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 spice up Sun Belt with win over Cajuns

LAFAYETTE, LA – A total team effort helped the Owls win their first Sun Belt Conference game in FAU history, scoring 21 unanswered second half points on the way to a 28-10 victory over the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns in front of 14,208 at Cajun’ Field.

Neither team could control momentum resulting in a halftime score of 10-7, in favor of Louisiana-Lafayette. FAU, offensively, looked flat early in the game. However, penalties on the Cajuns allowed the Owls to move easily into scoring territory. Early on in the first quarter, quarterback Danny Embick capitalized on the penalty mistakes and completed a five yard touchdown pass to fullback Dominick Walker. Walker’s first touchdown catch of the season made it 7-7.

The Owls defense failed to stop the Ragin’ Cajuns first two offensive drives. With the Cajuns threatening to score another touchdown, middle linebacker Shomari Earls tackled the quarterback for a 12 yard loss. On the next defensive series, defensive end Robert St. Clair stalled the Cajuns with another tackle for a loss on the Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback. Coach Howard Schnellenberger was pleased with the play of the defense in the win. He also praised the running game and the Owls ability to grab momentum in the second half.

“I was really pleased with the defensive line. For the first time in a long time they made some moves got some pass rush on the quarterback that really rendered him ineffective,” said Schnellenberger.

Unfortunately following failed offensive drives, and missed field goals the defense was forced to play with their backs against the walls. Senior linebacker, Shomari Earls would not give up and on the Cajuns next offensive series, again he stopped the quarterback for a loss.

“From watching film those are the plays that I was going to be needed in. I knew when the guard pulled that they (Cajuns) would be booting out, I tried to get there as quick as I can, so I was there to make the play,” said Earls.

Even though the Owls struggled offensively in the first quarter, the running game slowly picked up steam. Running back Charles Pierre had 48 rushing yards at the half. This was by far the best first half rushing total of the season. DiIvory Edgecomb had 28 yards at the midway point, and the Owls offensive line seemed to be wearing down Louisiana-Lafayette. Sophomore starting center Jarrid Smith feels that tough conditioning in practice helped the Owls win the game.

“We could tell it definitely was conditioning. They were rotating in and out. A tribute to how hard they work us in the offseason,” said Smith.

In the third quarter FAU again wasted an opportunity to score by missing the third field goal of the night. The Owls would not give in and on an early fourth quarter drive, FAU somehow kept third down conversions alive. Embick made a third down saving seven yard run, and then completed a pass on third down for ten yards to Edgecomb. Soon after saving the drive, Embick completed a pass to Darion Porter-Isom. Porter- Isom did the rest making several Cajuns miss tackles on his way to a 27 yard touchdown catch.

When the Owls offense clicked, the defense followed suit. The defense continued to stop the Ragin’ Cajuns offense by holding Louisiana-Lafayette to under 100 yards offensively, after the first quarter. Two minutes after the Porter-Isom touchdown, Embick connected on a pass to Thomas Parker for a 19 yard touchdown. Parker led the Owls receiving with three catches for 88 yards, 57 of which came on a beautiful flea flicker pass in the third quarter. Running back Charles Pierre continued his strong first half rushing performance with 42 yards in the second half. Pierre ended with 25 carries and 90 yards.

“The key to that is the line doing a good job blocking up front,” said Pierre.

Shomari Earls made his second interception late in the fourth quarter to seal the game, and the Owls first Sun-Belt Conference win. “We needed this conference win. This was a big win for us,” said Earls.

*The Owls defense held the Cajuns scoreless after they managed to score 10 points in the first quarter. *A second half shutout broke Cajuns Coach Ricky Bustle’s streak of winning six consecutive games when leading at halftime.*Even after starting 1-5, winning Saturday could catapult the Owls into a first place tie in the Sun Belt Conference.*Darion Porter-Isom’s T.D. catch was the first of his career. Charles Pierre’s 90 yards rushing was the individual high for the season.

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