FCS Playoff Review: Monmouth 44, Holy Cross 27

CRAIG HALEY (STATS FCS Senior Editor=)
The Associated Press
Football vs. Holy Cross
Football vs. Holy Cross

The Score - Monmouth (11-2) beat Holy Cross (7-6) 44-27 in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

Story Line - Pete Guerriero's 220 rushing yards and three touchdowns fueled Monmouth (11-2) to its first playoff win in its second all-time appearance.

Game Ball - Guerriero, who carried the ball 31 times, carved up Holy Cross for his fourth 200-yard performance in the last six games, giving him a school-record 1,888 this season. He had 152 yards in the first half as the Big South champ built a 26-7 halftime lead.

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Key Stats - Holy Cross lacked offensive rhythm while it rotated quarterbacks in the first half and Monmouth converted three interceptions (linebacker Evan Powell had two) into 17 points. The Hawks held a commanding 502-327 edge in offensive yards.

The Takeaway - Monmouth's upperclassmen benefitted from having playoff experience in 2017. Coach Kevin Callahan's squad, whose offense also features the program's all-time passing leader, Kenji Bahar, outclassed the Crusaders, who made their first playoff appearance since 2009. Their Patriot League had only one team with a winning record for the third straight season.

Up Next - Monmouth next plays at No. 2 seed James Madison (11-1) in the second round Dec. 7 (1 p.m. ET). The CAA champion Dukes feature a senior class that is the winningest (48-7) in school history.

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