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Friday, October 05, 2007

Last chance for football Hawks (to save the season)? Saturday Press story

MONMOUTH
at SACRED HEART
1 p.m.
88.9 FM

By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER
The Monmouth University football team (0-4, 0-1) maybe struggling. But don't tell the Hawks their season is finished.
""Everybody still has real high hopes,'' said Chris Kiley, Monmouth senior wide out.
""Nobody's down on each other,'' said the graduate of Point Pleasant Boro High School '' We're still confident in our ability to win out for the rest of the season and hopefully take the NEC (championship) again.''
Monmouth, after bowing to Delaware last week, 42-7, resumes Northeast Conference action Saturday vs. Sacred Heart (2-3, 0-1).
The Hawks will be hoping to fly in the face of history as no NEC team has ever opened the season 0-4 and recovered to win the league championship.
However, there is precedent for NEC teams beginning seasons losing to higher caliber non-conference teams, and often by big scores, but still bouncing back to win or challenge for NEC titles.
Stony Brook limped into Monmouth last year 0-4 including 62-7 and and 48-7 pastings by New Hampshire and UMass respectively. It went on to whip Monmouth and spend most of the season in first place before being overtaken by the Hawks on the final weekend.
Stony Brook began 1-3 in 2005 including a 55-0 loss to Bucknell and tied Central Connecticut State for the league crown.
Albany started 2003 losing 51-0 to Northeastern and in 2002 lost its opener 45-7 to Montana and tied for the NEC championship each of those years.
Kiley said the Monmouth offense needs to be more consistent. ""We'd get a string of good plays going and we'd get a personal foul or penalties and that sets us back,'' said Kiley. ""Puts us in hard situations.''
Kiley, who this season played against former high school teamate Ryan Canary who is the starting center at Maine, Saturday faces another former teamate in sophomore Brian Friedman, the starting fullback for the Pioneers.
""It's awesome to see old friends out on the field,'' said Kiley. ""Even though we have to play against them it's a great atmosphere.''
It's a winning atmosphere that Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said the team hopes to locate.
""It's important we start playing well and winning games,'' said Callahan. "'I've been saying all along that we've been improving each and every week.
"And I've been happy with our progress and improvement. We're right on track. Now it's important we go out and see the results of that improvement and that improvement is a win.''
NOTES...Callahan said No. 2 quarterback Andrew Mandeville (Raritan) will not dress this week after suffering a shoulder injury vs. Delaware, with red shirt freshman Ryan Folsom taking the role of Brett Burke's back up. Callahan said sophomore reserve tackle Jeff King (Raritan), who injured a knee vs. the Blue Hens, is also out.
Jackson graduate Joe Schroeder, a sophomore, is the place kicker for Sacred Heart, junior Ed Gurrieri (Manalapan) is a reserve running back, and senior linebacker Robert Occhiuzzi (Red Bank Catholic) will attempt to play through a nagging hamstring problem.

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