CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College football team earned its first Big South victory of the season on Thursday night, topping Monmouth, 17-13, as Kenneth Coleman broke up a Kenji Bahar pass on fourth down with under a minute remaining. PC improves to 2-4, 1-1 Big South, while Monmouth falls to 4-3, 1-1 in the Big South.
Head Coach Harold Nichols’s Take
“I’m really proud of our players. We’ve come off of some disappointing losses. For these guys to come back in a short week after a tough loss at Gardner-Webb and show the kind of character they showed out here on the field really says a lot about our team. We battled injuries and really played with that “next man up” mentality that we’ve had all year. It sounds like “coach speak”, but it’s true. The thing I like about this team is their belief in one another and their love for one another and those things show on the field.”
“We’ve had positive energy all week. We had one of our best practices of the year on Tuesday. All of that says a lot about the character of our team. I’m proud to be their coach. This is a really good win for us against a good Monmouth team. They’ve beaten some good teams on the road and at home. They’re a tough team to play against. Our ability to get this win tonight was really big for our football team.
“I’ve been waiting on us to come up with the big, game-winning play. I’m a big fan of it. I’m very proud of John Walker for coming in and managing the offense, not turning the ball over and making some big throws. That does not surprise me, though. He’s a team player, he’s a program guy, and he’s waited around for his opportunity and tonight he got it. I’m very proud of him.
“At the end of the day for us, it was a matter of going out, executing and playing winning football. We’ve been doing things that would usually equate to winning football, but we just haven’t been able to put it all together and get a win like this. Wins are hard to come by in college football. In this conference we play in and with this schedule that we have, wins are hard to come by. We’re going to enjoy this win.”
Daryl Wilson hauled in a 44-yard touchdown reception from John Walker to take a 17-13 with 12:45 remaining in the game. PC then stopped Monmouth on fourth and nine from the 12-yard line with under a minute remaining, as Kenneth Coleman broke up a would-be touchdown pass to clinch the victory for the Blue Hose.
How It Happened
Defenses held their own in the first quarter, as the two teams combined for just four first downs and 82 yards of total offense. Monmouth got on the board first with a one-yard touchdown by Lavon Chaney in the second quarter, capping a nine-play, 80-yard drive for the Hawks.
PC tied the game with a touchdown right before halftime, as Ben Cheek found DaShawn Davis for 15 yards for the score to tie the game at 7-7. The score capped off a 13-play, 86-yard for the Blue Hose, tied for the longest drive in terms of yardage this season. PC then added to the lead with a 27-yard field goal by Brett Norton midway through the third quarter, giving the Blue Hose a 14-7 lead.
Monmouth retook the lead right before the end of the third quarter with Chaney scoring his touchdown of the game on a five-yard rush. The kick attempt would fail though, making it a 13-10 MU lead. PC answered on the ensuing drive, as John Walker connected with Daryl Wilson for a 44-yard touchdown pass to make it a 17-13 PC lead with 12:45 to play in the game. On Monmouth’s final drive of the game, PC cornerback Kenneth Coleman knocked the ball away from Darren Ambush on fourth down to end the drive.
Stat of the Game
PC threw for 258 yards in the game, as Ben Cheek and John Walker combined to complete 22 passes on 35 attempts with two going for touchdowns. PC threw for 330 yards in its last home game against Florida Tech and have now totaled 588 passing yards over its last two home games.
DaShawn Davis caught a game-high seven passes for 89 receiving yards and a touchdown in the game. Davis added three rushing yards, 47 kick return yards and 10 punt return yards for 149 all-purpose yards. He caught the third touchdown pass of his career in the second quarter of tonight's game.
Khari Rosier continued to find his way in to the backfield in tonight’s game, totaling 2.5 tackles for loss for eight yards, tying his season high. Rosier now has a team-high 7.0 tackles for loss on the year. He finished the game with five total tackles.
- Ben Cheek established a career-high for passing yards for the second straight week, amassing a 135 yards through the air on 12 completions.
- John Walker completed 10-of-17 passes for 123 yards, all career highs for the redshirt sophomore playing in just his second game. He threw his first career touchdown pass, a 44-yard toss to Daryl Wilson, to give PC the go-ahead score.
- Daryl Wilson hauled in the go-ahead touchdown, a game-long 44-yard catch in the fourth quarter. Wilson tied his career high with five catches for 86 yards on the night.
- PC has thrown five touchdown passes on the season now, two more than the team threw for all of last season.
- Freshman Nick Moss totaled a team-high nine tackles in the contest, including a tackle for loss. The rookie led the squad for the second time this season and has now amassed 36 on the year, passing Grant Beidel, who had seven tackles in the game, for the team lead.
- Monmouth entered Thursday’s game averaging 392.7 yards of total offense per game. The Blue Hose defense held them to 287 yards of offense in tonight’s game, 194 rushing and 93 passing.
PC travels to Charleston Southern on Saturday, October 22 for a 6 p.m. meeting with the Buccaneers.