King’s College hosted their Homecoming game on Saturday, September 19 against the Devils of Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham. The Homecoming game was well attended by enthusiastic Monarch fans looking for their first win of the season, as the Monarchs were coming off a 43-20 loss to Weidner last week.

Before the game began, senior linebacker Chad Curtice received the Rev. Patrick Sullivan CSC award, an honor given each year to the player who most closely embodies the strong leadership characteristics that Fr. Sullivan exemplified while working at King’s in the 1960s.

Gabe Brown opened the scoring for the Monarchs with a 14-yard touchdown on the Monarchs’ first possession. Then, FDU took advantage of a Monarch fumble by Matt DeMarco by using a short field to pick up a touchdown.

The two sides traded fumble recoveries late in the second quarter; Justin Foster picked up a fumble while FDU was driving in the red zone.

Quarterback Tom Hehre threw a critical interception deep in his own territory, then FDU RB took in an 11 yard touchdown to give them a six point lead late in the first half. But King’s responded as senior Justin Burke returned a kick-off of nearly 70 yards to set up a Mike Palmer 23 yard touchdown reception from sophomore quarterback Zachary Whitehead to put the Monarchs up 14-13 at the half.

On the opening second half possession, King’s scored again as senior quarterback Tom Hehre rushed for a one-yard touchdown pass set up by a pass interference call against the Devils.

Fairleigh Dickinson evened the score at 21 late in the 3rd with an interception return and an ensuing two-point conversion to make it 21-21 entering the fourth quarter.

The 4th quarter seemed like the Devils dominated with the ball, as they used a 19 play, 75 yard drive that resulted in an FDU touchdown and a 28-21 Devils lead with 1:14 to play in regulation. Senior defenseman Bobby Russell noted that “it was 8 minutes, a drive we shouldn’t have had in the first place, and the defense wasn’t communicating well.”

The Monarchs used small, easy passes to stop the clock and drive down the field. Then, Matt Demarco scored a five-yard touchdown from a reverse play. Head Coach Jack Knarr observed that “they were putting heavy pressure from one side so we thought we’d take one of our better athletes coming out of the other side and we still had a timeout in our pocket.”

Then in overtime, the Devils won the toss but deferred as King’s received the ball first. Hehre then rushed for a touchdown to put the Monarchs up 35-28. On the next play, defensive MVP Bobby Russell forced and recovered a fumble to clinch the first victory of 2015 for the Monarchs. Knarr said “He’s a top  kid who makes plays. Players make plays.”

Coach Knarr noted that the game was a buildup of recent success. He said “We ran the ball, we did things consistently like moving the football, the defense overcame adversity with the turnovers well, and the kicking game was better. We took a step forward on all three stages.”

The Monarchs improved to 1-2 with the thrilling overtime, turnover-filled victory.