Friday, November 20, 2020

No Ordinary Football Game

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH 

If you looked at the FAU schedule earlier in the year, there was no U-Mass Minutemen sighting. 

This game was announced less than two weeks ago to give FAU another home game otherwise their contest with Western Kentucky University on November 7 would have been the last of 2020.

As I came to the game with My wife, I told her this contest would have a different feel to it. There is a strong possibility it will be the last one I attend with my mother alive. 

This game featured an opponent that’s nickname is called the Minutemen.

At around Midnight, we’ll be driving to Detroit as we look forward to seeing my mother.

She is currently in Hospice and has COPD where she’s on oxygen 24 hours a day. 

Unfortunately, smoking is about to take the life of an immediate family member. 

On May 11, 1973, My Grandfather Sidney Morganroth died at the age of 55 of lung cancer. After my grandfather’s passing, my father quit smoking cold turkey and I never started.

My mother is a very polarizing individual. 

Since I last saw her in August of 2019, her health has deteriorated badly. But she’s battled COPD like a warrior. I have to admit that I’m surprised she’s still alive. Thanks to periodic Face Time Calls, I’ve been able to see her. There were times I wanted to see her this year, but COVID-19 made that impossible.

I’m thankful that she was alive to be around for her 60th Wedding Anniversary. She also saw the birth of another great grandchild along with the announcement that another one is on the way.

My hope right now is she’ll be alive when we get there, and make it through Thanksgiving. 

She does have a birthday on December 7 and she’s supposed to turn 79.

On April 18, 1775, the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere took place.

On November 21, 2020, the Midnight Ride of Scott Morganroth will take place.

What makes this 20 hour plus trip to Metro Detroit more difficult is I won’t be able to see any of my other family members or close friends as Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer has paused restaurants for three weeks. 

We’ll be staying at an Extended Stay and making our own meals to minimize the risks of being diagnosed with COVID-19.

There is twice as much pressure to avoid the virus as it would put my mother and father at risk. They’re definitely high risks in their late 70’s. I couldn’t live with the thought of my parents passing away with us coming to town.

So this FAU Game was very therapeutic for me.

The Owls went into the contest 4-1, while their counterpart was 0-2. 

Initially, the Minuteman cancelled their season but as the year progressed, they decided to schedule four contests all on the road. 

Their first two games were lopsided losses. 

On October 17, Georgia Southern trounced U-Mass 41-0 in Statesboro, GA. 

On November 7, Marshall hammered the Minuteman 51-10 in Huntington, WV.

FAU came off an impressive 38-19 win over FIU on Friday, November 13 to win the Shula Bowl.

How would the Owls respond vs U-Mass?

FAU took a 7-0 lead in the first half and rolled to a 24-2 win.

Owls QB Javion Posey was 13-27-203 yards with 0 TD’s and 0 interceptions. 

Posey did his damage on the ground with 19 carries for 90 yards and one touchdown. He had a run of 70 yards. 

Running back BJ Emmons had eight carries for 25 yards and one touchdown.

FAU doubled up U-Mass with 16 first downs to eight and led in time of possession 34:50–25:10. FAU dominated offensively as the Owls out gained U-Mass in total yards 368-147.

Another defensive gem for FAU as the Minutemen’s only points occurred on block punt that resulted in a safety.

Taggart remained undefeated at FAU Stadium as he is 5-0. 

More importantly, FAU completes its home schedule going 4-0.

Taggart was pleased that his team went undefeated at home.

“I love playing in this stadium and I haven’t lost here,” Taggart said. “I wish I could play them all here. Our goal was to go undefeated at home and we accomplished that.”

I asked Taggart about adding U-Mass to the schedule on short notice. He said, “this was brought up a month ago and we had an open week and wanted an extra home game. U-Mass wanted to play this game and we just had to sign the contract.”

Taggart was once again pleased at the performance of the defense.

“The defense played great and we held them to two points,” he said. “The coaching staff did a good job as we forced two turnovers. This was the first time our guys got two turnovers since the first game. We still have lots of work to do offensively.”

With the win, FAU improved to 5-1 while U-Mass fell to 0-3. This is the third game that the Minutemen have lost by more than 22 points.

Ironically, FAU will play Georgia Southern on December 5 at Statesboro, GA. 

The Owls hit the road for a contest at Middle Tennessee at Murfreesboro on November 28 at 3:30 pm.

For us the journey up I-75 North begins.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

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