RYAN FLYNN — Staff Writer
So Owls really are nocturnal. Under the lights at Jess Dow Field, the SCSU football team showed Pace University what can happen when a talented team is firing on all cylinders. Southern scored early, often, and at will, ringing up 61 points while shutting their opponent out. It was dominance, plain and simple.
Following a Pace University punt on the first series of the game, the Southern offense went right to work. After running the ball twice with Rashaad Slowley, Southern ran a play-action fake. Quarterback Kevin Lynch found Willie Epps streaking down the middle of the field and hit him in stride. Epps then scampered for a 53-yard touchdown to put Southern up 7-0. They’d never look back.
“The line is doing just a phenomenal job making the holes,” running back Rashaad Slowley said. “Our passing game is good; our receivers are catching the ball. So, run game, pass game—everything is just working for us right now.”
Slowley took up right where he’d left off after his school record 6 touchdown game against St. Anselm last week. He rushed for another two touchdowns and caught a third; and all of this in just the first quarter. After a missed extra point, Southern led 27-0. Unfortunately for the Pace faithful, at this point there were still three quarters left to play.
The Owls’s defense had Pace quarterback Jordan Raynor flustered from the opening snap. They intercepted him twice and recorded five sacks, along with countless hurries. Pace’s pass-heavy offense never had a chance to get into a rhythm and was forced to settle for punts on nine of their 13 drives. The other four drives ended as follows: interception, interception, missed field goal, and turnover on downs.
“I think it was just our players dominating the line of scrimmage,” defensive coordinator Mike Dodge said. “We have a very good defensive front, you know, with our outside linebackers. I don’t think it was anything schematic; these kids are very good players.”
This is Southern’s second straight resounding win and easily their best performance of the season with a 61-0 win. With the starting units in, Southern went 4-for-4 in the red zone and was plus 2 in the turnover margin, scoring on 10 of their 14 drives, including touchdowns on their first five.
Quarterback Kevin Lynch had quite the game and finished with four touchdowns to go along with a grand total of two incompletions. Lynch threw for 213 yards, dissecting the Pace defense with ease. Receivers Willie Epps and Andre Privott both performed well. Epps caught a pair of touchdowns and Privott caught eight balls for 136 yards, one of which went for a score. Slowley finished with 113 yards on the ground on just 13 carries, with the above mentioned two touchdowns rushing and another receiving.
“I thought we had a great crowd, too, considering the weather,” head coach Rich Cavanaugh said. “I turned around and I was happy to see the amount of people that were there and the amount of students that were there.”
The Owls went to Worcester, MA last weekend to take on the Greyhounds from Assumption and they came away with their fourth straight victory beating Assumption 38-24. Slowley led the way, rushing for a career high 288 yards on the ground; 236 yards came in the second half. The Owls were down 21-7, at halftime but stormed back and outscored the Greyhounds 31-3 in the second half.
The Owls are now 4-1 this season and continued their undefeated streak in conference play at 3-0. The Owls will continue their in-city rivalry against the Chargers from the University of New Haven, on Friday night at Jess Dow Field.