Today: May 29, 2024

Football team wins second game in a row

Ben Martin – Sports Writer

The university football team is took on the Post University Eagles. After the Owls had jumped out to a three-point lead, the Eagles had the ball on the 25-yard line and they looked to pass.  

The quarterback drops back to pass and he looks over the middle of the field. He releases the ball over the middle, intercepted by Outside Linebacker Joe Digello, a junior.  

“It’s always great to get a big play like that to start off the game,” Digello said. “It brings us all together and makes us more ready to go.”  

Digello’s interception, occurring at about the midpoint of the first quarter, was the first of three turnovers caused by the Owls’ defense which contributed to the Owls’ 44-7 win on Saturday. The team added an interception by Defensive Back Jean Desir, a freshman, and a fumble forced by Defensive Back Jaaron Joseph, a sophomore.   

“We started off not how we wanted all the way, but finished it off strong,” Digello said.  

After the first quarter concluded, the offense scored their first touchdown of the day after tallying two field goals by Szymon Gawlick, a junior. The touchdown came just after the second quarter started when Quarterback Joe Bernard, a senior, found Tight End Tim O’Shea, a graduate student, from 20 yards out. That score put the Owls up 13-0, and from there the offense did not look back.  

“I think I did good, but I definitely have a lot of things to work on,” O’Shea said. “You always come away with good and bad in the game. I did some good things receiving the ball, but I think my blocking could use some work. Overall, as long as we got the win, I’m happy.”  

Although Bernard threw that touchdown pass, Quarterback Marc Reali, a sophomore, started and played most of the game for the Owls. Reali completed 11 passes out of 24 for 154 yards and a touchdown pass to Receiver Tylon Papallo, a senior. Additionally, he rushed for 60 yards on seven attempts.  

“My guys were out there blocking for me down-field,” Reali said. “The play was never over, they are not looking around, but they are continuing to find work, opening holes.”  

The blocking that Reali alluded to led the Owls’ offense to rush for 314 yards and three touchdowns. Running Back Anthony Ligi, a junior, led the charge for the Owls’ running game amounting 111 total yards on 13 carries. One of those carries was a nine-yard touchdown run with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter putting the nail in the coffin.  

With the defense forcing three turnovers and allowing seven points, the offense scored two touchdowns through the air and three on the ground. Also, Special Teamer Gawlick made three field goals and Punter Andreas Picarelli, a freshman, made an 84-yard punt. The Owls did what Head Coach Tom Godek wants them to do: play complementary football.  

“There’s a lot of guys in the box score on offense,” Godek said. “There’s some guys that played really well on defense, made some plays on that side, turnover on downs, just so many things over there… overall, just really pleased with the performance of everybody, coaching staff and players.”  

Along with Godek, Reali agreed that getting everyone involved is a recipe for success. It is good to see everything come together and that we were able to execute Reali said.  

Although the Owls won Saturday’s game 44-7, there are things a team can take from every game they play.  

“We got to respect our opponent,” O’shea said. “We got to play our game; we cannot play to the opponent’s game.”  

Winning Saturday’s game brings the Owls overall record to 3-7 and gives them a two-game winning streak after they defeated the American International College Yellow Jackets 23-22 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Even though the Owls won Saturday, that will not deter the team from focusing on the rest of their season.  

“We are going to come back for practice one tomorrow night,” Godek said. “Let’s just see where the chips fall next week.”  

Photo Credit: Sarah Shelton

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