Courtesy of Monmouth Athletics
MOON, Pa. - Monmouth University’s comeback attempt fell short when Robert Morris’ Corey Nolton blocked a potentially game-winning 28 yard field goal attempt with two seconds left to hold on to a 17-16 victory.
MU trailed 17-10 going late into the fourth quarter when quarterback Kyle Frazier (Damascus, Md./Damascus) connected with Chris Hogan (Ramapo, N.Y./Ramapo/Penn State) on an eight-yard fade route to close to 17-16 with 1:38 remaining in regulation. The drive ate up 9:35 on the clock and covered 88 yards on 15 plays to close the gap to one. Freshman placekicker Eric Spillane (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) drove the ball off the left upright, his first missed extra point of the season.
Safety Jose Gumbs (Queens, N.Y./Hebron Academy) gave the Hawks a shot at redemption when he recovered the ensuing onsides kick at the Monmouth 45. Frazier led the Hawks down the field on a seven-play 44 yard drive which included a 25 yard completion to Ryan Folsom (Somerdale, N.J./Triton Regional). MU got down to the RMU 11 and called time out with six seconds left to bring Spillane on for a 28 yard attempt. The kick was a bit low and Nolton, a 6-4 sophomore defensive tackle, was able to get a partial hand on the ball. The kick was almost powerful enough to be successful even with the block, but the ball rang off the crossbar to keep the Colonials undefeated. Prior to the kick Spillane was a perfect 8-for-8 on field goals.
Robert Morris improves to 5-1 on the season, with a 4-0 mark in NEC play while the Hawks fall to 1-4 on the season and 1-1 in league play. After mustering a paltry 82 yards of offense in the first half, Monmouth finished the game with 311 yards of offense while the Hawk defense limited the explosive RMU offense to 75 yards in the final 30 minutes of play.
Robert Morris scored on their opening possession, driving 52 yards on seven plays. The Colonials had great field position thanks to a 15 yard penalty tacked on to a solid return to start the game. Just four minutes into the game Sinclair rolled right and sped to the corner of the goalline where he stretched for the game’s first touchdown. Garrett Clawson’s extra point put RMU ahead 7-0 with 11:26 to play.
MU tallied the games next points after Don Brooks III (Newark, Del./Caravel Academy) intercepted Sinclair at the Colonial 10 yardline and returned it to the RMU five. It was Brooks’ second interception of the year. The Hawks attempted a pair of fade passes on the ensuing drive but could not get into the end zone and had t settle for a 22 yard Eric Spillane field goal.
Sinclair found a wide open Shadre King from 12 yards out to cap a seven-play 62 yard drive that put RMU ahead 14-3 with 14:34 left in the second half.
After Mike Avent’s (Upper Marlboro, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) 43 yard kickoff return gave Monmouth the ball at the Hawk 47, where MU went 53 yards on eight plays. L.J. Caprio’s (North Caldwell, N.J./West Essex/Richmond) fourth touchdown run of the season cut the RMU lead to 14-10 with just over 10 minutes to play in the second.
Robert Morris scored the last points of the half on a 34 yard Garrett Clawson field goal with three seconds remaining. The Colonials used a 11-play 63-yard drive to move from their own 20 into the senior’s field goal range.
Monmouth, who mustered just 82 yards of offense in the first half, finished with 311 yards compared to Robert Morris’ 286. The Hawks had 122 yards on the ground led by Bobby Giles’ (Burlington, N.J./Burlington) 76 yards while Frazier finished 19-of-30 with one touchdown and one interception for 189 yards passing. Freshman Mitchell Pollard (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) led the Hawks with four receptions for 64 yards while Folsom had four catches for 50 yards in the loss.
Russ led all rushers with 95 yards on 17 carries, 70 of which he had in the first half. Sinclair finished 10-of-19 for 148 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Jamie Cobb led all receivers with 72 yards on three receptions while King finished with three catches for 41 yards and the Colonials lone TD catch.
Linebacker Chris Mastrangelo (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) paced the Hawk defense with nine tackles while Joe Valenti (Bayonne, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep) had eight stops, including two for a loss. The Hawks held a Robert Morris offense that had score 86 points in the fourth quarter alone coming into the game to 75 total yards in the second half. MU’s offense held control of the ball for almost 22 minutes in the second half.
Robert Morris’ Michael Landers had thirteen tackles to lead all players.
The Hawks return home against Bryant next weekend for the first game of a three-game homestand.