Football lost 30-24 to No. 14 LIU-Post
Edgar Ayala – Sports Editor
The momentum shifted away from Southern Connecticut football after halftime, the Owls were committing errors and did not capitalize in crucial moments down the final stretch of the game.
Head football coach for Southern, Tom Godek, echoed those statements in Southern’s second consecutive loss and the Owls’ fourth loss of the season.
“We just had a few breakdowns at some unfortunate times,” Godek said. “But other than that I saw some true grit and determination. We just ask that [our players] carry that through the remainder of the season.”
The Owls held the No. 14 team in the nation scoreless through the first 26 minutes of play, but could not hold off LIU-Post in Southern’s 30-23 loss last Saturday afternoon.
Not only that, but Southern’s biggest lead of the game was midway through the second quarter leading 13-0. Kayjuan Bynum made a diving interception, and on the ensuing play after the interception, Raymond Catapano would find Devante Jenkins for a huge 50-yard touchdown catch.
“We definitely felt like we should of won the game,” said Jenkins, “just a couple of things happened in situations where we needed it to go the other way. Everybody played good on both sides. We just need to make sure when we need to be up, we’re up.”
With the loss, Southern drops to 3-4 on the season, while LIU-Post remain without a single stain on their 7-0 record.
“Knowing that they were undefeated, we were playing hard and we were playing well,” said junior Kendall Thomas. “LIU just came up with the bigger game.”
After leading 13-7 at halftime, Southern had the momentum on their side. And in the opening minutes of the second half the Owls were still rolling, as Southern was forcing LIU-Post to turnover the ball on multiple occasions to start the third quarter.
“They were very poised and on the ropes,” said Coach Godek. “They had three consecutive turnovers in the second half. We caused fumbles for them and were fortunate to jump on them, but unfortunate not to capitalize on offense with them.
Midway through the third frame, LIU-Post scored the only points of the quarter when the Pioneers’ Jeff kid ran down the middle of the end zone for a 3-yard run, and take their first lead of the game 14-13.
In the final frame, the Owls ran down into the Pioneers’ red zone to collect three points from Joe Rice’s 25-yard field goal, and regain the lead 16-14 with 11:31 left in the fourth quarter.
However, LIU-Post would score 16 points in their next three drives. Kidd would connect with his receiver for a 45-yard touchdown. Followed by a 33-yard field goal by Joey Tolgyesi with 7:28 on the clock. And again Kidd would deliver a 16-yard touchdown pass to put the Owls down 30-16 with 3:32 left in regulation.
Two minutes later, Catapano would find Jenkins for the second time in the game off a 19-yard pass with 1:45 on the clock.
Catapano completed 19-of-44 passes for a career-high 318 yards and two touchdowns. Jenkins finished the day with four catches and a career-high 137 yards. And Thomas would break Southern’s single-season kickoff return record with 51 return yards against LIU-Post.
Thomas has now tallied up 546 return yards through seven games, breaking the old record mark of 540. He is set to shatter that record with three more games left in the regular season.
“When it’s all said and done I just care about the wins,” said Jenkins, who had a career-high in yards. “Stats are going to come and go, but the wins that’s what we train for. Everything we do, we do it to win, not for individual accolades.”
Next up for the Owls is an away contest to Merrimack on Oct. 22.
Photo Credit: Edgar Ayala – Sports Editor