Nov 29, 2003
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jared Allen threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns and Florida Atlantic survived a fourth-quarter rally to beat Bethune-Cookman 32-24 in the first round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs Saturday.
Florida Atlantic (10-2), which is in only its third football season, will play either Northern Arizona or McNeese State in next weekend's quarterfinals.
Scott Austin threw for 191 yards and two scores for Bethune-Cookman (9-3), with Eric Weems catching 11 balls for 124 of those yards. Bethune-Cookman outgained Florida Atlantic 400-316 and sacked Allen six times, but couldn't overcome four lost fumbles, two interceptions and 16 penalties for 142 yards.
The Owls, who were making the school's first playoff appearance ever, scored 14 points in the first 2:28 of the game. Larry Taylor caught a 32-yard pass from Allen 39 seconds into the game for the first score, and Doug Parker scored on a 2-yard run for a 14-0 lead.
The lead went to 17-0 with 2:11 left in the opening quarter when Mark Myers connected on a 47-yard field goal.
Bethune-Cookman, which was ousted in the first round for the second straight year, got back within 17-10 on a 23-yard field goal by Jesus Cortez, followed by a 53-yard touchdown pass from Austin to Jonathan Summers with 11:12 left in the third quarter.
Florida Atlantic stretched the lead back to 27-10, following a 48-yard field goal by Myers and a 46-yard scoring pass by Allen to Brittney Tellis with 13:20 remaining.
Two quick touchdowns - a 6-yard pass from Austin to Weems with 9:47 left and
a 19-yard run by Brad Lee 7:24 later - brought the Wildcats back within 27-24,
but Bethune-Cookman's last chance stalled on an intentional grounding call in
the end zone with nine seconds remaining.