By Gary Axelbank
BRONX, NEW YORK, September 3- The Monroe Mustangs played well in the first regular season football game in their history, defeating Wagner (JV) 27-7 on Staten Island Sunday afternoon.
Monroe was led by freshman quarterback Manny Cortez who ran for the first-ever Mustangs touchdown, an eight-yard run in the second quarter. Monroe's defense was stellar, too, as they limited the Seahawks to just 60 yards on the ground and one first quarter touchdown, which was largely made possible by a Monroe fumble. The Mustangs are now 1-0 in their inaugural season as they prepare for their first conference game, which will be played at Dean College in Franklin, MA next Saturday.
"This was a win we earned with all the hard work we put in from the first day of training camp to this opening game of the season," said Coach Terry Karg. "This is a reward for the effort everyone in the program has given, players, coaches, administrators, everyone. It gets us off on the right foot for the tough road ahead."
Cortez had a strong, all-around game. He payed all but one series and finished with 9/11 passing, good for 148 yards. He also threw two TD passes and ran for another 52 yards.
"The offense seems to respond when he's in there," said Coach Karg, who utilized a few signal-callers in the preseason, but for the moment at least, appears to have found a winner in the young man from Pennsauken, NJ.
After the Dean game, Monroe will play their first home game (at Suny Maritime) vs. Nassau on Saturday, September 15 beginning at 1p.m.