Monmouth Hawks (3-2) – 54WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – With 1:14 left in the fourth quarter and the game tied, senior wide receiver Reggie White Jr. (Reisterstown, MD/Milford Mill) set the program record with his 213th career catch and raced to the end zone for an 84-yard touchdown that sent the Monmouth University football team past Wagner, 54-47.
Junior linebacker Evan Powell (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) secured his first career interception on the next possession to seal the win, enabling the Hawks to run out the clock. White Jr. ended with seven catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to pass Neal Sterling for the most receptions in Monmouth history. The Blue & White trailed 47-32 with 12:49 left in the fourth quarter, but scored three straight touchdowns to close the game. Two of those touchdowns came from freshman running back Juwon Farri (Germantown, MD/Northwest), who took over in the fourth quarter with 99 yards on just five carries.
The Hawks outgained Wagner 263-59 on the ground, and were able to pull out the win despite turning the ball over four times. Monmouth is now 7-0 in the new Kessler Stadium dating back to last year, and improves its record to 3-2 on the 2018 season.
NOTES AND QUOTES
“We knew going into the game this game was probably like 23 came before. It would be a game that came down to the wire. Both teams and players making plays. Every happy with the outcome. There were times in the game where we couldn’t do anything right. There were times where we couldn’t do anything wrong. I think you saw several players on our team step up and make big plays. As we move forward, there’s a lot we have to work on, a lot we can do better. We are very happy with the victory heading into the bye.” – Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan
“Juwon was ready to go and he went in there and executed. He was prepared, and he knew what he had to do in terms of assignment and gameplan. When he had opportunities, he made plays.” Coach Callahan on the play of Juwon Farri
“The front seven on defense played outstanding today. You got to give them a lot of credit, they did an outstanding job. He [Fulse] had no place to run. They had several tackles for losses and they were big for us. They made Wagner one dimensional.” Coach Callahan on holding Ryan Fulse
“It was huge. Darnell Leslie told me that I was going to break the record on a TD. I was running down the field and he called it. As soon as I scored and pointed right to him. Righi [Pete Righi] and Juwon [Farri] had huge blocks. They opened it up for me and I just ran the rest of the way. Without them, that play wouldn’t have happened.” – Reggie White Jr. on his 84-yard TD that broke the Monmouth record
- The two teams combined for 950 yards, with Monmouth earning 514 yards including 263 on the ground
- Vinny Grasso finished with 306 all-purpose yards, including 147 kick return yards, 63 punt return yards, 38 rushing yards and 58 receiving
- Monmouth’s game-winning drive went 99 yards on just three plays covering 30 seconds
- On the first drive of the game, Wagner’s bad snap rolled 20 yards back into its end zone, resulting in a safety. The Hawks have registered safeties in back to back homes games.
- Wagner capitalized on three straight miscues by the Hawks; throwing three touchdowns to take a 21-2 lead with 5:19 left in the first quarter
- After a Wagner three-and-out, Grasso took a punt 49 yards back to the Seahawks’ 16. A nine-yard pass to White Jr. and a five-yard Guerriero touchdown run cut the deficit to 21-15.
- With 12:00 left in the second quarter, Bahar evaded multiple defenders and dashed for a 68-yard touchdown run, giving Monmouth the 22-21 lead.
- The Hawks then used a 5-play, 75-yard drive to regain the lead at 29-27. A Wagner defender was called for pass interference, but White Jr. was still able to haul in a 49-yard pass. The drive ended in a 2-yard touchdown run from senior Devell Jones.
- Farri sprinted to the right side and barreled over two defenders, scoring a 21-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Farri then converted on a two-point rush, and the Hawks trailed 47-40 with 10:24 left in the game.
- Wagner was stopped by the Monmouth defense, and punted the ball down to the one-yard line. With 1:44 on the clock, Farri got the Hawks out of danger with a 15-yard run. On the next play, White Jr. caught the pass from Bahar and outran the Wagner defense for the 84-yard score. The drive went 99 yards in three plays.
- Powell’s interception sealed the win on a third-and-5, as he grabbed it out of the air on a tipped ball with 34 seconds left. The Hawks were able to run out the clock for the victory. It was his first career interception
- White Jr. set the program record of 213 catches in just 39 career games, passing current New York Jets TE Neal Sterling (212). White Jr. also ranks second in Monmouth history with 2,807 receiving yards, just 60 behind leader Miles Austin. With two more today, he climbed up to a tie for second all-time (Sterling) in receiving touchdowns with 22. Austin is the leader with 33 career touchdown receptions. Today marked his ninth career 100-yard game, which ties Will Holder for second all-time.
- Monmouth’s defense held preseason All-American and the nation’s second leading rushing Ryan Fulse to 72 yards on 28 carries for a 2.8 yard average. Monmouth had seven tackles for the loss.
- Bahar’s 68-yard touchdown run was the longest of his career. It was his sixth-career rushing touchdown. In the air, the junior was 14-for-26 with 251 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
- Monmouth scored 20 points in exactly 5:00 after going down 21-2. Later, they scored 22 straight points in the final 12:39 of the fourth.
- Guerriero has 10 rushing touchdowns in seven career home games. He rushed 16 times for 95 yards in the win. He ranks eighth all-time with 14 career touchdowns and ninth in program history with 1,618 career rushing yards. He’s played in just 16 games.
- The teams combined for 62 points in the first half. It was a record 101 combined points for the two teams, who have played a total of 24 times.
- Jones moved into sole possession of eighth all-time with 15 career rushing touchdowns.
- Fifth-year DL Ryan Schoer led the defense with 10 total tackles, a career-high.
- The Hawks racked up 289 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in the win.
- The Hawks have scored 110 points in two games at home this year.
The Hawks are on a bye next week, but return home on Saturday, October 13 to face Bucknell. In the first-ever matchup between the teams last season, Monmouth won 35-13.