Monroe 's Backs Roll Over Wagner in Opener, 28-0
Two freshman, Goliday and Thomas power the Mustangs
By Gary Axlebank
BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 30- On the game's final scrimmage play, a spectacular 99-yard TD interception return by freshman cornerback Jarell Hicks (Newark, NJ) put the exclamation point on a convincing 28-0 Monroe Mustangs season-opening victory over Wagner (JV) at the Seahawks' Hameline Field on Staten Island on Thursday afternoon.
But it was a pair of Mustang freshmen running backs who stole the show. Derrick Goliday (Akron, OH) scored two rushing TD's and Donald Thomas (Bronx, NY) had one, as well as the game's longest rush from scrimmage, a 46-yard jaunt down the sideline in the third quarter, to power the Mustangs.
"In the beginning, I was concerned about the fatigue of a hard training camp," head coach Terry Karg said after the game, "and I thought we showed that at the start. But the more we got into it, we really got our wheels rolling."
Starting quarterback Michael Campbell (Bloomfield, CT) drove the Mustangs to their first score on their first possession, clicking on two clutch third-down plays along the way.
On the drive's seventh play, he handed it to Goliday who blasted up the middle for a nine-yard, second-effort TD run that gave the Mustangs their first score in their second season of football.
In the second half, as he said he would, Coach Karg put freshman Clayton Turner (Marietta, GA) under center and at 6:53 in the third quarter he handed to Thomas who ran four yards for the first TD of his college career. Thomas played his HS ball at Cardinal Hayes in the Bronx.
"I thought Derrick (Goliday) set the tempo early, and Donald (Thomas) took off from what he started," Coach Karg said.
As the quarter ended, Goliday put the finishing touches on a five-play 67-yard drive with an eight-yard TD run. That score was set up by Thomas' 46-yard dash.
Thomas finished with 109 yards on 10 carries to lead Monroe and Goliday netted 77 yards on eleven carries.
As the clock wound down with Monroe leading 21-0, it looked like the Seahawks would break up the shutout. But on a fourth and goal with just 22-seconds remaining and the ball on Monroe's six, Hicks stepped in front of the Wagner receiver and grabbed the interception. And as the Mustangs hooped and hollered on their bench, he raced 99-yards for the icing on Monroe's cake.
"You always want to win that first one," Karg said. It's a reward for all the hard you've done to get here and puts a good taste in your mouth in preparation for what's to come."
Next Saturday night at 7:30pm, the Mustangs will open their home season against Dean College at SUNY Purchase. Admission is free.