Owls secure homecoming win 35-13 against Bentley
Edgar Ayala – Sports Editor
Nearly 3,000 were in attendance to watch Southern’s annual Homecoming football game as the Owls rolled past Bentley to secure their second straight win.
“We knew coming into this week that this was going to be the biggest game of our season,” said Devante Jenkins, senior captain for the Owls. “We did this for [the fans]. Coming out on Homecoming, it just felt good to get the win and give them a good show.”
After a loss-win pattern the football team was encountering, the Owls were able to break out of this sequence by defeating Bentley 35-13 and get their first winning streak of the season.
Tom Godek, head coach of Southern’s football team, noted that his players were feeling hyped coming into Homecoming weekend.
“We were 4-4, and seemed like it we were 8-0 the way the school was responding this week. You could feel it early in the week. Our players and coaches did a tremendous job in making sure we came out this game on the right side of the score.”
The Owls got off to a quick start, forcing Bentley to fumble the ball in the opening kickoff. After recovering the ball from Bentley’s fumble, the Owls were soaring over the Falcons – scoring twice in the first six minutes of the game.
Junior Devon Davis got Southern on the scoreboard first. Quarterback Raymond Catapano started a run, in which he then lateraled the ball back to Davis for a 4-yard run into the end zone.
Four minutes later, the Owls doubled their scoring efforts when Catapano rushed in for a touchdown from the 5-yard line on a quarterback sneak, putting the Owls up 14-0 with 8:47 left in the first quarter.
The running game would continue with sophomore Vochan Fowler scoring in the second quarter on a 20-yard rush, and again in the third quarter on an 11-yard run. The running back from Bridgeport, Conn had a game-high 114 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
“I just executed what I was suppose to do,” said Fowler. “Reading my keys and just using my ability. Coaches trust me a lot to do what I can do. They just put me in positions where I can make plays – and I make them.”
Freshman Paris Crawford would mirror Fowler’s performance in the running game. The 5-foot 5-inch 170-pound rookie had a career-high 88-yards on 18 carries. The Owls tallied up 208 yards on the ground, while holding Bentley to 218 yards on offense.
“They run with their hearts on their sleeves,” said Jenkins on the performances from the running backs, “and they do that in the game. It feels good to see them in practice, and come out and execute they way they did.”
Jenkins had a touchdown of his own, as Catapano connected with him on a huge 55-yard pass down the end zone in the Owls’ last scoring play of the fourth quarter.
“I knew it was coming to me, and I was hungry all game,” said Jenkins. “Ray threw a great ball, and the offensive line had great protection. Everything just clicked on that play.”
Jenkins finished the day with five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. He is now second in the conference with eight touchdowns scored. His longest reception came against Bentley in the 55-yard touchdown play.
“They have a very good defensive line, so we went with a play action fake on that,” said Godek on the play. “Devante ran past his man coverage, and Ray found him on a nice pass. Seemed like it was a little long at first, but Devante turned on an extra speed burst and reeled it in for a huge play.”
With the win, the Owls improved to 5-4 overall and 5-3 in the conference. Southern football will play their last regular season game against Saint Anselm on Nov. 5 at noon.
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana – Photo Editor