BY JEREMY SCHILLING
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — There are ways to start a season, and then there are ways not to start a season. For Monmouth football, it was the latter – and in the most inauspicious way at that.
Delaware State’s Aris Scott ran back the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, and before anyone could even blink Monmouth was down 7-0.But Monmouth (1-0) battled back, fought hard, and then ran the Hornets (0-1) out of the building in the second half, starting their season with their first opening day victory since 2006 and defeating Delaware State 52-21.
“I’m very happy the way our team responded, especially after the very first play,” said head coach Kevin Callahan. “The kickoff is – I would always much rather receive on the first play of the season rather than kicking the ball off because that’s the one play that you haven’t had the opportunity to practice live….I’m always a little nervous about that. They creased us on it and took it back for a touchdown. But I’m very happy with how our team responded, almost immediately…And then in the second half we were able to run the ball, dominate on the offensive side and played very well on the defensive side. So overall I have to give our guys a lot of credit for the way that they played and the way they bounced back.”