Rhode Island 27, Monmouth, N.J. 24

KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) -- Derek Cassidy thows for a pair of touchdowns and runs for another, leading Rhode Island to a 27-24 win over Monmouth University in the season opener for both clubs today (Saturday).

Cassidy completed 18 of 31 passess for 257 yards.

He began the scoring for the Rams with 10:20 left in the first quarter when he found Tolbert Evans in the corner of the end zone for a 26 yard scoring toss.

Rhode Island -- who held the Hawks to a lone field goal in the opening half -- took a 17-3 lead into the halftime break.

Cassidy upped the Rams' advantage to 14-3, capping a 10-play, 55 yard drive by Rhode Island with a 3-yard scamper off left tackle.

Monmouth's running back David Sinisi finished with 138 yards on 21 carries to pace all rushers.