West Long Branch:Football at Kessler field at Monmouth University has meant an undefeated series for the two years the updated stadium has been in use. This year has seen two victories at home that continue the 5-gamee series of last year, the 2017-2018 playing season. On Saturday the Hawks did it again with a 54-47 victory over Wagner College's Seahawks, a rivalry that goes back 20+ years.
The 3,791 fans near-filled the stadium as the visitors are close enough to drive the distance, and tail gaiting was on full before and at half time. The Seahawks had pulled ahead just before the break with a 33-27 lead, thanks to a quick Wagner TD just before the Half.
It was that kind of game, as the lead shifted back and forth after the Hawks 2-0 point Safety in the early minutes as a ball scooted through the hands of the offense and saw MU score for two.
Wagner held its own and came back for the lead with three consecutive scores. Their offense made up for the miscue. But it was not an easy field effort for either team. In the second half the Hawks came on strong as Wagner gave up the advantage they had enjoyed.
The teams scored a whopping 950 points all together, with Monmouth grabbing 514 of them, with its 263 on the ground, the Stats folks at MU advised.
Every form of scoring was in play, from the Safety, to field goals and TDs. Ball handling was an issue for the Hawks as fumbles and interceptions led to 4 critical turnovers.
The cheerleaders can be given credit for keeping the crowd cheering, as did the fabulous Dance Team. Add to that the youthful Jersey Shore Pee Wee Blue Devils who took the field to boost the roar of the crowd as their home team found moments of success/
At the gate was the US Marie corps Toys for Tots table where donations were collected to help out families in the upcoming holidays. Try WWW.TOYSFORTOTS.ORG . Also Tom's Titans were at the gate collecting donations to fight cancer.