Owls end their six game losing streak
Ben Martin – Sports Writer
Photos: Luke Molwitz
Governor Lamont attends the Owls’ first win of the season against Franklin Pierce University, as he flips the coin for the pregame coin toss.
The Owls just had a 22-yard completion from quarterback Marc Reali, as sophomore, to wide receiver Joshua Nieves. The Owls came to the new line of scrimmage after not huddling, knowing they were going to call a run play.
However, the run they called was not a handoff to the running back. Instead, Reali took the ball up the middle on a quarterback run. With the defense not expecting it, Reali was able to run through the middle untouched for a 17-yard touchdown and the Owls were on the board with a 7-0 lead.
“It’s pretty easy to run straight,” Reali said.
Reali combined that rush with nine more totaling 65 yards, and he added six completed passes for 141 yards and a passing touchdown leading the Owls to a 37-20 win over the Franklin Pierce Ravens on Saturday. With the win, the Owls gained the first win of the season on a special game in the homecoming game.
“I am so happy for the players and the coaches,” Owls’ Head Coach Tom Godek said. “Every day we come back out here and try to get the first win.”
Along with Coach Godek, Reali was pleased that the Owls got their first win in the books.
“It’s a big win. Coming in 0-6 we need this one bad,” Reali said. “We did everything we said we were going to do, and we got the win.”
After Reali’s rushing touchdown, the Owls had another electric scoring play. The Owls forced a punt from the Ravens on a fourth down and 16 with just over eight and a half minutes left in the first quarter. The punt was corralled at the 18-yard line by punt returner and wide receiver Tylon Papallo, a senior. From there, Papallo bounced it to the outside and turned on the jets as he ran 82 yards for the score putting the Owls on top 14-0.
On top of the kick return touchdown, in the second quarter, Papallo added a 49-yard touchdown off of some trickery. The play started at the Ravens 49 where Reali handed the ball to running back Shawn Martin, sophomore. After receiving the ball, Martin passed the ball back to Reali who then threw a 49-yard bomb down the middle of the field to Papallo for the Owls’ 4th score and third touchdown.
“I am not surprised,” Papallo said. “It’s what I am supposed to do,”
Along with Reali and Papallo, running back Jordan Davis, a sophomore, totaled 10 carries for 65 yards and a score averaging 6.5 yards per carry.
“Hopefully now the players can see what it takes to play a complete game,” Owls’ Head Coach Tom Godek said. “They played some complementary football and good things came with it.”
The next part of the Owls’ complete game came from the defense. The defense had an interception at the start of the third quarter by outside linebacker Richard Williams Jr., a senior. In addition to Williams Jr., outside linebacker Joe Digello, a junior, had a big game for the Owls; recording two sacks with one causing a fumble.
Along with the defense, the Owls’ special teams unit added key scores. Owls’ kicker Szymon Gawlick, a junior, put three field goals in for the Owls.
Along with the Owls’ win, this was the last homecoming game for captain and tight end Tim O’Shea, a graduate student. O’Shea, who transferred to the university from UCONN, has been a big impact for the Owls on and off the field in two seasons.
“I’m happy we could get it done, especially, with the great atmosphere the school put on for us today,” O’Shea said. “It could not have been a better homecoming; we took advantage of the opportunity and made the school and our alumni proud.”
Regardless of the outcome of any game, there will always be a game the following week for the Owls football team.
“We just have to keep playing as a unit, and if we keep doing that, we are going to keep getting wins,” Papallo said.
Along with Papallo, Coach Godek is looking for more complete football games from the Owls.
“Hopefully we can build some momentum,” Godek said. “We are going to be all systems heading into next week.”