Subscribe Now!
GannettUSA Today

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hawks no match for Hens /more here than in Sunday Press

By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER

NEWARK, Del. - It was a majestic sight the likes of which a Monmouth University football team had never witnessed,
After the Hawks quietly entered the field and made their way to their bench Saturday night the University of Delaware team exited a tunnel beneath a delirious, mostly yellow and blue clad thunderstick banging crowd, and past a 300-member band on its way to its sidelines.
It was Monmouth's first experience playing a tradition-rich long time national Football Championship Subdivsion force and, as most expected, it wasn't a pleasant one.
The Blue Hens, No. 12 in the Sports Network FCS Poll, defeated Monmouth 42-7 before 21,431 at Tubby Raymond Field.
All the scoring took place in the first half as Delaware improved to 5-0, the school's best start since it began 9-0 in 2003 on its way to the then 1-AA national championship.
Monmouth fell to 0-4 for the first time since the 2002 season when it won its next game and went on to finish 2-9.
""First half, it was a little chaotic, it was loud, it was a new scene for us,'' said T. J. Cerezo, a Monmouth senior linebacker. ""Once we got settled I think we played a lot better than we did than in the first couple of drives.
""A team that is that good is going to caitalize on us having a little trouble in the beginning.
""Once we got a chance to sort everything I think we played pretty well.
Monmouth managed to surprise the partisan crowd, the largest ever to see it play, when red shirt sophomore David Sinisi (21-69) burst eight yards into the end zone cutting into a 14-0 Delaware lead with 2:39 left in the first quarter.
It not only extended the longest individual streak in the nation of a player scoring a touchdown to 16 consecutive games but marked the first touchdown allowed by Delaware in the first half this season.
Sinsi was hugged by some of his teamates in the end zone and pointed to the stands as ran to the bench following the 74-yard drive in 10 plays.
""I just thought we needed to get more possessions on offense, more stops on defense, and more opportunities,'' said senior wide out Adam San Miguel.
""I think we should schedule games like this more often. I didn't really see a big gap talent wise.''
But after Monmouth scored its young defense, with just two returning starters, was almost powerless to halt the Delaware onslaught for the balance of the first half.
Back ups for both teams played much of the second half.
Delaware scored on five of six first-half possessions as senior Omar Cuff rushed for 73 yards and two TD while snatching a seven-yard pass from senior quarterback Joe Flacco for another.
In the half Flacco completed 14 of 16 passes for 199 yards and two scores and junior corner Fred Andrews returned a pass by Monmouth quarterback Brett Burke pass 78 yards for a TD.
Delaware has now outscored its opponents in the first half, 135-12, 79-0 in the second quarter.
Cuff, who did not play in the second half set a school career record for touchdowns with 52.
Delaware pulled Flacco (15-19-0, 215 yards) during its first possession of the second half after he went over the 200-yard mark for a school record 10th consecutive game.
Burke (18-25-2, 132 yards) went three quarters before sophomore Andrew Mandeville, a Raritan High School graduate and red shirt freshman Ryan Folsom played in the fourth. Monmouth freshman defensive end Garrett Cullo (Ocean Township) had a fourth quarter sack.
NOTES....Monmouth visits Sacred Heart (2-3) 1 p.m. Saturday when it attempts to avoid going 0-5 which occurred in 1999. Monmouth has never dropped six in a row to open a season. Sacred Heart will be coming off an 18-15 loss to Wagner (3-1). The game is the first of five in a row against Northeast Conference opposition....Monmouth Saturday night faced its third current member of the Colonial Athletic Association, the others being Maine to open the 2007 season and Towson against which it went 1-7. Monmouth will face a fourth CAA team in 2008 when it visits the University of Rhode Island.

20 Comments:

Anonymous HG07 said...

Now do you understand the gongs?

Hope you enjoyed your stay.

11:31 PM, September 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't a big gap talent wise...? Did San Miguel watch the same game that I watched? Delaware was older, faster, stronger and definately had more talent...

12:53 AM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Delaware didn't play its best WR, D-End, and its SS (read on their local news page) Thank God.

12:56 AM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Cerezo basically echoed San Miguel's comments though I did not run them.

Athletes are proud people..especially those that play for a winning program and MU is a winning program.

And I have rarely come across an athlete who says.."they were better than us and kicked our butts.''

But - in my opinion - Delaware `was and did.

The fact is- in my opinion - Kudos to coach Keeler for not allowing the score to be 63-7 after three quarters and so on.

Having said all of the above a lesser Monmouth team than of recent years - this one - ran smack dab into one of Delaware's best teams of recent years..maybe the best since 2003?

That's going to be a mismatch.

I talked with some writers from Del. who said last year's MU team would have defeated last year's Del team (as Albany did).

For MU the timing - year wise - was off. MU this year was the wrong MU team vs. the wrong Del. team.

1:45 AM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I have to feel Del. fans were impressed by Sinisi. He is a different type of runner than Cuff but Sinisi I believe showed he could play at that level.

1:49 AM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

And Del fans are right..the press box is an embarrasment for a program of its stature.

1:50 AM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous UD said...

Sinisi was good and ellusive...Being that he has been in the endzone so much he sure didn't act like it after the his score. I know he was excited but taunting the student section was a joke.

Sorry you had to be in that press box...it is horrible...

