happy with the win. When you get into conference play in the Big South there is not a lot of margin of error when there are only five conference games,” said Head Coach Kevin Callahan. “The goal is to be 1-0 each week. You can never look down the road because every team is tough, and we are just happy to come off the field with the victory and be 1-0 in conference and we will get ready for the next week.”
On the opening drive, Monmouth marched down the field but the possession stalled at Campbell’s 30 yard line. Junior kicker Matt Mosquera kicked a 47-yard field goal to give the Hawks the early 3-0 lead.
After a Campbell three and out, Monmouth went 70 yards in only three plays thanks to a 60-yard rush by Farri. A junior quarterback Kenji Bahar to senior wide receiver Reggie White Jr. touchdown from six yards out gave Monmouth the 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
On the next drive, Campbell answered with a 58-yard touchdown pass to get on the board. After two punts a piece by Monmouth and Campbell, the Fighting Camel’s looked to tie it on a field goal try but the attempt missed wide right.
Monmouth ran down the field on the following possession and Farri finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give the Hawks the 17-7 lead.
On the last drive for Campbell in the half, the Fighting Camels were stopped at their own 34 on fourth down, but an unsportsmanlike penalty by Monmouth gave them the automatic first down. They ended up scoring on a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it the halftime score of 17-14 Hawks.
In the second half, the first drive for the Hawks ended with another 24-yard rushing touchdown by Farri to give the Hawks the 24-14 lead.
Farri was named STATS FCS National Freshman Player of the Week for his efforts in Saturday’s win.
“Juwon [Farri] had an exceptional game and seems to get better each week out there and I am extremely happy with what he is doing and the production we are getting out of him,” said Callahan.
Campbell’s ensuing drive ended with a field goal attempt that was blocked by senior defensive lineman Ryan Schoer.
“I ran through the tackle and dove for it and I was lucky enough to have a hand on it,” Shoer said.
“That was a key play for us at the time,” Callahan added to Shoer’s comment. “It came off a turnover where Campbell took over down inside the 20-yard line and to come off the field without yielding any points I thought was huge for the defense and huge for the way the game played out and it gave the defense a lot of confidence.”
After a Monmouth three and out which resulted in a punt, Campbell was also forced to a three and out.
On the punt, senior wide receiver Vinny Grasso’s 62-yard return landed the Hawks at the Camels’ one yard line. Grasso ended up grabbing the Big South Special Teams Player of the Week award on Monday.
One play later, junior running back Devell Jones scored to make it 31-14 Hawks.
After Campbell scored on a 21-yard touchdown pass, Monmouth answered with a scoring drive of their own. Bahar first went 58 yards himself to the Campbell 14. Farri would run 12 yards on the next play to the Campbell goal line.
Jones finished with his second rushing touchdown of the game to make it the eventual final score of 38-21. Jones now ranks seventh all-time in program history in rushing touchdowns with 19.
“We knew how much it meant. We knew how good this quarterback and this offense was and we knew the numbers they put up prior to our game,” Berry said. “We just wanted to come out and be physical and be dialed in and Justin [Terry] did a great job of that today. He had a great game, he had some big pass break ups on some big plays and I am just proud of our defense and especially the back end.”
Terry’s performance earned him his first ever Big South Defensive Player of the Week award.
For the game, Farri and Jones added two scores a piece. Farri’s 239 rushing yards came on only 22 carries, averaging 10.9 yards per carry. The running back was also named Big South Offensive Player of the Week.
White Jr. had five receptions on 45 yards. In the game, White Jr. broke another record, this time being the Big South record for career receptions with 225.
On defense, Berry had 12 total tackles and two pass breakups. Terry had four tackles with seven break ups.
Monmouth (5-2, 1-0 Big South) will next travel to Presbyterian on Saturday, Oct. 27th. Kickoff will be at 2:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.
PHOTO TAKEN by Ali Nugent