Hawks Soar Over Colonials 44-7


Jonathan Hanna

Juwon Farri carries the ball against Robert Morris in West Long Branch on Saturday.

Robert Bradley

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.– In the penultimate football game of the season, the Robert Morris Colonials (3-6, 2-4 Big South) were defeated by former NEC and current Big South rival the Monmouth Hawks (7-3, 6-0) by the score of 44-7.

The Colonials started the game on defense and forced a three-and-out on the initial drive emphatically.

Nevertheless, when the Robert Morris offense got a hold of the ball, rushes from Alijah Jackson and reception by D’Andre Hicks led to an 18-yard George Martin touchdown pass to Demonte Martin. After a Bisceglia PAT, the Colonials took an early 7-0 lead.

After the kickoff led to a touchback, Monmouth regained possession. On the first play of the drive, Hawks’ running back Jaden Shirden weaved in-between Colonials defenders for a 75-yard touchdown run. After a successful Monmouth PAT by Nick Null, Monmouth tied the game 7-7.

Even though Martin completed a beautiful first-play screen pass to Alijah Jackson for the first down, the Colonials’ offense stalled out, and they were forced to punt.

Michael Benson’s punt pinned the Monmouth Hawks within their red zone. The Monmouth offense seamlessly copied the Colonials’ prior offensive drive. After one first down, the RMU defense shut down the Hawks’ offense, capping it off with a Ricardo Watson sack on third down.

After a Hawks punt and an offensive three-and-out for RMU, the Monmouth offense was marching down the field on their next possession. A pass from Monmouth’s Tony Muskett was completed to Ezrah Archie for a gain of 35 yards, which sparked the Hawks’ drive.

A few plays later, Muskett lobbed another beautiful pass to Zach Tredway for a 19-yard touchdown reception. After another successful Null PAT, Monmouth took a 14-7 lead over the Colonials.

At the start of the second quarter, the Monmouth offense marched their way down the field with runs from Owen Wright and dual-threat QB Tony Muskett. After a nearly seven-minute drive by the Hawks’ offense, Muskett completed a 9-yard pass to Gene Scott for the Monmouth touchdown to put the Hawks up 21-7 over the Colonials.

After the Hawks’ kickoff, the Colonials’ offense looked to regain the magic of their first drive, but unfortunately, reckless penalties negated all of RMU’s offense, leading to another punt by the Colonials.

After the punt, the Monmouth Hawks’ offense continued to have their way with the Colonials’ defense, as a methodical drive was capped off by a 30-yard sideline completion by Tony Muskett to Ezrah Archie for another Hawks’ touchdown. The Hawks took a commanding 28-7 lead with three minutes left in the half.

The Hawks’ offense did not ease up on the RMU defense before halftime following the Colonials’ third three-and-out of the half. Two big rushes from Owen Wright and a 49-yard completion from Muskett to Lonnie Moore IV led to yet another Monmouth score; a 14-yard touchdown pass from Muskett to Terrance Greene Jr. gave the Hawks a 35-7 lead with just over 90 seconds remaining.

Shortly thereafter, with less than one minute left in the half, George Martin threw an interception to Monmouth cornerback Mike Reid.

On the succeeding Monmouth drive, and following sacks from Supilani Mailei and Ricardo Watson, Monmouth killed the remaining time on the clock. This allowed for Nick Null to attempt and make a field goal to give Monmouth a 38-7 lead headed into halftime.

Due to the nearly one-hour long halftime, the third and fourth quarters were shortened into 12-minute quarters instead of the usual 15-minute quarters with no media timeouts.

Following a long halftime break due to lightning in the area, Robert Morris was set to receive after winning the opening coin toss and deferring to the second half. However, it wouldn’t go their way, as the Monmouth defense forced their fourth three-and-out of the game.

A Colonials punt gave the Hawks offense their first possession of the second half; Robert Morris’ defense stopped the Hawks’ first-half momentum, causing fourth down. Even with the fourth down, Monmouth decided to go for it on fourth, but the Colonials defense forced a turnover on downs.

The Colonials’ offense marched on the field in need of points, but the Hawks’ defense held it down and forced a turnover on downs against RMU. The end of the third quarter held the same score; Monmouth led Robert Morris 38-7.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Monmouth offense attempted to run out as much clock as possible by continuously running the ball. However, the Colonials defense struggled to contain the Hawks’ run game as the Monmouth offense drove down the field.

Rushes from Jaden Shirden and Owen Wright allowed Monmouth to kill nearly the entirety of the fourth quarter. With 21 seconds left, Austin Castorina added insult to injury as he rushed for a 5-yard touchdown extending Monmouth’s lead to 44-7.

After the ensuing kickoff, the Colonials offense handed the ball off to Alijah Jackson to run out the remaining time. The final score was Monmouth 44- RMU 7.

The win over the Colonials gives Monmouth an 11-10 series lead between the former NEC and current Big South rivals.

Next weekend, the Colonials will close out their season at Joe Walton Stadium, when they host the Campbell Camels (3-7, 2-4).