WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – The Monmouth Hawks looked like a completely different team than the one that was 1-3 and lost on the road to Lafayette last week.
Instead of moping about their record and their situation, they went back out this week on homecoming and walloped Lehigh 49-7, scoring 42 unanswered points in a quarter and a half.
It was everything their loss to Lafayette wasn’t, and in the process providing a useful reset before heading back to CAA play in October.
“I am very happy with the effort today and I thought it was a total team effort, Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan said after the game. “Both sides of the ball contributed to the victory. To win by a margin like we did today, I think we feel very good about it and it’s just a first step.”
After a spirited goal line stand that ended in a missed Monmouth FG try, Lehigh’s offense sustained a 15 play, 85 yard drive that took seven minutes off the clock and ended in a 4th down sneak by QB Brayten Silbor to tie the game at 7.
But after that, Monmouth’s offense took over. QB Marquez McCray on the following drive passed nine straight downs, eight which ended in a completion and one other resulting in pass interference. The final play on the surgical drive was a 10 yard strike to WR Dymere Miller, his first of two on the afternoon.
Two plays later, CB Deuce Lee would notch an interception and in a blink of an eye it was 21-7.
Just like last week, Lehigh head coach Kevin Cahill didn’t sugar-coat anything in the postgame interview. “We’re not playing well,” he said. “We’re not executing a high level. We have too many penalties, too many self-inflicted wounds, and we’re not good enough to overcome those.”
It didn’t get much prettier from there, as Monmouth found a lot of positive yardage on the ground once they had established the pass. RB Jaden Shirden ran for 119 yards and did almost enough to score, getting tackled at the 1 during his longest run of the game, and Graduate transfer RB Sone Ntoh would run for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns, most of that total coming on a 92 yard touchdown run.
“Obviously as a head coach, you always look at the things that went wrong, but I thought we did an exceptional job offensively, Callahan said. “We kind of had our way both through the air and on the ground and really move the ball at will and put it in the end zone.”
Monmouth put up Madden-type numbers on offense with 27 first downs, 619 yards of total offense and gashing the Mountain Hawks to the tune of 8.7 yards per play.
McCray in particular had a spectacular afternoon, going 22-for-28, 333 yards passing and 4 touchdowns.
On defense, in addition to the pick six, the Hawk defense forced two fumbles and limited Lehigh to 281 yards of offense.
“I thought the defense was very opportunistic coming up with some key turnovers and they were very stout against the run all day long,” Callahan said. “They had a couple of passes on that first drive, but I thought every time that that happened they rallied and got the stop and got off the field.”
Lehigh (1-4) will head to the Bronx next week to take on 3-2 Fordham, while Monmouth (2-3) has a bye week.
“We’re growing, but we have to continue to grow a lot faster than we are,” Cahill said. “We have some guys in situations for the first time in their college careers. We don’t have time for them to grow up. They need to do it now.
“We had some positives, but it’s really hard to see a positive in 49-7. We’re going to look at those small glimmers of positivity and try to build on those. Every single one of these kids could quit right now and pack it in for the season, but they’re not going to do that. They’re continuing to learn, continuing to come in and they’re continuing to develop.
“We have to continue to build the culture and we have a lot of fixing to do.”
|1st||07:24||MON – Ntoh,Sone 1 yd run (Calton Jr,Michael kick), 9 plays, 96 yards, TOP 04:25||0||7|
|2nd||08:56||LEH – Silbor,Brayten 1 yd run (Garrido,Nick kick), 15 plays, 80 yards, TOP 07:55||7||7|
|2nd||06:13||MON – Miller,Dymere 10 yd pass from McCray,Marquez (Calton Jr,Michael kick) 7 plays, 76 yards, TOP 02:36||7||14|
|2nd||05:55||MON – Lee,Deuce 36 yd interception (Calton Jr,Michael kick)||7||21|
|2nd||00:12||MON – Tucker,Dre 34 yd pass from McCray,Marquez (Calton Jr,Michael kick) 10 plays, 90 yards, TOP 01:57||7||28|
|3rd||10:37||MON – Miller,Dymere 36 yd pass from McCray,Marquez (Calton Jr,Michael kick) 9 plays, 77 yards, TOP 04:15||7||35|
|3rd||08:35||MON – Ntoh,Sone 92 yd run (Calton Jr,Michael kick), 1 plays, 92 yards, TOP 00:13||7||42|
|3rd||04:32||MON – Nelson,Gavin 29 yd pass from McCray,Marquez (Calton Jr,Michael kick) 5 plays, 83 yards, TOP 01:49||7||49|
Chuck has been writing about Lehigh football since the dawn of the internet, or perhaps it only seems like it. He’s executive editor of the College Sports Journal and has also written a book, The Rivalry: How Two Schools Started the Most Played College Football Series.
Reach him at: this email or click below: