Courtesy of Monmouth Athletics
- Led by sophomore quarterback Nick Doscher’s 335 yards of total offense, including a pair of rushing touchdowns, Wagner (5-4, 3-3 NEC) defeated Monmouth (3-6, 3-3 NEC) on Saturday afternoon at Wagner College Stadium.
Doscher finished with 206 yards passing and 129 on the ground, throwing for one TD while rushing for two more.
After the Hawks opened up a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, Wagner outscored Monmouth 31-13 over the final 31 minutes of the game to become the first home team to win a game in the series in seven tries. Monmouth closed to within eight in the fourth quarter but was unable to complete the comeback.
Following a MU punt after its first possession of the game to start the game, Wagner went on a substantial drive of their own but the Hawk defense came up big with a stop on a fourth and two from their own 17 to keep the game scoreless.
Monmouth mounted a drive of their own, with Andrew Mandeville (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) moving the Hawks deep into Seahawk territory but MU’s 32 yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
The Hawks got on the board first, when fifth year senior Bobby Giles (Burlington, N.J./Burlington) bounced an inside handoff outside and raced 43 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown. It was Giles’ first TD run since his 60 yarder against Wagner a season ago. The play was set up by a solid Nick Romeo (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) punt return and an 11-yard Matt Plautz (Harmony, Pa./Seneca) pass reception. The three- play, 55-yard drive put the Hawks up 7-0 with 7:25 to play in the half.
The Seahawks answered right back, with a Doscher to Tyrone Collins 46 yard pass that set Wagner up on the MU 7 . The Hawks defense stiffened and forced a field goal attempt that sailed wide right.
The Hawks were driving again but Wagner’s Greg Francios intercepted Kyle Frazier in the end zone, giving the Seahawks another shot at putting points on the board before halftime. Wagner tied the game up on a Doscher to Darnell Sapps 26 yard TD reception. The Wagner drive took just seven plays and 52 seconds to cover 80 yards for the score.
Chris Hogan (Wykoff, N.J./Ramapo [Penn State]) intercepted Doscher on Wagner’s first drive of the second half but MU’s offense stalled and the Hawks were forced to punt for the fourth time in the game. Two plays later Wagner’s Eric Foxworth busted through the middle of the MU defense and rumbled 51 yards down to the MU five yardline. Doscher finished the drive with a four yard TD run to put the Seahawks up 14-7 with 10:12 to play in the third quarter. That drive took just four plays, covered 61 yards in 1:31.
Monmouth tied up the game on a Frazier to Plautz 15 yard touchdown pass, completing a seven-play, 60 yard drive. Tyler George (Berkeley Heights, N.J./Governor Livingston) had a big 27-yard reception on the drive to set the Hawks up on the Wagner 16.
Wagner answered with a 40 yard Doscher to Collins connection, giving the home team a first and goal from the eight. Two plays later Doscher scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, putting the Seahawks ahead 21-14 with 13:22 to play in the game.
The Seahawks doubled their lead when Wagner senior Franz Placide blocked a MU punt and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown. Monmouth answered right back when Mandeville hit Mitchell Pollard (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) on a slip screen for seven yard Hawk touchdown. Placide came through unblocked on the extra point attempt, blocking it to preserve a 28-20 lead for Wagner.
The Hawks kicked deep, hoping to stop Wagner with 7:13 on the clock but the defense was unable to get off the field as the Seahawks drove down the field and killing much of the clock in a drive that culminated in a 24 yard David Lopez field goal. The win gave Wagner coach Walt Hamline his 200th career victory, making him just the 64th collegiate coach to the milestone.
Frazier finished 17-of-22 for 182 yards passing with one touchdown and an interception. Mandeville was two-of-three passing for 19 yards and a touchdown. Giles had 96 yards rushing while Pollard led the Hawks with 49 yards receiving. The freshman also had 109 yards in kick returns.
Defensively, Kendall Haley (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) led the Hawks with 11 tackles while senior linebacker Jeff Brady (East Aurora, N.Y./St. Francis) had eight in the game. The game marked the first time since week 2 that MU’s defense allowed a 100-yard rusher.
Doscher finished 13-of-26 for 206 yards with a touchdown while collecting 129 yards on the ground. Collins finished with 112 yard receiving to lead all players. Wagner safety Stefen Gage led all tacklers with 14 tackles. Monmouth had 356 yards of offense compared to Wagner’s 444 yards. The series is now tied 9-9 between the two rivals.
Monmouth will return home to host Central Connecticut State at 12 p.m. next Saturday.