On Saturday, October 9, the 25 ranked Monmouth University football team (3-2) fell to the 24 ranked Princeton Tigers (3-0) at Kessler Stadium.
The Hawks won the toss and deferred to the Tigers who had a nice opening drive. But they failed to convert in the red zone. The Hawks had a key third and goal stop to force a field goal which was knocked through to make it 3-0 Princeton.
The Hawks also had a nice opening drive and they capitalized with a touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Tony Muskett tossed a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Joey Alderalli to make it 7-3 Hawks.
On the nice drive to Princeton, the Hawks defense stepped out. Particularly Lorenzo Hernandez who had two sacks and forced a quick three and out. The first quarter then ended with the Hawks up 7-3.
The second quarter had some big defensive stops. First with the Tigers stopping the Hawks on fourth down. Then Hawks doing the same.
But Monmouth capitalized off the stop. Tony Muskett threw another touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Zach Tredway. A laser down the seam to make it 14-3 Hawks with about a minute to go in the first half.
Princeton wanted some points before going into the locker room. They had a nice drive to get into field goal range. And knocked in a 46 yard kick to make it 14-6. The Hawks lead at the end of the first half and will receive the second half kickoff.
Monmouth started off the second half with a great 16 playing score drive. They capped off with a rushing touchdown from running back Juwon Farri to make it 21-6 Hawks midway through the third quarter.
After a few three and outs by both teams, the Tigers began their comeback. They rushed in for a one yard touchdown. Running back Collin Eady scores and the Tigers go for two and convert. The score became 21-14 Hawks still lead.
The momentum seemed to shift in West Long Branch and Tigers running back Collin Eady was not done. He punched in another rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 21 all.
Then the Hawks put the ball on the floor on the kickoff and the Tigers jumped on it. Collin Eady scores again for his third of the day, a hattrick for him. The Tigers lead for the first time since the first drive of the game 28-21.
After the Princeton defense got another stop on the Hawks, the Hawks offense needed some help from their defense. They answered in a big way.
Anthony Budd caught a pick six for the Hawks, a huge play. Kicker Nick Null converted the PAT to tie the game at 28 apiece.
Princeton now had the ball with about three minutes remaining. They drove down the field and got into field goal range for their kicker Jeffrey Sexton who knocked in a huge kick. With 10 seconds remaining the Tigers took the lead back now 31-28.
The Hawks then tried a little backyard football on the final play but it was stopped by the Tigers. And the final score was 31-28 Princeton in the Garden State matchup.
The Hawks look to bounce back next weekend on the road versus the Campbell Fighting Camels in a Big South conference game on the road in North Carolina. Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm.