Nov. 29, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University's football team won its fourth-consecutive game to become bowl eligible with a 21-6 win over FIU, Friday. The Owls' defense recorded eight sacks and held the Panthers to 132 total yards and just one third-down conversion.
FAU becomes bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 and will await a decision from bowl committees.
Seniors defensive ends Martin Wright and Corey Henry broke school records and led FAU to another record. Wright's 4.5 sacks in the game shattered the previous school record of three, held by four players, most recently by Johnnie Sloan on Oct. 9, 2004 at Texas State.
Henry racked up 2.5 sacks to get to 16 in his career, breaking the record of 15.5 held by Ramon Rickards (2001-05). The senior has 6.5 sacks on the season, breaking the record of six held by Michael Hancock in 2008.
As a team, the Owls now have 32 sacks, snapping the 2008 record of 28.
Quarterback Jaquez Johnson was 10-of-19 for 218 yards and three touchdowns and added 64 yards on the ground. Damian Fortner set his new career high with 100 yards on 19 carries. Daniel McKinney led FAU in receiving, racking up 75 yards on four catches. Alex Deleon, William Dukes and Nexon Dorvilus each caught touchdown passes from Johnson.
Dorvilus moves into sixth all-time at FAU in receiving touchdowns with his 12th career score.
FAU's first scoring drive came on its second possession of the game with the help of a trick play. Johnson lateraled to backup quarterback Greg Hankerson, who passed it back to Johnson for a 34-yard completion to get the Owls down to the FIU 10-yard line. After losing a yard, Johnson connected with Dorvilus on an 11-yard pass for the first score of the game.
After FIU kicked a 35-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, the Owls struck with a five-play, 88-yard drive late in the first quarter. Johnson bombed a pass to Dukes for 59 yards for the score to end a drive that lasted just 1:43, giving FAU the 14-3 lead.
The Owls held FIU to a three-and-out on the first possession of the second half, forcing the Panthers to punt. Quarterback and punter Jake Medlock boomed a 49-yard kick that rolled out of bounds at the FAU two-yard line, pinning the Owls deep in their own territory. Johnson would once again lead the team downfield as FAU marched 98 yards to score on a 23-yard pass to Deleon.
The Panthers went on to kick a 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to end the scoring at 21-6.
Wright was named the MVP of the game for FAU while FIU's Markeith Russell (11 tackles) was awarded the honor for the Panthers. The traveling Shula Bowl Trophy returns to FAU for the first time in three seasons. FAU holds a 9-2 all-time mark in 12 battles (one FIU victory was vacated).