Morgan suffers 6th loss in row

Monmouth 26 Morgan State 9

September 10, 2006|By Elliott Denman | Elliott Denman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- When 2005 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference passing leader Byron Selby (Dunbar) endured a slight concussion early in the first quarter, Morgan State's chances of stopping Monmouth yesterday hit bottom, too.

"It was our first series, we were driving the ball, and then I caught a pretty good hit," said Selby, after Morgan (0-2) had absorbed a 26-9 loss to Monmouth (2-0) at the Hawks' Kessler Field.

It wasn't severe enough to keep the junior quarterback out of the game - the Morgan State medical staff gave him clearance to remain on the field - but it was enough to limit his effectiveness and frustrate the Bears' offensive unit all afternoon.

By Morgan's fourth offensive series, midway through the second quarter, coach Donald Hill-Eley had Selby on the bench and sophomore backup Mario Melton on the field.

Melton had his own troubles moving the Bears' attack, and Morgan, routed 30-2 by Towson in its opener, was headed for a sixth straight setback dating to last season. "I almost feel like a plumber," Hill-Eley said. "Fix one hole and then you find another. When I've got them all fixed up, we'll be OK."

Combined, the rotation of Selby (7-for-17, 64 yards) and Melton (2- for-5, 9 yards) had no luck penetrating an opportunistic Monmouth defense and was overshadowed by Brian Boland, a fifth-year Monmouth senior who completed 14 of 22 passes for 184 yards, threw for one touchdown and ran for another.

The lone Morgan touchdown came long after the issue had been settled; Selby ran 29 yards around Monmouth's right side with 10:18 left for the game's final points.

Hard-hitting Monmouth knew that stopping Selby was going to be the key to stopping Morgan.

"We knew about his [Selby's] quickness and that he was pretty slippery," said Monmouth middle linebacker Anthony Addonizio (seven tackles, one sack). "As the game went on, we kept hitting him and hitting him and pretty soon he wasn't so slippery anymore."

Monmouth senior Brian Robinson's 39-yard return of the opening kickoff put Morgan in an early hole. After driving to the Bears' 8-yard line, the Hawks settled for Fred Weingart's 25-yard field goal. It was 3-3 seven minutes later, after Jonathan Skeete's 27-yarder capped a 76-yard drive to Monmouth's 10. But Monmouth bounced right back.

Chris Kiley bulled for 18 yards to Morgan's 4-yard line, and David Sinisi scored untouched on the next play for a 10-3 gap midway through the second. Michael McClelland caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Boland - with no Morgan defender near him - to make it 16-3 with 4:41 left in the first half.

Morgan State 3 0 0 6 - 9

Monmouth 3 13 7 3 - 26

First quarter Monm-FG Weingart 25, 10:58. Morg-FG Skeete 27, 3:30. Second quarter Monm-Sinisi 4 run (Weingart kick), 7:21. Monm-McClelland 19 pass from Boland (kick blocked), 4:41. Third quarter Monm-Boland 7 run (Weingart kick), 10:42. Fourth quarter Monm-FG Weingart 39, 14:04. Morg-Selby 29 run (run failed), 10:18. A-1,939.

Morg Monm

First downs 10 15

Rushes-yards 29-78 38-112

Passing 73 184

Comp-Att-Int 9-22-1 14-23-0

Return Yards 13 24

Punts-Avg. 7-32.3 3-26.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0

Penalties-Yards 9-72 5-37

Time of possession 27:11 32:49

Rushing-Morgan St., Selby 10-62, Nelson 8-25, Melton 5-1, James 1-0, Simpson 4-(minus 3), Thompkins 1-(minus 7). Monmouth, Sinisi 10-49, Brice 13-45, Kiley 2-19, Skorupka 4-16, Lutz 2-5, Burke 2-(minus 7), Boland 5-(minus 15). Passing-Morgan St., Selby 7-17-0-64, Melton 2-5-1-9. Monmouth, Boland 14-22-0-184, Kiley 0-1-0-0. Receiving-Morgan St., McKenzie 2-27, Moore 2-17, Custis 2-6, White 1-9, J.Wilson 1-9, Surratt 1-5. Monmouth, San Miguel 4-35, Sharpley 2-59, Nalbone 2-28, Sinisi 2-7, McClelland 1-19, Kiley 1-16, Codd 1-15, Dowens 1-5.

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