September 05, 2017
By: Erica Rose

For the first time in the Patriot League era (since 1986), the Lafayette football team put a freshman under center as a starter. It was the first game of the season for the Leopards and also the first for head coach John Garrett. Several firsts that I’m sure they would like to forget. Sean O’Malley went 27 of 42 for 262 yards with two interceptions, and two touchdowns in his debut. Which isn’t a bad stat, despite the two turnovers, and let’s be honest no one expected him to have a perfect start and the running game certainly did not help him out. The Leopards ran the ball 24 times, and came up with -1 yards. Yes, you read that correct. NEGATIVE 1.   

Monmouth went up by two scores before the Leopards could capitalize on offense, but they couldn’t even gain momentum from the score as they would miss the PAT. It was a long day for the Leopards, not only was their offense stalling, but the defense could not get the Hawks off of the field. Monmouth would finish with 418 offensive yards (which if you’re not keeping track is nearly double what Lafayette put up.) They would go on to win it 31-12, but before Leopards fans begin to panic there is still a lot to keep in mind.  This was the first time the team took the field against an opponent with a new head coach, there is still a lot that needs to be learned and worked on. It’s easy to look good in practice, but it’s a whole new system being put to the test. You also have a freshman taking the snaps, he needs time to grow and gain his confidence. No one said changes would happen over night, but give it time. The Leopards return to the field on Saturday for their home opener when they welcome in Sacred Heart.