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(This article originally appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

48 hours before announcing who their star recruits for the 2012 season will be, Monmouth University Football announced the star dates on their 2012 schedule.

The Hawks 2012 quest for the Northeast Conference’s berth for the Football Conference Subdivision’s playoffs will begin on September 1st on the road against Lehigh, who made it to the quarterfinals this year.

Highlights also include the University of Rhode Island coming to West Long Branch, New Jersey for the first time on September 8th and a trip up Ithaca, New York to face Cornell for the first time on Oct. 13.

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(From my NewJerseyNewsroom.com article)

Coming off last week’s team effort in defeating Villanova, Monmouth University football felt like they had gained a lot of momentum and confidence. They showed it today.

Using a fast 17-0 start, the Monmouth Hawks (2-1, 1-0) got a big road win against Central Connecticut State University today (2-2, 1-1), beating the Blue Devils 24-12.

The win snapped the longest winning streak in I-AA at 15 games and in the process gave the Hawks a high quality road win, against the team many predicted to win the Northeast Conference. Needless to say, head coach Kevin Callahan was a happy man afterwards.

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Here’s my preview on Monmouth football’s huge game on Saturday against Central Connecticut State for NewJerseyNewsroom.com:

Monmouth University (1-1, 0-0) at Central Connecticut State University (2-1, 1-0)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Noon – Arute Field, New Britain, Connecticut

Radio: 1160AM, 1310AM, shoresportsnetwork.com

THE LAST WHISTLE: Monmouth is coming one of their biggest wins in program history, a 20-9 victory over Villanova last week that featured stellar play down the stretch from the defense, including linebacker Dan Sullivan’s key touchdown-saving tackle on fourth and goal.

“That was definitely one of the most exciting plays in my entire career.” Sullivan said. “I’ve never been so happy. A play like that really makes all the hours every day working hard pay off.”

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(This post originally appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

Monmouth University football had some work to do after a season-opening loss at home to Lehigh two weeks ago. Evidently, they did a good job fixing the problems in their bye week.

Monmouth (1-1) got possibly the biggest out-of-conference win in program history today, beating Villanova University (0-3), a Colonial Athletic Association team, 20-9 for their first victory of the season.

“I am really happy and excited the way our kids competed and continued to play hard,” said Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan. “There were a number of times in the game that they demonstrated such control and poise and just maintained their concentration on what they had to do. It was a physical game out here I thought our players battled the entire game from start to finish and when things got tight we found ways to come up with big plays. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

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I’m very excited to be back on the Monmouth University football beat for New Jersey Newsroom this year.

Monmouth opened the season on Saturday, losing to Lehigh 49-24. Here was my preview for that game.

Here’s the game story.

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(This post originally appeared on NJNR Pressbox.)

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — Monmouth University’s football team will have a young look on defense this year. That means many positions are up for grab on the defensive line, linebacker, and cornerback spots.

But one thing will not change for 2011: senior safety Jose Gumbs. The all-NEC defensive star who led the team in tackling in 2010 has been a constant on an ever-changing Monmouth team. This spring he has taken on another role: teacher.

“It’s more on the field [teaching], because in the classroom everyone understands it,” Gumbs said recently at spring practice. “But when it comes to the field it’s like ‘oh snap, I forgot what we gotta do exactly.’ But most of the time I guess it’s more about communication – I try to be the vocal leader and line everyone up and get everyone on the same page.”

For head coach Kevin Callahan, Gumbs’ expertise is invaluable.

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(This article originally appeared on NJNR Pressbox.)

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — To the naked eye, it was clear that the defense reigned supreme over the offense and special teams yesterday at Monmouth’s spring scrimmage, a precursor to next Saturday’s spring game.

In a game that was offense against defense, the defensive line was off the ball faster, making multiple “sacks” (the quarterbacks wore red jerseys), forcing an interception, and returning a fumble recovery for a touchdown. They also blocked numerous field goals.

But sometimes what seems obvious to one person is not so obvious to the head coach. And for Monmouth’s head coach Kevin Callahan, he was extremely pleased overall.

“I thought we had some really good work today,” Callahan said. “We did have a lot of young guys who were able to get a lot of reps. I think that’s a good thing. Spring football is all about development. I think that anytime you can get people a lot of reps on the field it can aid your development. We had a great effort from our team throughout spring practice, and with one week to go I kind of like where we’re at.”


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