Head Coach Tommy Spangler’s Take:
“First, that’s a really good football team. They aren’t 8-1 because they are average. That’s a good football team. We came in at halftime feeling pretty good about both sides of the ball. We were making some plays and we were in a good position. Then we let them drive on us and score and then we have a drive stall and they stick a punt return back on us. Plays like that make a big difference and that stung. Then they get a pick, get good field position and punch that in. The game changed within six or seven minutes there and that was the big difference. Our guys didn’t lay down though and didn’t quit. We continued to do some good things on both sides of the ball and scored a touchdown. But that early third quarter stretch was what hurt us and it was a combination of the entire football team.”
How It Happened
The teams traded first quarter touchdowns with PC getting on the board first. After both teams swapped punts on their opening possessions, PC went 50 yards on nine plays with DaShawn Davis hauling in a nine-yard pass from Will Brock for the touchdown to give the Blue Hose a 7-0 lead. Monmouth answered on its ensuing drive with a 10-play, 80-drive that saw Devell Jones score on a two-yard run to tie the game at 7-7.
The Blue Hose regained the lead early in the second quarter. Brock found Riley Hilton this time for an 11-yard touchdown to push the score to 14-7. Monmouth tied the game again late in the first half, as Michael Jolly broke free for a 26-yard touchdown run to make 14-14 just before halftime.
Monmouth opened the second half with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with a Kenji Bahar scoring on a seven-yard run to give the Hawks a 21-14 lead. On the ensuing Presbyterian possession, Vinny Grasso returned a PC punt 70 yards for a touchdown to push the advantage to 28-14. After an MU interception two plays later, Kenji Bahar found Shawn Clark for a 20-yard touchdown to make it 35-14. PC answered on its ensuing drive with its first third-quarter touchdown of the season, coming on a 59-yard reception by Davis from Brock to make it 35-21.
The Hawks added a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, as Pete Guerriero scored from five yards out to make it 42-21.
DaShawn Davis led the Blue Hose offense on the afternoon, finding the end zone twice, a first in his career and the first PC receiver to do so since 2014. Davis scored the first PC touchdown of the game with a nine-yard touchdown reception, before recording the longest reception of his career, a 59-yarder, for the second score. PC’s leading receiver finished the game with six receptions for a season-high 97 yards.
Rock Ya-Sin recorded two interceptions in the contest, both preventing a potential Monmouth touchdown. Ya-Sin is the first PC player in the program’s Division I era to record two interceptions in a game. In addition, with the two INTs, Ya-Sin now has five interceptions on the season, establishing a new PC Division I era single-season record for interceptions. The previous record of four was held by Ed Britt (2015) and Justin Bethel (2011).
- Will Brock led the Blue Hose offense in his third career start, throwing for 186 yards on 16-of-29 passing and career-high three touchdowns on the afternoon. The lefty is the first PC quarterback to throw three touchdown passes in a game since 2014 when Hayes McMath threw for three touchdowns against Coastal Carolina. The 186 passing yards are not only a season-high for Brock but the most passing yards by a PC quarterback this season.
- Torrance Marable led the Blue Hose offense with 102 rushing yards on 21 carries, an average of 4.9 yards per carry. It is the third 100-yard rushing game of the rookie’s career and his first against a Big South opponent. He is tied for second in the league in 100-yard rushing games this season, behind Monmouth’s Pete Guerriero, who rushed for 153 yards in today’s game for his fourth such game.
- Riley Hilton scored his first touchdown of the season, an 11-yard reception in the second quarter. It was the second career score for the tight end. He finished the game with two receptions for 16 receiving yards.
- Ryan Burgess recorded the first interception of his career, coming late in the second quarter. He is one of three PC players to record an INT this season. Burgess added a pass breakup and a pair of tackles, including 1.0 tackle for loss, in the contest.
- Michael Fisher led the defense with eight tackles, while Dirk Cureton tied his career-high in stops with seven.
- PC recorded at least three interceptions in a game for just the fourth time in the Division I era. It was the first time that PC had at least three interceptions in a game since 2014 when the Blue Hose came up with four INTs against Western Carolina.
PC plays its final road game next Saturday at Liberty in the final matchup between the two as Big South opponents. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. with the game being televised by College Football Down South.