2:00 AM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I was on the other side and I did see him pointing..but I'm not going to fault him. He was obviously excited. Scoring against Del in front of 21,000 yellow and blue wearing fans isn't the same as scoring against, oh, St. Francis, Pa.??

2:07 AM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous ud said...

Yeah understandable...Hope you had a decent stay and the future for MU looks pretty good. You just cought UD in the wrong year like you said. UD played pretty "vanilla offense" but I am glad everyone made it out without bad injuries. A ferw guys got banged up but hopefully they are fine. Best of luck to MU next week and for the season, you guys will be fine.

2:35 AM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Speaking for msyelf..good luck to Del, too...I know you've got a big game with UNH this week.

It would be fun for me to say I covered a game involving the 2007 FCS champions...

As a kid growing up around Philly I always watched highlights of their games on the local TV news on Saturdays at 11 and even now when I am home on Sat. to watch the 11 p.m. news Chs. 10 or 6 (we don't get 3 here on Cablevision) I view UD highlights.

So it was neat to cover a game at a place I have seen so often on television.


I was also happy..whether it was writers or fans..to be in contact with so many Phillie fans. Aside from the football game, that seemed to be the big topic among the Del. writers and the fans I came across.


Re: the Pressbox. The Del. SID Scott a real nice guy. Remembered me from the days MU played Del. in men's hoops. MU won some of those games.

2:48 AM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

Even last year's Monmouth team vs. this year's Delaware team would have been very respectable. Monmouth's young defense was overmatched. Last year’s MU defense was much more seasoned. And MU’s offensive inability to really get the passing game going also attributed. You knew after 14-7 that UD would make defensive adjustments vs. the run. Last year's MU's offense would've had the aerial game going, creating for a better match to this year's UD team.

9:31 AM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Last year's MU team vs. '07 Hens.

Yes, I think the '06 Hawks would have been in the game, certainly for a longer period of time.

Not saying they would have won, but it would have been a different game.

Experience and poise counts and the '07 Hawks don't have the experience or the poise (not really their fault, that's just the way it is).

But as Callahan told me last night for a future story - poise in adverse conditions is something the current team needs to display more of.

Certainly after last night games at - say - Sacred Heart, CCSU, etc., should be like playing in a sand box compared to Raymond Stadium.

10:49 AM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

"But as Callahan told me last night for a future story - poise in adverse conditions is something the current team needs to display more of."

This is so true. Looking back, MU should be kicking themselves big time for the Maine game. Such a winnable game vs. a "supposedly stronger team".

And the position on the field that needs to show the most poise hasn't done that during the four games played. I know this last remark may make you delete this response, but so be it.

2:00 PM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

One other note, while Raymond Stadium can pack 22,000 fans, and can get pretty loud and magestic with it's 300 piece band, it did look like a sandbox with it's lack of open space beyond the playing field. There was no room to run into past either endzone. And the sidelines had no room past the benches. Did you see the litte kids at the one end zone right in Daniels' ear awaiting a snap?

4:44 PM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I don't usually delete anything that is on topic and stated in a professional, sensible, manner.

5:42 PM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I didn't see what you are`talking about vs. Daniels, but a cozy home is all part of a home field advantage.

I am not going to take issue with Raymond Stadium. It's a little (well maybe a lot) old, but I imgaine still a palace compared to, probably, many facilities at its level and - well - need we discuss the NEC level??

5:48 PM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

I like your response to me on the stadium issue. It does bring to mind that if the NEC is to participate in FCS playoff come 2008 then they need to start building bigger stadiums and show they can draw bigger crowd. I don’t think 20,000 fan capacity is needed but something along the lines of Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium should be the goal. Am I aiming too high? I know RMU’s new Joe Walton stadium would do as well. I know SFU also has new stands but don’t know quite the new capacity. Can you just imagine MU bringing that issue up the WLB zoning board?

6:19 PM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Kessler Field. I believe MU is quietly considering expansion of Kessler Field which would include stands and a new pressbox (yipee!) on the other side.

Even now they have those extra bleachers in the end zone but that's hardly the ultimate solution.

I have no timetable for this but I estimate the attempt would be made within a few years.

Once WLB residents discover that the new MU arena will not end life in their boro as they know it - it may be an easier sell.

And by then perhaps the mayor - bless her little heart- will have learned to spell NCAA.



And it's only for 5-6 weekends per year.

I think MU would like to go to boost Kessler capacity to about 6000-8000.

That would be fine as i see it. They don't need
16,000-22,000.

7:09 PM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Hayward said...

Before we talk about expanding Kessler field can we get 3/4 fill the existing capacity once in while. They played San Diego in the Pioneer Bowl (or whatever it was called) and could not sell out.

No this is not the WLB mayor!

7:48 PM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

More Kessler Field: Gridiron Classic - that was the name of it - sure liked like a sellout to me. Did you see any empty seats?

Robert Morris game this year weren't many empty seats either. The crowd they announced 2,400 or whatever.. I'm rather sure was in error..

But also.. any expansion of Kessler field will, I believe in the long run, lead to either the NEC revamping in football or Monmouth jumping to another league in football where visiting teams may travel more than the NEC...and all coinciding with MU going to 63 scholarships.....but not for a few years yet..gotta get the MAC built
..


That's my opinion anyway..

11:39 PM, September 30, 2007  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home