Courtesy of Monmouth Athletics
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. â€“ The Monmouth University football team completed its annual Blue/White Spring Football Game on Saturday afternoon at Kessler Field. The Blue team (offense) was able to score a touchdown and kick a field goal in the game, while the White (defense) looked very solid in the contest.
â€œIâ€™m fairly happy with the progress we made throughout spring practice,â€ said head coach Kevin Callahan. â€œLike I told the team I thought we had a great winter and that translated into a great spring . We made steady progress throughout spring progress. We still have some positions that are unsettled but the picture is a little bit clearer than it was going into spring. We had an opportunity to see the development of several younger players and you saw today what some of those younger players can do.â€
The Blue team was able to get on the board with a field goal from Jarrod Goodarz (Hamilton, N.J. /Steinert) on their third series, capping a 12-play, 44-yard drive. After four punts, the Blue struck again, this time when quarterback Craig Peterson (Manalapan, N.J. /Manalapan) found tight end Mike McLafferty (Morgan, N.J. /Sayreville War Memorial) in the end zone for six-yard touchdown.
The White was able to turn the Blue over once when safety Kenny Amsel (Demarest, N.J. /Northern Valley Regional) intercepted a Kyle Frazier (Gaithersburg, Md. /Damascus) pass over the middle.
The Blue was able to strike for a big play on the first series when Frazier hit receiver Vic Pasquariello (Nutley, N.J. /Nutley) for a 19-yard pass on a roll out. Andrew Mandeville (Hazlet, N.J. /Raritan) led the Hawks on their initial scoring drive, with the big play coming when Pasquariello ripped off a 15-yard run on a reverse, setting up the score.
McLafferty made the catch of the day when he snagged a Peterson pass with one-hand over the middle, setting up his touchdown catch on the Blueâ€™s eighth drive.
The MU quarterbacks were very efficient in the game, going a combined 33-for-54 passing for 236 yards. Frazier was 10-of-16 for 40 yards, while Peterson went 10-of-17 for 103 yards. Mandeville, who has recovered from a knee injury suffered last season, was 11-for-15 passing for 88 yards.
Ryan Folsom (Somerdale, N.J. /Triton Regional) led the receivers with six grabs for 41 yards, while a pair of tight ends, Tyler George (Berkley Heights, N.J. /Gov. Livington) and McLafferty each had four catches. George accounted for 29 yards receiving, while McLafferty paced the team with 55 yards. A trio of Hawks, Darvin Henderson (Ewing, N.J. /Ewing), Nick Romeo (Wayne, N.J. /Wayne Hills) and LJ Caprio (North Caldwell, N.J. /West Essex), each had three catches.
Safety Joe Gumbs (Queens, N.Y. /Hebron Academy) led the defense with eight stops, including two for loss. Ezra Bynum (Pelham, Mass. /Wilbraham Monsoon) had five stops and a pass defensed, while Joe Valenti (Bayonne, N.J. /Saint Peterâ€™s Prep) added the same stat line.
â€œThis spring on the defensive line, all the guys played both the inside and the outside positions,â€ said Callahan. â€œWe are really trying to figure out who are going to be the best four.â€
Chris Luma (Edison, N.J. /Bishop Ahr) had two sacks as the White team logged seven sacks on the day. The defensive line played very well, accounting for all seven sacks and eight TFL.
Punter Jack Daniels (Franklin Lakes, N.J. /Don Bosco Prep) enjoyed a successful day, logging 10 punts for an average of 38.6 yards per kick. Goodarz converted 6-of-9 field goals during the kicking session at the end of the game.