MONMOUTH, ILL. The Monmouth College football team suffered their first regular season loss to a Midwest Conference opponent since 2014 with a 24-10 home loss to Lake Forest on Saturday. The loss drops the Scots to 6-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play while the Foresters are now 8-0, 7-0.
Monmouth's first drive ended on downs after one first down. The Foresters stopped Devin Lawrence (Hawthorne, Florida) for no gain on 4th-and-1 on the Lake Forest 48. The ensuing Lake Forest drive reached the Monmouth 8 but an incomplete pass on fourth down gave the ball back to the Scots.
Monmouth picked up one first down on their second drive before a false start pushed them back to the 14. The Scots were stopped on third down and were not able to get a punt off and Lake Forest took over on the Scots 26. Lake Forest took a 3-0 lead with a 29-yard field goal with 3:11 left in the first quarter.
The Scots punted on their next drive and Lake Forest fumbled on their first drive of the second quarter. Monmouth took over on their own eight as Michael Lord (LaHarpe, Illinois) recovered the fumble. A 3-and-out and a punt of just 17 yards gave the Foresters the ball on the Scots 28. They scored a touchdown in seven plays to take a 10-0 lead.
The Scots again went three and out and a short punt gave Lake Forest the ball in Monmouth territory. They had to punt and Monmouth took over with 2:46 to play in the half. Carter Boyer (Carthage, Illinois) moved the ball down the field with pass completions to Jake Uryasz (Farmington, Illinois), Lawrence and Nate Graham (Monticello, Illinois). Monmouth converted a fourth down play with 18 seconds left in the half and got the ball inside the 10 before two straight Lake Forest penalties moved the ball to the two. The Scots ran out of time though and settled for a Cody Szelc field goal on the last play of the half.
Lake Forest started the third quarter with the ball but Devin Graham (Monticello, Illinois) picked off the Foresters quarterback at the Scots 20 to end the drive. Monmouth immediately went 3-and-out and A.J. Jackson returned the punt 50 yards to the Scots 5-yard line. Lake Forest scored three plays later for a 17-3 lead.
After trading punts, the Scots took over at their own 2-yard line. Two plays later the Foresters were in the end zone on a 30-yard interception return for a 24-3 lead. Monmouth moved the ball down to the Lake Forest 7 but fumbled a second and goal play on a missed option toss and the Foresters recovered. They ran over nine minutes off the clock on the next drive before punting the ball back to the Scots to cap a 14-play drive.
Boyer was intercepted on the next drive but Lake Forest punted it back. The Scots took over on their own 15 and Boyer completed three passes on the first four plays. A 40-yard pass to Nathan Thornton (Peoria, Illinois) put the ball at the Lake Forest 23. Another pass to Thornton moved the ball to the 14 and Boyer ran for seven yards. With under a minute to play, Boyer found Nate Graham for a 7-yard touchdown and the Scots cut the deficit to 24-10.
Lake Forest recovered the onside kick with 43 seconds left and took two knees to run out the clock.
The Foresters outgained the Scots on the ground 221-58. Monmouth had 251 passing yards to just 39 for Lake Forest. The Foresters attempted just seven passes, completing three. The Scots, who entered the game leading the nation with 32 sacks, didn't have one for the first time this season. Lake Forest had 35:39 of possession and won the turnover battle 3-2.
Boyer completed 21-of-33 passes for 250 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He led the Scots in rushing with 43 yards on eight carries. Lawrence had five yards on seven carries while Henderson Francois (Naples, Florida) had nine yards on five carries. Uryasz led the Scots with six catches for 87 yards while Thornton had five catches for 80 yards.
The Scots play at Ripon next Saturday. They will host Knox in the Turkey Bowl at Noon on Saturday, Nov. 13 in the final home game of the season.