Monmouth University (5-5,
4-3 NEC) wrapped up the final game of the 2012 season with a thrilling 26-21
victory over Robert Morris (4-7, 3-5 NEC), Saturday afternoon at Joe Walton
The Hawks, who never trailed in the contest, had built a 17-0 lead after the
first half but RMU battled back with 21 points in the final two quarters.
Robert Morris, which had three come from behind victories in the fourth quarter
in the last four games, forced a punt with just over three minutes in the game
down by five. After a terrific Ryan Mohr
(West Orange, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) punt pinned the Colonials on their one yard
line, RMU went to work, moving the ball deep into MU territory.
The 14 play drive almost ended on a three yard touchdown run on fourth down but
RMU was called for holding with seven seconds remaining. With one play left,
facing a fourth and goal from their own 13, Sinclair stepped over the line of
scrimmage on an incomplete pass and the game ended on an illegal forward pass
call, preserving the MU victory.
"I've very happy for our seniors to finish the season off with a win,"
said head coach Kevin Callahan. "I'm happy for all of players on the
team, I'm proud of the way they battled in that game. They continued to
play hard all the way to the end. Its an excellent
way for our seniors to end their careers."
Kyle Frazier finished his final game as Monmouth's quarterback throwing
22-of-25 for 258 yards and a touchdown while running back Julian Hayes (Middletown,
Conn./Xavier/The Hun School) finished with two scores on 22 carries for 143
yards. Senior Tristan Roberts (Ansonia, Conn./Ansonia/Lackawanna C.C.) finished
with five catches for 82 yards while sophomore Neal Sterling (Belmar,
N.J./Manasquan) hauling in four catches for 88 yards.
The Hawks dominated the first quarter of play, sprinting out to a 17-0 lead and
a 161-21 advantage in yardage after the first quarter. Frazier and the Hawks
drove right down the field on their first possession, with Hayes tearing off a
career-high run 51 yards to set the Hawks up deep in Colonial territory. Two
plays later, Hayes finished the drive with a two yard run, putting up MU 7-0
with just 1:34 elapsed from the game clock.
After forcing a three and out of defense, MU drove down again this time ending
with a 21 yard Eric Spillane (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) field goal that put MU
up 10-0 with 5:53 to play.
The Hawks pushed their lead to 17-0 on an 11 yard strike from Frazier to
Roberts with 55 seconds remaining in the quarter. Roberts' sixth touchdown of the year capped
an eight play, 51 yard drive that took 2:57 off the clock.
Neither team scored in the second quarter, with Robert Morris' best opportunity
coming on a 34-yard field goal attempt that was blocked by senior Mike Upham (Clifton,
Va./Centreville). The Colonials had moved down to the Hawk 12 but Robert Morris
senior quarterback Jeff Sinclair was sacked for a 15-yard loss by senior Chris
Luma (Edison, N.J./Bishop Ahr) that set up them up on the MU 27.
RMU owned the third quarter, scoring on
quick drives, including a five play opening half drive that was capped by a 20
yard Dontae Howard run. Sinclair found
sophomore Duane Mitchell for 39 yards to
cut the Hawk lead to 17-14 with 8:58 to play in the third quarter. That drive
took just five plays as well and only took 2:04 off the clock.
Spillane got the Hawks back on the board with a season-long
43 yard field goal with 4:23 to play in the third quarter, putting MU ahead
Hayes put MU up by 12 when he rumbled 22 yards for his
second touchdown of the game with 11:12 left in the fourth quarter. The ensuing
two-point conversion was no good and the Hawks held a 26-14 lead.
The Colonial offense was not done as Sinclair found Mitchell again, this time
for 44 yards on a six play drive with 8:05 left in the game. Monmouth put
together a few drives, using valuable time but was unable to get anymore
points. The final MU drive stalled at their own 45 but Mohr's season long 54
yard punt set up the Colonials need a 99 yard drive for the win.
Safeties Pat Gray (Westfield, N.J./Westfield/Hargrave Military) and Andrew
Sutton (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) led the Hawks with nine and seven
tackles respectively. Monmouth had four sacks in the game while RMU collected
six against the Hawks but none in the fourth quarter.
Sinclair finished 21-of-34
with 268 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Mitchell had 116 yards on
five catches with both RMU TD receptions. Evan Taylor had 78 yards on the
ground while Sinclair added 54. RMU held a 440-418 advantage in yards but the
Hawks held a time of possession advantage of 31:30 to 28:30. D.J. Myers led all
tacklers with 11 while All-NEC defensive lineman Nolan Nearhoof had 2.5 sacks
and six total tackles.
Monmouth ends the season 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the Northeast Conference.
-Kyle Frazier finishes his career as the MU all-time leader in pass
attempts, completion percentage, pass completions. He is second in passing
yardage and total offense and third in touchdown passes.
-Tristan Robert's 55 receptions is the fourth most in a single season for a Monmouth
-Roberts 92 receptions (in just 2 seasons) is seventh most in school history.
- Neal Sterling, who in two seasons has 90 receptions in two seasons, is eighth
-Joe Johnson's fumble recovery was the first turnover caused by the MU defense
in four games
-The Hawks are now 13-7 in regular season finales under head coach Kevin
-The win was Monmouth's first over Robert Morris since the 2008 season and the
series record is held by RMU 10-8.
-Julian Hayes' 11 touchdowns in 2012 is the eighth most in school history. His
two-year output of 25 rushing touchdowns is fourth most in school history.
-Hayes' 143 yards is the fourth 100-yard rushing game of his career and the
second of the season (Duquesne)