On Saturday, Oct. 2, the Monmouth University football team (3-2) faced the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs (2-2) in their Homecoming game, beating them 54-17 at Kessler Stadium.
The game started fast for the Hawks. They forced a 3 and out and got the football. Sophomore quarterback Tony Muskett threw a strike over the middle to fifth year wide receiver Lonnie Moore. Then, on the following play running back Juwon Farri took a carry 35 yards to the house. The Hawks took the early 7-0 lead after the extra point was converted by kicker Nick Null.
That wasn’t all from the Hawks in the first quarter though. Muskett tossed a nice touchdown pass down the sideline to senior wide reciever Joey Aldarelli and the Hawks took a 14-0 lead.
The Hawks defense got on the board on the next drive. Senior defensive end Nick Shoemaker forced a major fumble. Shoemaker ripped the ball away from Runnin’ Bulldogs running back Donald Jones and took it to the house. The Hawks took a 20-0 lead.
The second quarter started and the Hawks defense continued its dominance forcing a few punts from Gardner Webb. The Hawks made sure to capitalize with Lonnie Moore scoring on a 39 yard reverse. The Hawks had a failed attempt at a two-point conversion but increased their lead to 26-0.
The Hawks were not done yet. Junior safety Tyrese Wright made an incredible play for an interception which gave the Hawks the ball back with great field position. This led to another Muskett to Aldarelli touchdown on a fade route to make it a 33-0 lead.
Before the end of the half the Runnin’ Bulldogs finally got on the board. Running Back Dexter Brown rushed for a touchdown to make it 33-7 going into the locker room. Overall, the Hawks had a very dominant first half.
The Hawks picked up right where they left off in the second half. They started with the ball and scored quickly. Muskett and sophomore wide receiver Dymere Miller connected for a deep pass down the sideline. On the following play Muskett threw a strike down the seam to Miller for a Hawks touchdown. Kicker Nick Null made the extra point and the Hawks led 40-7.
Gardner Webb now had possession and this time they answered with a rushing touchdown from Donald Jones to make it 40-14. Although a touchdown was allowed, it was still all Monmouth early on in the third quarter.
The Hawks wanted more and they struck right back. Muskett with another touchdown pass this time to Lonnie Moore who had himself a day. The Runnin’ Bulldogs had no answer for the wide receiver and the Hawks continued their dominant performance with a 47-14 lead in the third.
The 3rd quarter ended with the Hawks still leading comfortably 47-14. A dominant performance so far on both sides of the ball for Monmouth.
The Hawks’ continued their immense success in the fourth quarter. Juwon Farri got into the endzone again with a power run to make the score 54-14, Hawks.
Gardner Webb got some points on the board in the fourth and knocked in a field goal to make the score 54-17 and that was all the scoring in West Long Branch. The game ended with the final score being 54-17 Hawks. This was a much needed bounce back victory on Homecoming day for the Hawks who dominated the Runnin’ Bulldogs Saturday on both sides of the ball.
It’s safe to say that the Hawks had themselves a day. As for the offense, Tony Muskett threw four total touchdown passes. Juwon Farri ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns and in his fantastic performance, Lonnie Moore racked up 150 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns.
As for the Hawks defense they were stout and forced a ton of three and outs in the first half. The Hawks defenders also committed two turnovers.
It was an overall impressive performance Saturday from the Hawks as they now have a 3-2 record. Looking forward to next weekend, the Hawks will meet Campbell on the road next week in a Big South Conference matchup in Barker-Lane Stadium.