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Monmouth Routs Hampton: Three Takeaways From Hawks Home Win

The Monmouth Hawks moved to 1-1 on the young season after a 56-28 win over Hampton in their home opener.

Monmouth bounced back from a season-opening road loss to defeat Hampton, 56-28, at Kessler Stadium on Saturday.

While there was much to take from the game (Kenji Bahar’s three TD’s, Devell Jones running in two more), there are other storylines from this matchup. Here are three takeaways from Monmouth’s big win against Hampton.

Guerriero Explodes For Big Game

A week after being bottled up against Eastern Michigan, Pete Guerriero exploded in the Hawks’ home opener. The sophomore ran for 209 yards and three touchdowns in the win, rebounding from a 34-yard game just one week prior. There was even a highlight-worthy 67-yard TD run from the running back in the second quarter.

Juwon Farri was a non-factor against the Pirates as he finished with just 15 yards on seven carries. Even with Bahar throwing for over 300 yards, Monmouth (1-1) will thrive or fail with their running game. While one proficient running back is nice, two skilled running backs make Monmouth almost unstoppable in Big South conference play. Going on the road for the next two weeks, the Hawks will need a one-two punch from Guerriero and Farri as they move through the season.

Maligned Monmouth Defense Recovers After Slow Start

After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, the Hawks defense held Hampton to just 14 points the rest of the way. The defense had two sacks, and Hampton was 6-of-17 on third down conversions. Anthony Budd (eight tackles) and Tymere Berry (four tackles and an interception) led a Hawks’ defense that also held Hampton to just 90 yards on the ground.

Monmouth’s defense, mainly the secondary, was a significant question mark heading into the season. They struggled against Eastern Michigan but against Hampton, they dominated after a slow start. There is much good to take from this game for defensive coordinator Andy Bobik and Monmouth. There is still work to do, but this game showed that Monmouth could be putting it all together defensively.

Home Cooking At Kessler

With Saturday’s win, Monmouth moved to 6-0 at the new Kessler Stadium. This fact, which seems benign to most people, is a big deal. Monmouth athletics has been in the midst of significant growth over the years. The reimagining of Kessler Stadium was one of the centerpieces of that growth. The school now has a new home field that rivals many other FCS schools.

With a home stadium worthy of praise, West Long Branch is becoming a tough place to visit on a weekly basis. A home field that is a house of horrors for opponents is a mark of a team on the rise. Monmouth is that such team in the Big South and the FCS as a whole.

What’s Next For Monmouth

The Hawks hit the road for two consecutive weeks starting in Easton, Pa. as they take on Lafayette on Saturday. Game time is set for 6 p.m.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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