Hawks drop home opener to Sacred Heart

first_imgFor the second consecutive week, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, couldn’t hold on to an early lead and went down to a gridiron defeat in the Hawks home opener, 32-13, to Sacred Heart of New York. Ryan Peterson’s school-record 46-yard field staked Monmouth (0-2) to a quick 3-0 edge, and then the Hawks built on it when Bill Rankin hooked up with Billy Lynch on a 43-yard scoring strike. With the PAT, Monmouth led 10-0 in the first. It was downhill from there, however, as the defending Northeast Conference Champions tied the game in the second quarter and outscored Monmouth 15-3 in the third quarter to take charge. The big play for Sacred Heart (1-1) was a defensive touchdown in the second quarter. With Monmouth leading 10-3 and driving, Pete Athans intercepted a Rankin pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. That enabled the Pioneers to tie it at 10-10 at halftime. The Pioneers scored on the opening drive of the second half as quarterback Joe Kroells hit Doug Geoffrey on a 48-yard touchdown pass. Sacred Heart added a two-point conversion as holder Andy Gonzalez fond Mike Pesier in the end zone. Peterson’s second field goal of the game closed the deficit to 18-13. But on their next possession, the Pioneers scored on Marlon Ward’s fumble recovery in the end zone. Tailback Jason Bonadies was caught from behind as he was nearing the end zone and fumbled the ball after he was hit by Monmouth’s Joe Billups. The Hawks stripped Bonadies of the ball, but Ward was in the right place at the right time to fall on the fumble and the resulting TD. Sacred Heart added to its 25-13 lead in the fourth quarter when Bonadies, who gained 107 yards on 23 carries, scored on a 12-yard run. Rankin was 15-41 for 183 yards and one touchdown. But he was intercepted three times and sacked twice. Lynn caught five of his passes for 74 yards. Billy Smith, Monmouth’s leading rusher, left the game in the first quarter with a sprained ankle. Joe Migliore led Monmouth in rushing with 65 yards on 20 carries. In their season opener at Lafayette College, the Hawks flew out to a 16-0 lead in the second quarter, only to lose 30-29 on a late field goal. Monmouth hits the road Saturday night for a nonconference game with Morgan State University in Baltimore.last_img read more