Published On: Sat, Sep 2nd, 2017

Lightning Delays FAU Football Loss to Navy Until Early Morning Hours

By: Michael Demyan

Photo Credit: FAU Athletics

The Florida Atlantic University football season got underway with a 42-19 loss to the Navy Midshipmen during the early Saturday morning hours after most of the third largest crowd at FAU Stadium went home to bed.

Lane Kiffin’s first game as FAU’s head coach, which was plagued by weather delays in the second half, got off to a rough start as Antonyo Woods snapped the ball well over the head of quarterback Daniel Parr during their first possession, which led to a loss of 22 yards. After the Owls punted the ball, the Midshipmen started the running game as they quickly gained two first downs before Tre Walker ran the ball in for their first touchdown on their eighth play. It was the first touchdown of his career.

The entire 58-yard drive was accomplished without any passing yards from quarterback Zach Abey.

FAU’s run during their second possession stalled at the six-yard line, but Greg Joseph made a 24-yard field goal to bring the score to 7-3. The field goal was his 43rd as an Owl, tying Mark Meyers for the school record.

Things stayed calm until eight minutes remained in the second quarter when FAU’s Willie Wright got out in front of the Navy defense on the first play of the drive. He caught the pass for a 95-yard touchdown.

The play was the longest in team history, breaking the record of 94 yards set in 2015 against Rice. Joseph made the extra point, pushing the score to 10-7, while also improving his personal record to 102 extra points in 103 attempts, tying another team record set by Meyers.

The Midshipmen didn’t let the Owls enjoy their lead for long however, as Abey ran right through the FAU defense for a 40-yard rushing touchdown with 3:58 remaining in the quarter. They followed up with a Joshua Walker touchdown with only eight seconds left. After the extra point, the lead was extended to 21-10.

The Navy got off to a quick start in the second half as Joshua Walker ran the ball 48 yards for his second touchdown of the game. FAU however, was able to respond with a team record setting 54-yard field goal from Joseph, surpassing the previous record by a yard. It also lifted Joseph past Meyers for sole possession at the top of the school’s all-time field goal leaderboard.

After another rushing touchdown from the Midshipmen’s Abey in the third to push the score to 35-13, a 59-minute lightning delay pushed back the start of the fourth quarter. During the following 67 seconds of the game, both teams reached the end zone before lightning delayed the game again for one hour and 43 minutes.

When the visibly tired players finally returned to the field, there was not much action as neither team came close to scoring another touchdown and the Owls fell by a score of 42-19.

The Owls’ next matchup will be Saturday, Sep. 9. at Wisconsin.

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