Monmouth is 1-1 on the season when facing ranked teams after upending No. 13 Wartburg 24-18 Saturday at April Zorn Memorial Stadium.
A week after dropping their season opener to then-18th ranked Wheaton, the Scots made an early statement against Wartburg taking their first possession 70 yards for a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Wartburg nearly knotted the score, gaining a TD just before half, but entered the locker rooms trailing 7-6 when the PAT sailed wide.
The Knights inched ahead in the third quarter, scoring a safety on an intentional grounding penalty and then driving 75 yards for a 15-7 lead. Monmouth countered when DeAndre Wright rambled for 32 of his game-high 165 yards and second TD. A Joey Biel PAT pulled the Scots within 15-14 with 7:01 left.
Following a Knights’ field goal, the Scots took advantage on the ensuing kickoff when Yansay Williams returned the kick to the Wartburg 18. Four plays later, Hayden Nelson scored from one yard out to put the Scots up 21-18 late in the third quarter. Monmouth added a 21-yard Biel field goal early in the fourth quarter to give the Scots a 24-18 edge, but still had to hold off the Knights’ charge.
With the game in the final minutes, Wartburg took over at their own 27, and moved the ball to the Monmouth 30 before Lamar Watson recorded his second sack of the Knights’ QB – this one for a 13-yard loss. The Scots then held on fourth down and took over with 1:13 to play. They iced the game after picking up a first down on Wright’s four-yard gain. Thomas Lesniewski – who picked up 1.5 sacks – led Monmouth’s defense with 11 tackles, one more than Clark Gaden.
Monmouth has a bye week on Sept. 15 before resuming at home with Macalester on Sept. 22.