No. 13-Ranked Monroe Mustangs Football Falls in Season Opener at Georgia Military
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga., September 3, 2022 – Making its first-ever trip down to Georgia Military College (GMC) to open the 2022 season, the No. 13-ranked Monroe College Mustangs football team dropped a 27-7 score to the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field. The Mustangs start the year 0-1, while the Bulldogs improve to 2-0.
The Mustangs had a chance to put points on the board in the opening drive of the game after a couple fourth-down conversions and timely penalties, but they were ultimately stopped on GMC's 26-yard line. The Mustangs had a stop on the Bulldogs' first possession, but a muffed bouncing punt gave the home team the ball back on Monroe's 33-yard line. The defense stepped up again, but the Bulldogs got a field goal from Daniel Gibbs from 37 yard out to put Georgia Military up, 3-0, with 2:01 left in the first.
The Mustangs had another opportunity early in the second quarter after a shanked punt by GMC put Monroe on its opponent's 33-yard line. Mason Boothe completed a 14-yard pass to Jamarii Robinson, but a couple penalties hindered the drive for Monroe, eventually resulting in a turnover on downs.
On the ensuing drive, a 35-yard completion, with a 15-yard penalty against the Mustangs tacked on after, put GMC on Monroe's 19. The Mustangs held from there, but Gibbs made a 34-yard field goal to make it a 6-0 game. A late drive by the Bulldogs had them deep in Monroe territory, but an offensive pass interference backed them up, and then a timely sack by Ousinae Gai ended the threat, seeing GMC choose to run out the clock to end the half.
The Bulldogs threatened on the opening drive of the third, getting down to Monroe's 28 after six plays. On third down, Colin Hogan threw into double coverage in the right corner of the end zone, where it was tipped up by JayShawn Hardy and intercepted by a diving Nazaiah Paul to give the Mustangs the ball.
Monroe then completed its first big play of the season on the next drive. On third down, Boothe found Robinson across the middle, where he split the defenders and sprinted all the way home for a 79-yard touchdown reception. Sebastian Aranda made the point after to put the Mustangs ahead, 7-6, with 9:55 left in the third.
Shortly after, GMC got a big play of its own when Hogan found Tayler Gant sprinting down the left sideline for a 63-yard touchdown, putting the Bulldogs back up, 13-7.
Georgia Military opened the fourth quarter with the ball on Monroe's 20-yard line. On first down, pressure forced Hogan to toss the ball up wildly, where Quentin Hunter-Colvin was able to dive for it before it hit the ground, picking it off to give the ball back to Monroe. After a narrow miss on what likely would have been a long touchdown for Monroe, Boothe was intercepted on second down by GMC's Dante Brown to give the home team the ball back, though the Mustangs managed to get another stop.
Monroe gave the ball right back after a bad snap was recovered by GMC. On the very next play La'Darius Ceasar ran it in from 13 yards out, making it a 20-7 game with 12:26 left in the fourth.
Late in the game, Monroe put Jalan Early in at quarterback, and Early had the Mustangs moving. He got the Mustangs down to the GMC 27 on six plays, but he was intercepted trying to get one to the end zone. With GMC backed up to its own two-yard line, the Mustangs thought they had Ceasar stopped, but the whistle never blew, and he was able to break free to outrun the defense for a 98-yard touchdown, giving the Bulldogs a 27-7 lead with just over two minutes remaining.
*Statistics will be added once they are made available for the game*
The Mustangs will look to bounce back on Saturday, Sept. 10, in their home opener at Joseph F. Fosina Field in New Rochelle. Monroe will host No. 15 Lackawanna College in a big-time matchup beginning at 4 p.m.