Personett Break Single-Season Sacks Record in 38-7 Win
MONMOUTH, IL. The Monmouth College football team won their 22nd straight Turkey Bowl with a dominating 38-7 win over Knox College on Saturday. The Scots led throughout the cold weather game and now lead the series 72-50-10. Monmouth defensive end Korbyn Personett (Pittsfield, Illinois) broke the single-season school record with his 15th sack in the win.
"I thought we played really well defensively," said head coach Chad Braun. "Offensively we made some big plays in the pass game and got the run game going in the second half."
Knox received the opening kickoff and stalled on three downs. A weak punt by the Knox punter gave the Scots great field position for a 1st down from the Knox 43.
A 4th down keeper by junior quarterback Carter Boyer (Carthage, Illinois) gave the Scots a new set of downs at the Prairie Fire 30-yard line. A 15-yard pass from Boyer to senior wide receiver Jake Uryasz (Farmington, Illinois), then another 10-yard completion between the duo put the Scots at goal to go. The Scots' first drive ended in a touchdown rush for senior running back Devin Lawrence (Hawthorne, Florida) with 7:39 remaining the first quarter.
The Scots and Prairie Fire exchanged punts. The Scots ended the first quarter with a 31-yard connection through the air between Boyer and sophomore wide-out Nathan Thornton (Peoria, Illinois) to help place the Scots at the Knox 39-yard line to start the second quarter.
Boyer had a collection of short passes to start the second quarter. The Scots were kept out of the end zone on third and goal and settled for a 21-yard field goal from Cody Szelc (Riverview, Florida). Monmouth forced a 3-and out and took over on their own 33, leading 10-0. Boyer ran for a first down on 3rd-and-8 before completing two passes, including a 38-yarder to Graham. On 1st-and-goal, Boyer threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Uryasz for a 17-0 Monmouth lead.
Late in the second quarter, Personett broke the sack record with his 15th of the season. He entered the game leading the nation for all Division III players and added to his tally on a 2nd-and-8 play from the Knox 21. His sack resulted in a five-yard loss and broke the record set by Greg Bennett in 1989.
Neither team scored again in the first half. Monmouth got the ball to start the third quarter but turned the ball over on downs on the Knox 35. The Prairie Fire turned the ball over on their first play of the half as Justin Douglas (Carol City, Florida) recovered a fumble, lateraled the ball to Personett and he was hauled down at the Knox 11. Lawrence ran the ball into the end zone on the first play of the drive for a 24-0 lead.
Monmouth again forced a punt and took over on their own 26. Lawrence ran for 18 yards on the first play and two plays later the ball was at midfield. Boyer completed a slant to Thornton and the young wideout sprinted to the end zone to give the Scots a 31-0 lead.
The score was 31-0 to end the third quarter. Monmouth started the final quarter with a 4th-and-1 conversion on their own 44. The Scots moved the ball down the field methodically and Boyer capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Graham. The 20-play, 80-yard drive took nearly 10 minutes off the clock and gave Monmouth a 38-0 lead.
Knox scored on their final drive before the Scots sent a variety of seniors into the game to take snaps on offense and kneel down. Uryasz took the first knee before the offensive players left the game. Linebackers Evan Otto (Canton, Illinois) and Drake Dietrich (Chilicothe, Illinois) took the last two kneel downs of the game.
"It was great to send our seniors out with a win," said Braun. "Many of them had great careers and are going to be very successful in life, more importantly."
MONMOUTH MOMENTS: The Scots held the Knox triple option to 53 yards on 33 carries Monmouth ran for 158 yards and passed for 272. Boyer was 23-for-33 with three touchdown passes. Graham had seven catches for 73 yards, while Uryasz had six catches for 66 yards, and Thornton had four catches for 95 yards. Lawrence ran for 84 yards. Dietrich logged a career-high 14 tackles. Personett had two tackles to finish with 16 and he also posted 4.5 tackles for loss. The Scots finish the season 8-2, 8-1 in Midwest Conference play. They have not allowed more than 10 points to Knox since 2012.