Micam Smith picked off a pass in the final minute to help Monmouth hold on for a 27-20 season-opening win over Hope College Saturday at April Zorn Memorial Stadium.
The Scots had jumped out to a 13-0 lead on a Hayden Nelson-to-Yansay Williams three-yard TD pass – Williams’ first of two scores on the day – and DeAndre Wright‘s one-yard plunge early in the second quarter. The teams traded scores the rest of the afternoon as the Flying Dutchmen – trailing by two TDs late, pulled within one touchdown with 5:01 left in the game.
With less than a minute left, the Dutch opened their final drive at their own 20 following a missed Scots field goal that would have clinched the win. Smith then picked off a Dutch pass on second and 10 to seal the victory.
Both teams fought through turnovers, especially in the third quarter when Hope lost two of their three fumbles and Monmouth tossed a pair of interceptions.
The game’s two 1,000-yard rushers from a year ago – Monmouth’s Wright and Hope’s Brandan Campbell rushed for 114 and 133 yards, respectively.
Monmouth travels to Waverly, Iowa, next Saturday for a 7 p.m. contest against Wartburg.