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April 18, 2024

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Falcons maul Eagles, 63-21

Once again, the Bowling Green football team showed their powerful offense Saturday night, looking like the Falcons of old while dominating Eastern Michigan, 63-21.

“The number one thing was to get a chance to win,” said head coach Urban Meyer. “We needed a win. … A win at Division I-A football is something and this is our ninth one.”

This win was not only the Falcons’ ninth win this season, but it also meant that the Falcons were undefeated at home.

“We were 4-1 last year in this stadium and 6-0 this year, which is a pretty good run,” Meyer said. “Everyone talks about playing their last game in Doyt Perry Stadium and I made it real clear [Saturday] that Doyt Perry Stadium is a structure. It’s a tough place to play. It’s a goal that we have to win every game at home and anytime you go 6-0 at home it’s something to be proud of.”

Along with the undefeated season came several school records for the Falcons as they came out of the tunnel full of built up emotion after losing two away games in a row.

“I’m just happy to get back into the win column,” said defensive lineman D.J. Owchar. “Those two weeks were tough.” After those two tough weeks, everything seemed to come together for the Falcons.

On the Eagles’ first possession, Jovon Burkes forced a fumble and Owchar recovered to give the Falcons the ball.

BG needed just nine yards on offense coming into the game to set the team’s single-season record for total offensive yards. They got those nine yards plus some on their second drive of the game. Two possessions later, the Eagles turned the ball over again.

Defensive back Keon Newson forced the fumble and recovered it at the Falcon 20-yard line.

The fumble led to a Josh Harris 24-yard touchdown pass to James Hawkins to put the Falcons up 6-0. Shaun Suisham missed the extra point.

“We [the defense] were giving 100 percent on every play,” said Owchar. “[Turnovers are] going to happen when you make big hits, making that ball pop out. With what were trying to do on defense that will just happen.”

On the Eagles’ next possession, linebacker Luis Llamas forced the Eagles to fumble the ball once again. Defensive lineman Matt Leininger recovered the ball on Eastern’s nine-yard line.

“You can’t turn the ball over once against a good team, let alone five times. It seemed like more. That’s huge,” said EMU head coach Jeff Woodruff.

Three plays later, Harris carried the ball in for a Falcon touchdown. He also rushed for the two-point conversion to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead.

The Falcons broke another school record on their next possession, as Harris drove BG 52 yards down the field and held onto the ball for a 15-yard rush into the end zone to increase the Falcons’ lead to 21-0. On this touchdown run, Harris set the single-season record for points with 116.

The Eagles finally got on the board with 2:51 left in the first half to cut the Falcons’ lead to 21-7.

However, the Falcons weren’t done scoring yet before halftime. Harris threw a 40-yard pass to Robert Redd, who fumbled the ball into the end zone. Hawkins recovered for the Falcon touchdown to give BG a 28-7 lead at halftime.

Redd’s reception was his 73rd reception this season, which set a new school record for the most receptions in a single season surpassing his own record of 72 from last season.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to have a couple of records around here, but with the receivers we have I don’t think they will last too long,” Redd said. “It felt good [to get those records]. It felt even better because we won.”

The second half was much like the first in that the Falcons dominated on both sides of the ball.

Harris threw to Cole Magner for a two-yard touchdown on the Falcons’ first drive of the second half.

On their next possession, Harris handed off to Martez Johnson, who rushed 12 yards for another Falcon touchdown and to extend BG’s lead to 42-7. This was Johnson’s first touchdown as a Falcon.

That was also Harris’s last drive as Andy Sahm came in to replace him, giving Harris 19 total touchdowns for the season, which ties the record for the most touchdowns in a single season.

Sahm drove the Falcons 95 yards in 12 plays and threw an 18-yard pass to D’Monn Baker for the score giving the Falcons a 49-7 lead.

“I think Andy Sahm, still at some point, I know it’s getting late, but he’s going to be asked to help us win a game,” Meyer said. “It might be next week now because we made it through the season with Josh, but I think Andy Sahm ran the offense very well. We scored a couple of times with him in there.”

On the Eagles’ next drive, Jerry Wagner intercepted a pass by EMU’s Troy Edwards and returned it nine yards to the BG 44-yard line.

During the Falcons’ next drive, Sahm threw a 13-yard pass to Redd, which set the school record for receiving yards with 2,685.

“I wanted to make sure Eastern Michigan didn’t think we were trying to do something,” Meyer said. “He needed seven yards to set the record, so we threw him one more pass. Anytime you can do that, to take care of your players, I think we try to.”

Sahm threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Steve Sanders for his first collegiate touchdown reception to increase the Falcons’ lead to 56-7.

The Eagles then scored on their next possession, but the Falcons answered right back.

Sahm handed the ball off to Godfrey Lewis on all six plays, who ran the ball for a total of 34 yards including a 4-yard touchdown run for the Falcons final score of the game giving them a 63-14 lead.

“I think Godfrey Lewis is still hurt from those knee injuries he sustained a year and a half ago,” Meyer said. “He does not have the same juice that he had and to see him score that’s a feel good story of a young man that’s been hurt and been through some tough times.”

However, the Eagles would score once more before the end of the game for a final score of 63-21.

“It was extremely important to get some continuity back for the offense,” said offensive lineman Greg Kupke. “We made some very uncharacteristic mistakes the last few weeks. You obviously saw what we can do when we don’t make those mistakes. It was huge for us to come out and play the way we did.”

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