Second half collapse in home opener
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
It was a tale of two halves when the Owls and Bentley got together last Friday afternoon. After going into halftime up 16-0, Tom Godek’s squad gave up 17 unanswered to the Falcons and their quarterback, Seamus Leary.
Despite a late push, the Owls weren’t able to get it done, falling 24-22 to their NE10 rival.
“There’s no surprise when it comes to Bentley,” Godek said. “We’ve addressed his through the years and we saw it live and in-person today. We congratulate them on their effort in the second half and we need to make sure we go back over the weekend and make the adjustments necessary.”
The Owls dominated early, scoring the first points of the game off a Matt Sanzaro eight-yard scramble midway through the first quarter. Then in the second, halfback Vochan Fowler, who finished with nine carries for 64 yards, took it to the house on a 33-yard effort. And right before halftime, Bentley’s holding call in the endzone resulted in another two points for the blue and white.
But then things started to shift. The Falcons hit on a 23-yard kick early in the third quarter and then Jordan Zlogar caught a nine-yard pass from Leary for six. And suddenly it was a one-score game at 16-10.
“Clearly you could see the defense held it down through the entirety of the game but offensively we shot ourselves in the foot,” quarterback Matt Sanzaro, who took over the starting job from former senior Ray Catapano, said.
Sanzaro went 10-for-22 passing for 100 yards but threw two interceptions, both on the first play of a drive.
“We can watch the film and better ourselves for Week 3. We can’t really look back,” he said. “All the stuff that really went wrong today is all on us. We can’t hang our heads — we gotta just move on to UNH; it’s a huge game.”
Starting back Eli Parks, who went for a career-high four touchdowns in Week 1 at Gannon, was fed for 30 carries and 135 yards, but he was kept out of the endzone.
Late in the fourth, Derek Perkins caught the latter of Sanzaro’s aforementioned two picks and returned it for a 41-yard touchdown, giving Bentley their first lead of the game at 17-16.
“I threw off my back foot and it was an underthrown ball,” Sanzaro said. “I tried to get up and make the tackle but I couldn’t get there in time.”
After a Leary seven-yard score pushed the Falcons’ lead to 24-16, the Owls were set up off Fowler’s 83-yard kick return for Sanzaro’s two-yard touchdown. But on the very next play, the ball went out of the back of the endzone and the Owls were unable to tie things up at 24 apiece.
“We have to take a look at ourselves here and make sure we’re ready to go Saturday,” Godek said.
The game will take place at the University of New Haven at 1:05 p.m. New Haven is 1-1 after a 36-10 win at Pace last week.
Photo Credit: southernctowls.com