SCSU football team wins against Pace University, 21-7
Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer
After being held scoreless through the first three quarters, Southern managed to rally back in the fourth quarter and win 21-7 against Pace University on Oct. 10.
The Setters were up 7-0 since the first quarter, but the Owls were able to bounce back in the fourth and score three touchdowns. A pair by wide receiver Devante Jenkins and running back Robert Thomas got Southern on the scoresheet late in the game.
“This is the opposite of what people have seen from us; playing well in the first half, then dying down in the second,” said head coach, Tom Godek. “We came out playing very flat, not focused. But we recovered in the second half, so credit to the players.”
Junior Brandon Martin said the quarterback change in the second half made the difference in the game, but added that it was a group effort which got them the win.
“We came together,” said Martin. “From freshman all they way to senior, from starter to the last man on the bench. It was just a great team effort.”
The first points of the day came in the first quarter with 3:48 on the clock; when Pace’s quarterback Dan Anerella found teammate Valentino Miles for a 34-yard touchdown.
The second quarter came and the scoreboard read the same, as it was Southern heading towards the locker rooms being down 7-0 at the half.
“They weren’t yelling at us, they weren’t upset at us,” said sophomore, Raymond Catapano on the coach’s halftime talk. “They just motivated us to start playing together as a team, as one group. And in the second half we played a complete game of football.”
Indeed the Owls did, as Southern came out of the break with much more intensity to start the third quarter.
But it was the Owls’ understudy quarterback coming up big in the second half. Catapano finished the game 9-of-15 for 127 yards and two touchdowns after entering late in the first half for Robert Nittolo.
The start of the fourth was the Owls’ last chance at glory as they capitalized on opportunities the Setters were giving them.
At 13:36, Catapano found Jenkins in the air on the right sideline for a 26-yard touchdown. Bringing the game to 7-6 after the Owls failed their attempt on a two-point conversion.
Then at 8:30 came Southern’s first lead of the game as Catapano again found Jenkins for his second touchdown of the game, a 28-yard catch on the right side of the end zone. The Owls now led 14-7 after their second go for a two-point conversion was successful.
With only 36 seconds left in the final quarter, Thomas’ 10-yard run down the middle finished the game 21-7. This was Thomas’ fourth touchdown of the season.
Even after the Owls win, Coach Godek still didn’t feel the team has found their momentum.
“I would’ve felt better if we performed better for four quarters today. I think they know that, but they’ll need to be a lot better this coming week,” Godek said.
Certainly they do, as the Owls take on the No. 1 team in the NE-10 Conference, Massachusetts’ Assumption College.
“They’re having a heck of a season, they’re in first place,” Godek said. “But we’re home, it’s our homecoming weekend and it’s a night game, so things are going to be pretty electric around here.”
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor