Calvin Dawson scored a 31-yard touchdown in the third overtime lifting ULM to a 33-30 victory over Florida Atlantic in Ft. Lauderdale Saturday night. Dawson tip-toed the sideline on a
second-and-16 play for the winning score.
Both teams had field goals blocked in the first overtime and both made
field goals in the second extra period. Florida Atlantic (4-4, 3-1
Sun Belt) got the ball first in the third overtime and Warley Leroy converted a 24-yard field goal giving the Owls a 30-27 lead.
Back-to-back penalties on the Warhawks (3-5, 3-2) pushed the ball back to the 31-yard line. Dawson took the ball around right-end for his second score of the game and the game-winner. His first touchdown, a six-yard run in the third quarter, gave him the all-time ULM rushing touchdown record; he now has 24.
Dawson needs just 121 yards set the ULM career rushing record passing Roosevelt Potts (1990-92). He finished the game with 114 yards on 26 carries.
The Warhawks had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Cole Wilson?s 28-yard attempt was blocked as time expired. The kick was setup by a fake field goal on a fourth-and-seven from the Florida Atlantic 30-yard line. ULM's holder, Chance Payne, a former quarterback for the Warhawks, found a wide open Zeek Zacharie for 19 yards setting up the potential game-winner.
Florida Atlantic battled back from down 10 points in the final 6:39 of the game. After a ULM touchdown pass from Kinsmon Lancaster to Zacharie gave the Warhawks a 24-14 lead, Warley hit a 36-yard field goal and Rusty Smith threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Charles Pierre with just over a minute left to tie the game.
Lancaster finished the game 22-of-35 for 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Smith was 35-of-54 for 317 yards a touchdown.
The Warhawks opened the game with a promising drive, but it ended with an interception by Taheem Acevedo. The Owls capitalized on the turnover with a 12-yard touchdown run by B.J. Manley.
ULM turned the ball over on its next possession when Dawson fumbled, his first in 295 carries, and the Owls recovered on the Warhawks
34-yard line. The ULM defense got the ball right back holding Florida Atlantic on four straight plays.
The Warhawks responded with a methodical 15 play, 73-yard drive taking just under seven minutes off the clock capped off by a seven yard touchdown pass from Lancaster to LaGregory Sapp. Lancaster opened the game completing 13 of his first 15 pass attempts.
FAU took its next possession down to ULM?s 29-yard line, but the Warhawks defense held on fourth down for the second straight possession. ULM entered the game last in the Sun Belt on fourth down defense allowing opponents to convert 85.7 percent of the time.
Wilson hit his 18th field goal in his last 20 attempts putting the Warhawks up 10-7 midway through the second quarter. The kick ended a streak of eight straight scoring drives for ULM that ended in touchdown.
Smith led the Owls on a 13 play 77-yard drive to end the first half hitting William Rose on a play action pass with three seconds left from the one-yard line giving Florida Atlantic a 14-10 lead at the half.
Dawson's record setting run put the Warhawks up 17-14 with 3:32 to play in the third quarter. He navigated the sloppy conditions and cut back down the far sideline and dove into the end zone catching the pylon.
The Warhawks return home next week for the first of two straight home games. ULM closes out its Sun Belt home schedule against Middle Tennessee (4-5, 3-1) at 6:00 pm in Malone Stadium.