Washington, DC – Anthony Philyaw rushed for a career-high 236 yards and three touchdowns, but Howard had no answer for the high-powered offense as the Bison were overpowered by Monmouth, 59-27 in a non-conference game at Greene Stadium.
The Bison (1-5, 1-2 in the MEAC) were coming off their first win of the season, a 33-28 decision over Norfolk State on the road last week. Howard appeared to have momentum from that victory when it took the opening possession of the game and went 84 in only three plays with Philyaw finishing it off with a winding 39-yard run less than two minutes into the game.
The Hawks (4-2) countered with a short drive but the Howard defense forced a 37-yard Matt White field goal to make it 7-3.
Monmouth then began to find a rhythm and after forcing a three and out, the Hawks took the lead at 10-7 on a Lavon Chaney one-yard plunge that capped off 79-yard drive.
Then the Bison would make the first of several mistakes on the day. Kalen Johnson had his pass attempt intercepted by Teddie Martinez, giving the visitors the ball at their own 44-yard line.
Ed Royds (118 yards on seven carries, 2 TDs) would finish off the drive with four-yard run that made the score, 17-7 early in the second quarter. The Bison would make yet another crucial mistake when the Hawks did a pooch kick and the Bison failed to recover it. It took Monmouth three plays to go 32 yards and it gave them a 24-7 cushion with 9:05 on the clock.
Howard got back in the game temporarily when Johnny Cooper picked off a Cody Williams pass that gave his team the ball at the Monmouth 39-yards line.
Howard again turned to its playmaker, Philyaw, and he delivered with a 37-yard run in which he ran over two defenders en route to the end zone.
On the ensuing Monmouth possession, Howard’s Richard Johnson recovered a Monmouth fumble that gave his team at the Hawks’ 19-yard line. Then came what could be deemed the turning point in the game. On a third and one from the Monmouth 10-yard line, Howard quarterback Kalen Johnson fumbled and it was recovered by Diego Zubieta at the Hawks’ 24.
It would prove to be costly. Instead of getting to within 24-21 just before halftime, the Hawks accepted the gift and drove 76 yards as Darren Ambush snagged a 22-yard pass from Williams. The Hawks took a comfortable 31-14 lead to the locker room.
Any hopes that the Bison had for a comeback were quickly dashed as Monmouth scored three touchdowns in a six-minute span. Included were runs of 82 yards by Royds and runs of 38 and 78 yards by Jolly (6 carries, 129 yards, 2 TDs).
On the day, the Hawks amassed 343 yards on the ground at an 8.2 yard per clip. Monmouth was equally efficient in the passing game with a 22-of-27 passing performance for 219 yards.
Philyaw, who averaged almost 10 yard per carry, had two touchdowns that were called back. His total rushing yards was the third highest in school history.
The passing game had problems as Johnson and Jason Collins combined for 7 of 18 for 100 yards.
NEXT UP: The Bison host South Carolina State next Saturday at 1 pm in Greene in the second of three straight home games.
Courtesy: Howard Athletics