Courtesy of Monmouth Athletics
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.
- The Monmouth University football team dropped its first ever overtime contest, falling to Central Connecticut State, 49-48 in two extra periods on Saturday afternoon at Kessler Field.
After a scoreless first overtime period, the Hawks took a 48-41 lead after fifth-year senior LJ Caprio (North Caldwell, N.J. /West Essex Regional) scored his third rushing touchdown of the game on a four-yard run. CCSU quarterback Gunnar Jespersen answered with a score from a yard out, and then the visitor’s won the game when they elected to go for two, instead of tying the game with an extra point, when the signal-caller found receiver Josue Paul for the conversion.
The Blue Devils took the game’s initial lead when running back Everette Benjamin scored from 29 yards out with 10:47 left in the first quarter. The Hawks tied the game at 7-7 when Caprio scored his first touchdown of the game with 7:34 left in the opening period. The fifth-year senior gave the Hawks a one-score lead early in the second quarter, scoring from two yards out with 14:27 showing before halftime.
CCSU then scored 14 straight points to take a 21-14 lead after Jespersen tossed scores on consecutive drives, the first a 42-yarder to Richie Martin and then a 26-yarder to Paul, respectively. The Hawks answered when quarterback Kyle Frazier (Gaithersburg, Md. /Damascus) connected with fifth-year senior receiver Ryan Folsom (Somerdale, N.J. /Triton Regional) on a 69-yard touchdown to square the game at 21-21 with 1:50 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, CCSU defensive end Lawton Arnold picked up the pooch kick and raced 70 yards for a touchdown, putting the Blue Devils in front, 28-21 with 1:33 left. Monmouth answered when Frazier hit Nick Romeo (Wayne, N.J. /Wayne Hills) for a 15-yard score with 32 seconds left in the half, but the Hawks missed the extra point and trailed, 28-27. MU then took a 34-28 lead into intermission when fifth-year senior Kenny Amsel (Demarest, N.J. /Northern Valley Regional) picked off a Jespersen passed and went 72 yards for a score as the first half clock expired.
The Hawks added to their lead, going up 41-28 after their first drive of the second half when freshman Mitchell Pollard (Silver Spring, Md. /Springbrook) scored on a 13-yard run to cap a four-play, 62-yard jaunt. Central scored on its next two possessions, tying the game at 41-41 with 56 seconds left in the game, but had its extra point blocked, forcing overtime.
The two teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense in the shootout. Frazier completed 18-of-29 passes for 300 yards and two scores in the game, and led the ground attack with a career-high 115 yards on 16 carries. Caprio carried 23 times for 64 yards, adding three scores in the game. Tyler George (Berkley Heights, N.J. /Governor Livingston) caught a team-high five passes for 40 yards, while Pollard added four grabs for 73 yards. Matt Plautz (Harmony, Pa. /Seneca) caught three passes for 45 yards, while Folsom contributed a pair of catches for 85 yards.
Benjamin led CCSU with 184 rushing yards on 28 carries. Chris Tolbert added 72 yards on 11 carries as the Blue Devils ran for 338 yards on 63 carries. Jespersen completed 16-of-29 passes for 225 yards with three scores and two interceptions.
A quartet of Hawks each recorded 10+ tackles, led by Joe Valenti (Bayonne, N.J. /St. Peter’s Prep) and his 14 stops. Jose Gumbs (Queens, N.Y. /Hebron Academy), Kendall Haley (Olney, Md. /Good Counsel) and Dave Ogden (Wayne, N.J. /Wayne Hills) each recorded 11 tackles as Ogden added three tackles for loss and a sack.
MU concludes its 2010 regular season next Saturday when it visits Albany for a 1:00 pm kickoff.