KENNESAW — Kennesaw State’s defensive front seven stuffed Monmouth’s run game Saturday, en route to its 49-17 victory to claim the program’s third Big South Conference championship.

The Owls (10-1, 7-0) held Monmouth (7-4, 6-1), which came in averaging 157.2 rushing yards per game, to only 30.

In the teams’ spring matchup, Juwon Farri ran for 179 yards and a touchdown. On Saturday, he and his backup Jaden Shirden, who ran for 156 yards against Robert Morris last week, were each held to 16 yards.

“Our guys up front got after it,” Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon said. “That was one thing with (Monmouth). If you don’t stop the run, it can make for a long day. But I think we stopped the run, and the quarterback had people around him all day. When you can make someone a little bit uncomfortable, it makes it hard to complete some of those passes.”

With the run held in check, the Monmouth offense became one-dimensional, and the defensive front could concentrate on rushing the passer.

Quarterback Tony Muskett went 28-for-43 for 337 yards, but the Monmouth offense was only able to find the end zone once with a 52-yard pass to Terrance Green Jr. in the fourth quarter. Muskett was sacked five times by five different Owls — Kerick Reese, Welton Spottsville, Carlos Allen, Joel Parker and Demetric Barnes.

Reese also made one of the biggest plays of the day.

On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Kyle Glover fumbled at the Kennesaw State 18, and Monmouth recovered. On the next play, Reese came around the end and strip-sacked Muskett to give the ball right back to the offense.

“Our biggest thing that we harped on all week was attention to detail,” Reese said. “The minor things, like running at the ball, making sure that you are inside you are inside your gap at all times, working your hands, things like that. I think those all credited towards how we played today on the field.”

Kennesaw State had played bend-but-don’t-break defense all season. Saturday, the Owls took it up another level.

“The great thing about (the win), when we faced adversity, the other side picked up the slack,” Bohannon said.


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