Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Owls down Bethune-Cookman for first-ever playoff win

The FAU Fighting Owls football team needed only two and a half minutes to prove they belonged in the NCAA D-IAA Playoffs.

The offense’s third play went 32 yards on a pass from Jared Allen to Larry Taylor for the first score of the game.

The defense’s third play showed Johnnie Sloan sacking Bethune quarterback Allen Suber and forcing a fumble. Yrvens Guerrier recovered the fumble for FAU on the Bethune 46-yard line.

Three plays later Allen found Taylor again for a 44-yard pass to the Bethune 2-yard line. Doug Parker finished the drive with a 2-yard plunge on the next play.

FAU would add a field goal by Mark Myers and finish the first stanza with a 17-0 lead.

What? FAU 17 B-CC 0. Are you kidding me? FAU was in their first-ever playoff game; weren’t these boys supposed to be nervous?

“They gave us time to read the coverage and make the plays and we did,” Allen says.

Maybe FAU Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger just prepared his team well.

The rest of the half settled down as the Wildcats changed their defensive strategy. Bethune went from rushing four linemen and play zone coverage to playing man to man with FAU’s wide receivers, and rushed eight players.

With the offense now finding it hard to move the ball, FAU’s defense stepped up. The knocked Suber out of the game and Bethune had to rotate three quarterbacks the rest of the way.

Late in the first half Bethune forced a Jared Allen fumble at the Owls 26-yard that set up a 23-yard field goal to make the score 17-3.

The Owls fumbled again at the start of the second half, as Matt Prudenti could not handle a Bethune punt.

Then third string quarterback Scott Austin made FAU pay with a 53-yard touchdown strike to make the score 17-10.

After another FAU field goal, the Owls scored what became the winning touchdown.

“Trusting in the play that is called and trust in your blocking,” is how Allen describes the second half.

He did just that with 13:20 to go in the fourth quarter. After being sacked six times and knocked down even more, Allen trusted the play and the blocking long enough to hit Brittney Tellis for a 46-yard touchdown.

Bethune was not down as they scored two more touchdowns to make the game 27-24, but FAU did just enough to win the game.

Another Mark Myers field goal forced Bethune to need a touchdown to win. Then as time began running out Andy Rosas showed the reason he is known as one of the best punters in the country as he kicked the ball out of bounds at the Bethune 8-yard line with 15 seconds to go in the game.

FAU’s defense finished Bethune off from there. Teddy Strachan and Guerrier forced Austin to throw the ball away from his own end zone. The play was called “intentional grounded” and FAU was awarded a safety to finish the scoring.

The final was 32-24, with FAU winning their first-ever playoff game. The Owls advance to play Northern Arizona next week in the quarter finals.

FAU rushed for 112 yards and Allen threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns despite the tenacity of Bethune’s defense.

“I am glad [Bethune] continued to play hard,” Coach Schnellenberger says. “It made my boys play hard and they learned a lot. I am very proud of what they have done.”

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    Dwight LoveDec 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I wish that Scott Austin was recruited by Tennessee St they had a pass happy offense in his era.