Football: Owls win third straight game with 24-23 victory over ULL

Ryan Cortes

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For the third straight week, the Florida Atlantic Owls (4-5) were victorious, this time over the visiting Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (2-8).

Following a 37-yard field goal by Ross Gornall that gave the Owls a 24-17 lead with four minutes remaining, the visiting Ragin’ Cajuns were able to get the ball back at their own 49-yard line.

On third and two at the FAU 43, Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Blaine Gautier threw a pass down the left sideline that went directly through the hands of FAU linebacker Yourhighness Morgan and into the arms of Ragin’ Cajuns receiver Vernon Wolfe, who ran into the end zone for a touchdown.

After the touchdown, with the game on the line, Ragin’ Cajuns head coach Rickey Bustle elected to go for a two-point conversion to give his team the win.

On the play, Gautier rolled left and had his intended pass broken up by Owls safety Ed Alexander.

“E.A. just made a nice play on it,” said safety Marcus Bartels. “Great jump by him.”

Although the game ended in exciting fashion, the Owls had opportunities to close the door on the Ragin’ Cajuns prior to the two-point attempt.

With eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, running back Alfred Morris scored a 16-yard touchdown on a screen pass, giving the Owls a 21-7 lead.

The Owls defense couldn’t hold the two-touchdown lead for long, however, as the Ragin’ Cajuns marched 83 yards down the field on the ensuing possession. The drive culminated with a 10-yard touchdown run by Gautier.

Despite the win, members of the Owls defense weren’t satisfied with their performance.

“It doesn’t even feel like a win to me because of how the defense played,” said Bartels.

Of the Owls’ four wins this season, three have been by one point. The other narrow victories were against UAB in the season opener and Western Kentucky last week.

“We are getting to be the master of one-point games,” said head coach Howard Schnellenberger. “Tonight was the Tale of Two Cities. We hung in there to the end.”