WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Kyle Frazier (Gaithersburg, Md./Damascus) was 25-of-40 for 246 yards and a touchdown but the Monmouth University football team fell to Saint Francis (Pa.), 45-31, on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at Kessler Field. With the loss, the Hawks move to 4-5 (3-3 NEC), while the Red Flash improves to 4-6 (3-4 NEC).
"We came out and didn't get things going right away, we didn't have the energy that you need to have to start a football game," said MU Head Coach Kevin Callahan. "That caused us to not execute some things the way we need to. I got to give Saint Francis some credit, they are a good football team. They had a good game plan and made some plays. We put ourselves in a hole and it was very difficult to get out of. We regained some momentum and made some big plays in the second half, it was too little too late. It doesn't matter who you play you have to start fast and play a complete 60 minutes and we didn't do that today."
Kwabena Asante (Silver Spring, Md./James Hubert Blake [WVU]) led the Hawks with 56 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Julian Hayes (Middletown, Conn./Xavier [The Hun School]) ran for 53 yards and a touchdown. Tristan Roberts (Ansonia, Conn./Ansonia) led the Hawks with five receptions for 76 yards, while Eric Sumlin (Dover, Del./Dover) was close behind with four catches for 66 yards.
Saint Francis quarterback John Kelly was 16-for-21 for 263 yards passing, ran for 46 more yards, and accounted for one touchdown each through the air and on the ground. Anthony Abeid led the Red Flash 119 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Keion Wade ran for 47 yards and a touchdown prior to his second-quarter ejection. A.J. Alexander led all receivers with six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.
The Red Flash immediately jumped out in front with a nine-play, 87-yard drive capped by Wade's one-yard touchdown run exactly four minutes into the first quarter. The Hawks quickly responded with an eight-play, 76-yard drive finished off by Asante's 37-yard scamper into the end zone to tie the game at 7-7 at the 7:54 mark of the first quarter.
Dane Domonkos then ran back the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and the Red Flash was successful on an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. All told, Saint Francis would reel off 24 straight points on the Domonkos return, a Josh Thiel field goal, a two-yard touchdown reception by Dan Conley and a 27-yard touchdown run by Abeid.
Hayes scored on a two-yard run to cut the deficit to 31-14 with 2:29 remaining in the half, but Alexander capped a four-play, 88-yard drive for the Red Flash with a 16-yard touchdown reception at the 1:12 mark to give Saint Francis a 38-14 lead. Monmouth went 63 yards on 10 plays prior to the break, setting up Eric Spillane's (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) 29-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 38-17 as time expired on the first half.
The Hawks started the second half by immediately driving 75 yards on eight plays for a touchdown. Frazier connected with Neal Sterling (Belmar, N.J./Manasquan) on a five-yard fade to the back corner of the end zone for the touchdown, cutting the Hawks' deficit to 38-24. Neither team could work its way back onto the scoreboard until Kelly ran it in from 11 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Mike Upham (Clifton, Va./Centreville) blocked a Red Flash punt midway through the fourth quarter and Andrew Sutton (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) ran it in from 27 yards out to again cut the deficit to 14 points. But Monmouth would get no closer.
The Hawks return to action next Saturday, when they travel to Northeast Conference foe Robert Morris. Kickoff is scheduled for noon at Joe Walton Stadium.