Football Team Takes Down Bowie State; Makes History
What a big day, not only for the football team, but for Assumption College. On Saturday, November 21, Assumption College hosted the first round of the Division II playoff game for the first time in school history. The Northeast-10 champions hosted Bowie State all the way from Maryland.
An unusual call came when sophomore Marc Monks got the start at quarterback instead of season starter Brendan Tobey, who was reportedly banged up. Monks led the Assumption College team to a victory and advancement to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament with a defiant 51-29 home win over Bowie State. Coming into this game, the Hounds were the number three seed in Super Region I, while the Bulldogs were the number six seed.
This game was short and sweet, all in favor of Assumption, who controlled the game from the very beginning of the game up until the final seconds. The first score came from first-year Deonte Harris who pulled down a remarkable catch over a defender halfway through the first quarter.
Early on in the second quarter, the Hounds got to work pushing the lead to 21-0. This came from a running touchdown in the hands of senior running back James Ward to finish a 94-yard drive. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, sophomore Dylan Oxen forced a fumble that was recovered by Assumption. Monks connected with his favorite receiver, sophomore Ashton Grant, who dazzled the crowd with a toe drag for the touchdown.
Bowie State tried to claw themselves into the game by a three-yard run up the middle by Stephen Willis for a touchdown, followed by a Bulldog 26-yard field goal to bring the game to 21-10.
Assumption closed out the first half by yet another safety and Ashton Grant’s second touchdown of the day, a 26-yard catch. This gave the Hounds a 30-10 lead going into halftime. A huge play came at the end of the second quarter when junior caption Jarrod Casey picked off Bowie State in the end zone.
The second half was more of the same, as Assumption controlled and kept the points rolling. Assumption led by as many as 28 and finished the game with a 22-point differential.
Such an explosive offense this year for Assumption can be attributed to Ashton Grant, who led the Hounds with 137 receiving yards and three touchdowns, while Harris had a team-high 10 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Nyme Manns was outstanding for Bowie as he ended up with 14 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown.
The first start for Monks went well, as he completed 21 of 31 passing attempts for 257 yards and four touchdowns, while also scrambling for 37 yards on the ground.
Trevon Bennett completed 30 of 49 passes for the Bulldogs for 309 yards and one touchdown while also being sacked five times.
Defense was a major factor in this game, as Assumption really stepped up and proved that they can lock down a team. Junior Bakari Blunt had 12 tackles that included 11 solo stops. He also added one fumble recovery for 24 yards and a game-high four pass breakups. Jarrod Casey once again filled the stat sheet with nine tackles, one sack, one interception and two pass breakups. Not enough can be said about the heart and soul of this Hounds defense.
The all-time series now stands at 2-1 in favor of Bowie State, as the Hounds lost a home-and-home series with the Bulldogs in 2011 and 2012. Assumption is ranked number 17 in the D2Football.com National Poll and number 19 in the American Football Coaches Association Division II National Poll. Both rankings are the highest in program history.
The Hounds’ season ended on a heartbreaker as they lost to Slippery Rock by a mere margin of two points in a 41-39 contest. The Hounds trailed by 22 points entering the final quarter before rallying for 20 unanswered points. Despite the loss, this season will undoubtedly go down as one of the best, if not the best, football season in Assumption College history.