OFFFENSE EXPLODES AS MONMOUTH DOWNS HAMPTON, 56-28
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – After falling behind 14-0, the Monmouth University football team rattled off 42 unanswered points to help defeat Hampton for its first win of the season, 56-28 . Monmouth has now won all six games in the new Kessler Stadium after a perfect 5-0 record last season. The Hawks compiled 556 yards of total offense, including a career-high 326 passing yards from junior quarterback Kenji Bahar, a career-high 209 rushing yards from sophomore running back Pete Guerriero, and 145 receiving yards from senior wide receiver Reggie White Jr. Guerriero scored three touchdowns on the day and is Monmouth's first 200-yard rusher since 2009, ranking fifth in program history for a single game. Bahar tossed three touchdowns in the win, including two to senior tight end Jake Powell, who caught five passes for 66 yards. Senior running back Devell Jonesadded two rushing touchdowns, increasing his career total to 13, which ranks tied for ninth all-time. The Hawks improve to 1-1 on the season, and will travel to Lafayette next Saturday for a 6:00 PM matchup. NOTES AND QUOTES "We thought we handled that adversity very well and we came back and scored 42 straight points and we had the game in control. Along the way I thought we saw a tremendous explosiveness apart of our offense. With Pete running the ball and what Kenji was able to do throwing the ball to a number of different receivers, Vinny, Reggie White, and Jake Powellamong others. I thought it was a very balanced offensive attack. On the defensive side after the first two series I thought we settled down and did a good job and were able to get off the field and get the ball back to our offense. It is six straight wins here at Kessler Stadium and it is our first win of 2018 and a lot occurred out there that we can build upon." Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan "We got to keep playing, next play. We have to settle down and do our jobs. Once we got a couple of scores on the board we were able to gain confidence and that confidence on offense transcended to our defense." Coach Callahan on his message to the team after going down 14-0 "My offensive line and tight ends have been doing a wonderful job blocking inside. I can't thank them enough." Guerriero on the key to his success today "A quick little hitting play. Kenji got me the ball and I was able made a few people miss and then run as fast as you can to the endzone. Kenji did a good job getting me the ball and it was a good call by coach." Grasso on his 25 yard touchdown -Hampton got off to a fast start and took a 7-0 lead with a six-play, 60-yard drive that ended in a 32-yard touchdown pass from QB Delmon Williams to WR Ronald Bell. -A couple drives later, Hampton's Williams tossed a 70-yard touchdown to WR Antonio Graham on 3rd-and-5 to go ahead 14-0. -Monmouth quickly answered on the following drive with an 8-play, 73-yard drive ending in a three-yard touchdown run by Jones. White Jr. caught a 30-yard pass on the drive and drew a defensive pass interference near the goal line. The Hawks cut the deficit to 14-7 on the score. -Another big catch from White Jr., this time for 20 yards, set up Monmouth in Pirates territory early in the second quarter. Two plays later, Guerriero dashed for a 28-yard touchdown to the left side, tying the game at 14. -Despite Hampton getting down to Monmouth's 39 yard-line with 5:27 left in the second quarter, the Hawks were able to force a punt, which went into the end zone for a touchback. -Monmouth darted down the field, using three plays to go 80 yards in just 1:11 to take its first lead of the game at 21-14. Bahar tossed a 41-yard pass to White Jr., followed by a 37-yard pass to Lonnie Moore. Jones scored his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run, using his balance to get in after nearly being tackled. -The Hawks capped off the first half with a 28-0 run. Guerriero made one defender miss and sprinted to the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown. -Monmouth tallied its first sack of the season late in the second quarter. Sophomore Kurt Aumer and senior Gerron Pendarvis combined for the stop to force 2nd-and-19. -After Hampton sent the second half kickoff out of bounds, the Hawks capitalized with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Bahar to Powell. The Blue & White went up 35-14. -Monmouth's defense forced another three-and-out, and Bahar launched a 42-yard pass to White Jr. on the ensuing drive. On 3rd-and-7 from the Hampton 10-yard line, Bahar threw another touchdown pass to Powell to put the Hawks up 42-14. -Hampton ended the 42-0 run with a 25-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, but the Hawks quickly answered with an eight-play, 72-yard touchdown drive to end the quarter. The drive included a 19-yard rush by senior Vinny Grassoand 49 total rushing yards from Guerriero, including the one-yard score. MU went up 49-21. -After the Pirates threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to open up the fourth quarter, Monmouth answered three drives later. Grasso caught a pass across the middle and juked out five Hampton defenders for the 25-yard score to put the Hawks up 56-28. -On a 3rd-and-goal from the Monmouth eight yard-line, senior DB Tymere Berry picked off a pass in the end zone with 5:26 left in the fourth. The teams traded three-and-outs to end the game. NUMBERS CRUNCH -Monmouth registered 321 yards of offense in the first half, and outgained Hampton 556-429 for the game. -The Hawks outgained the Pirates on the ground 230-90. -Guerriero rushed for his seventh career 100-yard game. In the first half alone, he racked up 145 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries (12.1 average). He jumped Mike Medrano and Jim Varick with his performance today, and his 1,304 career rushing yards ranks 11th in program history. Guerriero's 11 career touchdowns are also good for 11th all-time. He's played in 13 career games. -White Jr. compiled four catches for 104 yards in the first half alone. It marked his eighth career 100-yard game (one behind Will Holder for second all-time). The senior has 2,462 career receiving yards, which ranks third all-time. He also has 191 receptions, needing just four more to move into second in program history. -Bahar now has 3,848 career passing yards, moving into sixth all-time. He also moved into sixth all-time for passing touchdowns, as his three today gave him 22 for his career. -Powell earned his first career multi-touchdown game. -Sophomore Anthony Budd led the defense with eight tackles. Senior Marcus Leslie and senior Kyle Gregory each added seven total tackles, while senior Tymere Berry made four tackles with the interception. UP NEXT The Hawks will take to the road for the next two matchups, beginning with Lafayette on Saturday, September 15 at 6:00 PM.