FOOTBALL OUTLASTS LAFAYETTE, 24-20
ASTON, PA- Monmouth's defense pitched a second half shutout, including two stops in the final four minutes while Kenji Bahar (Baltimore, MD/Calvert Hall) had a career-day to lead the Hawks past Lafayette, 24-20 Saturday night in Easton. The Hawks improve to 2-1 on the season while Lafayette falls to 0-3. Monmouth took its first lead of the game in the final play of the third quarter when Pete Guerriero(Lyndhurst, NJ/Lyndhurst) raced 46 yards to paydirt to put the Hawks up 21-20. Matt Mosquera's (Lindcroft, NJ/Lindcroft's) 27-yard field with 5:24 to play gave the Hawks a 24-20 lead to cap a 15-play drive that ate up 6:44 of game time. Monmouth out-gained the Leopards 528-269 in the contest, including a 194 to 48 on the ground.
Monmouth's first touchdown came on the heels of the opening kickoff, with the Hawks going 78 yards on 10 plays, scoring on a 12-yard Bahar to Gueriero pass.
Lafayette answered quickly, scoring on a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by J.J. Younger, the first Lafayette touchdown of the season
LC took their first lead of the 2018 season on following Monmouth's first punt of the game, going 96 yards on 12 plays. Sean O'Malley found Quinn Revere for five yards on the touchdown, the first offensive score of the Leopards season.
After a Mosquera field goal, Lafayette went ahead 20-9 on a five yard Nick Pearson run but the Hawks needed just 1:38 to get into the endzone with a seven play drive ending in a four yard Devell Jones TD.
NOTES & QUOTES "I told them we were down five points and one score could flip the game right around. To keep their focus on execution and good things will happen. My message to them was we didn't do a good job executing in the first half. You have to credit Lafayette too, they did a nice job on both sides of the ball, they dominated both the offensive and defensive line of scrimmage. Our players showed a lot of grit and toughness and fought to the very end. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't our best day in terms of execution but what it was our team showing a lot of heart and toughness today and that is why we were able to win." – Head Coach Kevin Callahan on his message to the team at halftime "The defense did a good job in the second half, we knew we had a good plan in place and we needed just to execute it. We had two critical penalties on their one drive on third downs and that kept the drive going and they were able to get in the endzone. I have to give credit to the defense for what they were able to do in the second half." Callahan on the defense "We started off a little slow but at the end of the day my guys were out there making plays. I tried to spread the ball around pretty evenly so it was all them, catching the ball and making plays. We had a two-minute drive going right before the half and we tied to build off of that drive starting off the second half." Monmouth quarterback Kenji Bahar
Bahar threw for a career-high 334 yards on 28-of-40 passing with one touchdown.
He moves into fifth all-time in completions with 370 in his career. He also jumped both Bill Rankin and Brandon Hill to move into fifth all-time in total offense with 4,209 yards. He finished with 389 of total offense against the Leopards
White Jr finished with seven catches for 86 yards, moving him past Adam San Miguel for second all-time in receptions with 198 career receptions
Guerriero finished with 110 yards on 18 carries, his eighth career 100-yard game which ties Matt Merkliner for fourth all-time
Monmouth had three consecutive scoring drives of less than 2:00, scoring a pair of touchdowns and a field goal
With his eight-yard fourth quarter reception, Jake Powell recorded his 50th career reception which moves him to fifth all-time Big South history. Powell finished with six catches tying his career-high with 66 yards
Guerriero's first quarter touchdown reception was his first TD catch of his career
Adam Kakar blocked Lafayette's second PAT attempt, the second consecutive week the Hawks have blocked an extra point. Daivonne Thomas came back and blocked one on Lafayette's first drive of the second half
Niether team turned the ball over in the contest
Monmouth junior wideout Brandon Batts had a career-high seven catches for 93 yards
Gerron Pendarvis recorded a key sack on Lafayette's final drive, his second of the season
Lafayette was five-of-six on third downs at halftime and finished six-of-14
Bahar also had his best day rushing, finished with 47 yards on five carries
The Hawks were led defensively by sophomore Justin Terry who had five tackles
Matt Mosquera's 25 field goal in the second quarter was his second successful kick of the season
Brandon Batts had a career-high five receptions for 75 yards in the first half alone
Gueriero has now scored 12 rushing touchdowns in 14 career games, which ties him for 10th most all-time with Zach Welch.
UP NEXT The Hawks will have their first ever showdown with in-state rival Princeton. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 PM.