The Monmouth College football team cruised to a 48-0 win on Saturday in the Midwest Conference opener at Grinnell. With the win the Scots are 1-1 overall and they will host Illinois College at 1 p.m. next Saturday.
The day got off to a rough start with a broken down bus before the team left Monmouth. With the starters on the one working bus, some coaches drove cars to get to Iowa, some arriving less than an hour before kickoff. But the players were ready and quarterback Carter Boyer (Carthge, Illinois) connected on a 50-yard touchdown pass to Nate Thornton (Peoria, Illinois) on the first drive for a 7-0 lead.
"I thought our players really handled the circumstances out of our control rather well," said head coach Chad Braun. "The travel issues and the rain gave us adversity but we were ready to play and getting that first touchdown was key."
The Scots made it 14-0 with 5:37 to play in the first quarter. On the first play of a drive, Boyer hit Jackson Bergren (Monmouth, Illinois) for a 35-yard touchdown pass. After a punt and a fumble on the next two drives, the Scots added two more scores in the second quarter. Boyer found Thornton for a 81-yard touchdown catch and run before also hitting Thornton for a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Boyer ended the first half with 256 passing yards and four touchdowns. Thornton had three of the touchdown receptions and over yards in the half as the Scots led 28-0.
"We had a chance to put them away early and I thought our guys responded well after the fumble," said Coach Braun. "Getting the big plays to Nate to extend the lead gave us control."
Monmouth pushed the lead to 31 when Cody Szelc (Rvierview, Florida) made a 29-yard field goal with 10:59 to go in the third quarter. Devin Pinkard (Wildwood, Florida) ran for a touchdown for a 38-0 lead in the third.
Boyer took off down the sideline on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 61-yard touchdown run. Szelc accounted for the final points of the game when he made a 33-yard fiel goal with 3:24 to play to put Monmouth on top 48-0.
"It was a good start to conference play for us," said Coach Braun. "I liked the way our guys handled themselves in the first road trip and we were table to get some of the young guys ome experience on the field and they performed well."
Boyer finished the game 16-for-25 for a career-high 309 yards. He also set a new career-high with four touchdown passes and the 61-yard run was his longest in a Monmouth uniform. Thornton caught seven passes for 205 yards, the sixth most receiving yards in a game in school history.
MONMOUTH MOMENTS: The Scots ran for 126 yards and accounted for 435 yards of total offenseThe defense held the Pioneers to -25 yards rushing on 41 attempts and just 36 total yardsKorbyn Personett (Pittsfield, Illinois) had two sacks and three tackles for lossTevin Baker (Kewanee, Illinois) also had a sackXavier Cooper (Springfield, Illinois) and an interception for the ScotsSzelc was 2-for-2 on field goals and 6-for-6 on extra pointsMonmouth leads the series 48-21-3 with eight straight winsThe last game in Grinnell was a 49-0 Monmouth win in 2017They also came away with a 38-3 win in Iowa in 2014The last time the Pioneers reached double digits against the Scots was their last win, a 21-7 home victory in 2012The Scots return home next Saturday with a Parents' Weekend game against Illinois CollegeKickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at April Zorn Stadium.