Featured (List) Sports

Football Earns Second Consecutive Win

The Monmouth Hawks record stands at 3-3 as they receive their second consecutive win against the Hampton Pirates (3-3). On Saturday, Oct. 14 the Monmouth Hawks held their annual Cancer Awareness game at Kessler Stadium. The game ended with a score of 61-10 and many Hawk records were broken. These records included the longest kickoff touchdown return, most team rushing touchdowns, as well as the most points scored at a home game.

Monmouth didn’t waste any time in the first quarter, building a 21-3 lead only 15 minutes into the game. After Hampton took a 3-0 lead on the initial drive, Monmouth scored the following 41 points while constraining a couple of turnovers. Graduate student Sone Ntoh was able to break through the line and put the Hawks up 7-3. A couple of plays later, McCray was able to connect the ball to junior Jaden Shirden. The running back set the vibe with the first touchdown averaging 17.2 yards per carry. Shirden scored back-to-back drives giving Monmouth an 18-point lead in just the first quarter. He then gained a 63-yarder with only 4 seconds left in the quarter. This placed him with over 100 yards for the 14th time in his career.

An amazing play was set up to give Monmouth another opportunity to score again. Graduate student Eddie Morales retained an interception in the first play of the second quarter. This opened up room for graduate student Marquez McCray to throw a complete pass to Assanti Kearney. The fifth-year wide receiver was connected with a 57-yard strike down moving the Hawks closer to the endzone. In six plays Ntoh was able to snag another touchdown in the second quarter with only 11:05 left on the clock, leaving the score 28-3. Linebacker Ryan Moran, also recovered a fumble from Hampton which created a pair of turnovers for the Hawks.

With the half quickly coming to an end, the Hawks come with even more energy. The score increased to 35-3 after junior tight end Ashanti Caviness Jr. took advantage of a pass given to him by McCray to score a 31-yard touchdown with nine seconds remaining. Junior wide receiver TJ Speights was able to break a new record at the beginning of the third quarter. He scored the longest kickoff return in Monmouth University history with 98 yards for a touchdown. This left a dominating score of 41-3.

Hampton put up a fight and finally scored a touchdown in the third quarter. Redshirt junior Chris Zellous was able to pull through and make it into the endzone for his team, gaining 66 yards. That touchdown brought the score to 41-10. To no surprise, Shirden came back again and scored his third and final touchdown of the game. Just when it was thought to be over, junior reserve quarterback Frankie Savino made his way into the endzone with 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter picking up eight yards.

In total Monmouth’s offense set a program standard with seven rushing touchdowns. The running backs shined this game. Shirden is breaking records like he always does, recording his fifth 200-yard rushing performance of his career. This ties him with Pete Guerriero when it comes to Monmouth University History. Four touchdowns in a game are also a career-high for Shirden.

Taking a look at the defensive line, freshman Deuce Lee, was on fire with seven tackles. Lee made his second consecutive start at safety for the Hawks, and is now tied for first on the team with seven stops in just his first collegiate year. Another defensive player who stood out in this game was senior defensive back, Thomas Joe-Kamara, who also ended the game with seven tackles.Linebacker and graduate student Jake Brown wasn’t too far behind coming up with six tackles this game.

This was a game that Monmouth had full control over. The Hawks earned a total of 493 yards with 141 passing yards and 352 rushing yards. The Hawks only allowed the Pirates one opportunity to enter the endzone. The defensive players worked very hard to make sure the other team didn’t have a chance to win. McCray had real chemistry with his teammates in the way he was able to complete ten passes in one game. This game marks the first time that the team scored 50 plus points since their game against Gardner-Webb on Oct. 2, 2021. Monmouth made a way for the Cancer Awareness game to be remembered for a good reason.