FOOTBALL OVERPOWERS CHARLESTON SOUTHERN, 37-3
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Behind two 100-yard rushers, three touchdown passes from quarterback Kenji Bahar, and a dominant defensive performance, the Monmouth University football team defeated Charleston Southern on Saturday afternoon, 37-3. Sophomore running back Pete Guerriero piled up 117 rushing yards and a touchdown, while freshman running back Juwon Farri added 100 yards on 21 carries. Sophomore wide receiver Terrance Green Jr. registered a career high six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in the win. In addition to his three touchdown passes, Bahar compiled 52 rushing yards for a total of 207 yards in the contest. Senior wide receiver Reggie White Jr. caught a touchdown for the fifth consecutive game, scoring on an 18-yard pass in the fourth quarter. The Hawks defense allowed its fewest points in a single game since 2006, when the Blue & White earned a 19-0 victory over Albany to win the NEC Championship. Junior kicker Matt Mosquera made all three of his field goal attempts, including a 44-yarder in the second quarter. Monmouth is now 10-0 in the new Kessler Stadium dating back to last year, and the team has won five straight games. The Hawks (7-2, 3-0) set themselves up for a huge matchup next week, as they welcome #2 Kennesaw State (8-1, 4-0) in a Big South showdown next Saturday. NOTES AND QUOTES "We are very happy with the win today. When we get into Big South play, we know each game holds significate importance and our focus is to go 1-0 that particular week. In that regard, we got the job done today but how we got the job done is the true story here. We knew going in we had to win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and I think you saw just that today. From the defensive line to the front seven stand point, I think we completely dominated the line of scrimmage and controlled the run game and that made it easier to play the passes when they took their shots. Offensively, I think we leaned on them up front. We had two guys go over 100 yards rushing, we were able to pound the way and that opened up some throws and Kenji made some good throws for three scores. It was a total team effort and our team played to the very end." - Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan on the win "What we are seeing is a group that is gaining more confidence week by week. We are seeing a group that is getting some guys back that we didn't have earlier in the season and that has helped. The more success they have, the more confidence they play with, the more confidence they play with, the more success they have. I liked the way that's trending, I like the way they are playing. They trust one in another, they are hustling, they are playing for each other. Whenever you exhibit those characteristics, you are going to play good defense." – Callahan on the defensive play "The game plan all week was to get our offense going, get our tempo up. It is easier when our offensive line dominates up. We you can rotate the running backs and keep us fresh and tired, it is something we can gash a defense on." Sophomore Pete Guerriero -Monmouth had a turnover on downs and a fumble lost on its first two possessions, but a nine-play, 62-yard drive gave it a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Hawks racked up 57 yards on the ground, including an eight-yard Guerriero touchdown run up the middle. -After the Hawks forced a three-and-out to open the second quarter, the offense used a 14-play, 87-yard drive to take a 14-0 advantage. On a third-and-goal from the six-yard line, Bahar tossed a touchdown to senior Vinny Grasso on a slant. -Charleston Southern tossed a 65-yard pass down to the Monmouth 10, but a sideline interference penalty brought the ball back to Monmouth's 25. Two plays later, senior linebacker Tre Nelson forced a fumble, and redshirt junior Tymere Berry recovered it for a 20-yard return. -The Hawks gained 43 yards on six straight run plays after the turnover. After catching a 10-yard pass to get down to CSU's 23, Greene Jr. caught a wide-open 17-yard touchdown pass from Bahar to give Monmouth the 21-0 lead. -With 18 seconds left in the first half, Monmouth called a timeout as Charleston Southern was readying to punt. The Bucs were called for fair catch interference, giving Monmouth the ball on its opponent's 27-yard line. Mosquera drilled a 44-yard field goal with time expiring and the wind at his back. The Hawks went into the locker room with a 24-0 lead. -The teams traded field goals to open the second half, with Monmouth hitting a 36-yard kick and Charleston Southern making a 22-yarder. -Junior Kahari Scarlett got a piece of a Charleston Southern punt, giving Monmouth good field position at its own 38 late in the third. The drive ended in another Mosquera field goal, this time from 25 yards out to put Monmouth up 30-3 with 11:08 in the fourth. -On the ensuing kickoff, Mosquera's kick got caught up in the wind, and Monmouth's Eddie Morales jumped on the ball at CSU's 32. -Despite multiple penalties on the drive, Bahar threw an 18-yard touchdown on third-and-goal to White Jr. to put Monmouth up 37-3 and seal the win. NUMBERS CRUNCH -Farri registered his fifth 100-yard game of the season. The rookie has 858 rushing yards and six touchdowns in his first career nine games. -Guerriero registered his fourth 100-yard game in just seven contests this year. The sophomore has 15 rushing touchdowns in 18 career games. -It was the first time Monmouth had two 100-yard rushers since October 21, 2017. Guerriero had 162 and sophomore Eric Zokouri had 193 in the win over Liberty last year. -Bahar's three touchdown passes ties a season high. He increases his career totals to 5,467 passing yards (4th all-time) and 35 passing touchdowns (5th all-time). -White Jr. is 66 yards away from setting the Big South all-time receiving yards record. He already holds the Big South and Monmouth receptions record (235), as well as the Monmouth yards record (3,105). -In the first half, Monmouth's defense let up no points as well as forcing three punts and a fumble. -Sophomore Justin Terry earned his first career interception late in the fourth quarter. -Nelson forced his second career fumble, while Berry recovered his first career fumble. -Mosquera has made his last 35 extra points, including 31-31 this year. -The Hawks have scored 221 points in five games at home this year (44.2 average). UP NEXT The Hawks will host Kennesaw State next Saturday at noon. The winner of that game will have an inside track to the 2018 Big South Championship.