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Fighting Scots win home opener

September 8, 2017

Lily Guillen / The Courier

The Fighting Scots opened the NCAA Division III football season this past Saturday at April Zorn Memorial Stadium against Hope College.

Monmouth’s offense had success early, finding the end zone on their second offensive drive of the day. The drive started after a fumble by the Dutch’s QB Mason Opple and was recovered by Monmouth’s Levi Oliveto at the Dutch’s thirty-yard line. Three plays and thirty yards later, Scots QB Hayden Nelson connected with wide out Yansay Williams for the game’s first score of the day.

On the ensuing drive, Hope College drove the ball down to the Monmouth twenty-nine-yard line but ended up missing a forty-six-yard field to end the drive. Two drives later, Monmouth put together a fifteen-play drive that was capped off with a one-yard touchdown rush by back DeAndre Wright, which after a missed PAT by Joey Biel. This put the Scots up 13-0. Hope and Monmouth exchanged touchdowns to go into the halftime break with Monmouth up 20-7 over the Dutch.

The third quarter was a sloppy one as the Scots threw two interceptions, and the Dutch had two fumbles. Each side picked up a touchdown setting up a 27-13 lead for Monmouth heading into the 4th quarter. In the 4th quarter, Hope scored a touchdown with 8:04 remaining off a seven-yard rush by QB Mason Opple, to cut the score to a one possession game, 27-20. With 57 seconds remaining, Hope College regained possession of the football one final time with the game still hanging in the balance. However, it would not last long. On the third play of the drive, the Dutch’s pass would be intercepted by Scots defensive back Micam Smith to seal the season opening win for Monmouth.

After a thrilling ending, the Scots hope to keep the momentum rolling without the nail-biting suspense of a game winning stop. It will prove a difficult challenge though as Monmouth will travel to Waverly, Iowa, next Saturday for a 7 PM nighttime showdown under the lights against Wartburg College.

Tate Heiple
Contributing Writer

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