Dean takes home opener, 33-23
By Gary Axelbank
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 11- Two pick-sixes and two safeties tell you what you need to know about the Monroe Mustangs football home opener against Dean College (Franklin, MA) at SUNY Purchase on Saturday night. Though they hung in pretty well, scoring a fourth quarter TD on a gorgeous fade pass-and-catch in the back of the end zone to cap a gritty nine-play 56-yard drive, it was not enough to overcome those gaffes. Final score: Dean 33, Monroe 23. The Mustangs are 1-1 on the season.
"There are a ton of positives we can build on," said head Coach Terry Karg after the game. "We were able to score when they took the momentum by getting a TD on a corner route in the fourth quarter that showed we were still competing," he said. "But you can't give a good team that many points and expect to win."
Down 33-16 and all but dead, quarterback Michael Campbell (Bloomfield, CT), who entered the game when starter Clayton Thomas left with an injury, lofted a pass to the back of the end zone where sophomore Peter Ramanand (North Bergen, NJ) hauled it in, just getting his feet down in time. It was a gorgeous TD and pulled Monroe to within ten with 8:53, plenty of time, left in the game.
But the Mustangs were unable to stop the Bulldogs running attack all night long and on the ensuing drive they swallowed up large chucks of the remaining time - more than six minutes - with a 12-play 39-yard run-only drive before being forced to punt. In fact, Dean's rushers were dominant throughout, as the Bulldogs amassed 258 yards on the ground.
By comparison, Monroe's running game didn't really get going, as last week's heroes Donald Thomas (Bronx, NY) netted 52 yards on eleven carries and Derrick Goliday (Akron, OH) had ten carries for only 26 yards.
Monroe had opened the game with a surgical ten-play 68-yard drive that was capped off by a Goliday one-yard TD plunge. And when the Mustangs stopped Dean on a four-and-out on their first possession, it looked like it could be Monroe's night.
But on the next drive when a Turner pass couldn't be handled in the middle of the field, Dean's Ralph Stovall intercepted it and ran it in from 35-yards, stealing not only that pass, but the momentum that Monroe never would get back.
Next Saturday, the Mustangs will travel to Nassau CC for a 12:00pm start and then on Saturday, September 21 at 6:00pm they'll be back at SUNY Purchase to host ASA.