PHILADELPHIA, PA. 9/24/2016 – The Temple Owls took advantage of mistakes by the Charlotte 49’ers scoring 28 second quarter points to break out to a 48 – 20 win at the Linc on Homecoming Day. It was their most points scored in a quarter since a 2014 encounter with Delaware State.
In a surprising defensive battle early and Temple trailing, the Owls defense set the stage when defensive end Praise Martin-Oguike recovered a fumble and returned it 20-yards to set up Temple at the Charlotte 13-yard line at the 7 minute mark. On the ensuing play running back Jahad Thomas took it the distance for a 17 – 7 lead.
“It was a big play in the game,” Martin-Oguike said of the recovery.
“I was doing my job. I just fought for the ball and tried to run. I wish I scored.”
Charlotte could not move the ball and punted. The kick traveled 16-yards to the visitors 44-yard line. In a 3-play drive quarterback Phillip Walker passed to Brodrick Yancy for a 40-yard touchdown with 4:26 until halftime.
A personal foul penalty by Charlotte set the ball 9-yards away from a score for the Cherry and White. Running back Ryquell Armstead finished it with a 1-yard run and a 31 – 7 lead at intermission.
“We came out no-huddle and that opened them up a little,” said Temple Coach Matt Rhule. “We just settled down on offense and we were able to get our quarterback into a rhythm.”
Early in the second quarter Temple scored on a 51-yard touchdown pass from Walker to wide receiver Adonis Jennings, the longest scoring reception of his career, giving the hosts a 10-7 lead.
The Owls defense was burned by a 66-yard touchdown run by Kalif Phillips of the 49’ers on the first drive of the third quarter. It was the fifth longest run in program history. Phillips rushed for a game-high 114 yards.
Thomas ran for 68 yards and 2 touchdowns, 24 for his career. Thomas is tied for fourth place on the all-time touchdown list with Anthony Anderson. Walker completed 15 of 26 attempts for 268 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was not intercepted. Yancy had 4 catches for 70 yards. Armstead hit pay dirt twice. The Owls racked up 507 offensive yards, 210 on the ground and 297 through the air, to 429 for the 49’ers.
“I am taking what the defense gives me, no forcing anything, check the ball to the back when it is there,” Walker said about his offensive approach. “We are running the ball well as a threat and that keeps the defense honest.”
The non-conference schedule is over for Temple (2 – 2). American Conference games start next week when the Owls host the Mustangs of SMU. The Cherry and White want to establish momentum for the American schedule.
“You definitely want to have confidence going into conference play because of how tough our conference is week in and week out,” said Thomas. “You have to play your best because at the end of the year, everyone wants to hold that trophy.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian