SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2000
Jacksonville Edged Out By Monmouth, 32-28
Nov. 18, 2000
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Monmouth quarterback Bill Rankin passed for one touchdown and recovered a fumble in the end zone for the winning score to lead the Hawks to a 32-28 win over host Jacksonville Saturday.
Rankin, a redshirt freshman, connected with wide receiver Eji Maxilom with 2:42 left in the third quarter to narrow Jacksonville's 14-point halftime lead to 28-20. Two minutes later, Jay Roach, who took the game's opening kickoff back 82 yards for a score, broke through to block a Dolphins punt four yards from the Jacksonville endzone.
Running back Matt Merklinger, who rushed for 162 yards, scored his second touchdown of the game three plays later from two yards out. A Maxilom run for a two-point conversion to tie the game came up short.
Monmouth (5-6) recovered a fumble by Jacksonville quarterback Gary Cooper to set up the winning score. Five plays later, Merklinger fumbled in the endzone, but Rankin made the recovery for the game-winning score.
The loss by Jacksonville (3-7) overshadowed a strong performance by Cooper who passed for 231 yards and three touchdowns before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.