The Owls Get Win Number One Defeating the Akron Zips 45 – 24
September 11, 2021 –
The Temple Owls got off to a slow start falling behind by two touchdowns in the first quarter. Temple needed a big play, something to change the momentum. And what better way to do so by getting three big plays, a one-play touchdown, and two scores by the defense. The trend of the game changed and the Cherry and White earned their first victory of the season with a 45 – 24 win over the Akron Zips in Ohio. After last week’s loss at Rutgers, Temple gets to celebrate.
“It’s a ton of hard work that goes with this, non-stop, and we haven’t got a lot of payoffs,” said Temple Coach Rod Carey. “We certainly didn’t play hard enough and execute last week. We certainly came back. We have a lot to correct. But we played way more physical today.”
The Zips took a 14 – 0 lead in the first quarter on a touchdown run by quarterback D.J. Irons and a scoring toss by Kato Nelson to Anthony Grimes. All the momentum was going in the direction of the Zips. Something needed to change for the Owls, and that came on the next offensive play. Wide Receiver Randle Jones went 70-yards on a jet sweep to cut the lead in half. The touchdown also lifted the Temple team.
“We needed a spark,” Jones said. “I felt like we started off slow as a team. I got my team on board. We needed a spark and I was the one who created that spark, and we kept it going the whole game.”
The defense kicked in gear after an Akron field goal. Quarterback Kato Nelson carried the ball, but was stripped by Owls linebacker William Kwenkeu who recovered the fumble and took it to the house from 38-yards away. Nelson was injured on the play and did not return.
On the ensuing possession Irons tried to complete a screen pass from deep in Akron territory. Temple defensive end Manny Walker timed his leap perfectly, grabbed the ball, and stepped across the goal line from 3-yards away. The Cherry and White erased the deficit and took a 21 – 17 lead on three uplifting, quick scores.
“You noticed the difference,” said Walker about the pace of the scores. “It was a big confidence booster. Everybody was up on the sideline. It really got the team up.”
The Owls closed the half with a 26-yard field goal by Rory Bell. In the third quarter Jones caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Justin Lynch to create separation.
Akron fought back. Midway through the third quarter the Zips were closing in on the Owls goal line. Temple got back-to-back sacks from Xach Gill and Layton Jordan to end the Akron dive on downs at the Owls 31 yardline.
An 11-play, 77 yard drive in 5:51 gave Temple command when Lynch capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run and a 38 – 17 lead.
Ra’Von Bonner ended the scoring for Temple ran it in from one-yard away. Akron got the last score on a 3-yard touchdown catch by Konata Mumpfield from DJ Irons.
Lynch completed 19 of 31 passes for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jones had 7 receptions for 170 yards and 2 scores. The Owls ran for 177 yards.
Wide receiver Michael Mathison led the Zips catching 8 passes for 101 yards. Akron totaled 171 yards on the ground.
Temple evens their season record at 1 – 1, and prepare for the home opener, a visit from Boston College.
Written By: Glenn Papazian