With the cold fall air setting in at night outside of University Village on 10th and Cecil B. Moore, the Temple men’s rugby squad couldn’t be bothered on Saturday.
The Owls were facing the Millersville Marauders and the visitors were not going to win this one without a fight, as the final score was 51-8 in favor of Temple.
The Owls had first possession and seemed wide awake to start. But it was Millersville who opened the game with a field goal. Temple came back with a kick to tie it up. The two teams went back and forth each waiting for the other to make a mistake. That mistake came midway through the first half when Temple’s Matt Violette found a hole in the seam of Millersville’s defense, sprinting for 50 yards to score.
Violette wasn’t finished yet.
The senior found his way for another score as Millersville couldn’t seem to stop the run. Devin Sugg also had a productive game for the Owls. The senior kicker scored on a long run as well as hitting both penalty kicks and extra points for a total of 21 points.
Temple had a reason for this new found attitude, the team had started the season sluggish but turned that around with what some players called the best game all season in a loss to Penn State. However, it was clear the Millersville team was not of the same caliber of the Nittany Lions.
The Owls opened up the second half with a brillantly schemed play by the offense, kicking the ball downfield and recovering it in time to fall in the end zone. Violette scored for the third time with a hat trick for the night and when Temple alumni and fans thought it was over, the senior scored for a 30 yard run, totaling to 20 points for the game.
“We had a good game plan in place from the start of opening kickoff and from there we just executed very well,” Violette said. “It was fun to see how the hard work paid off and how energetic we seemed from the get-go.”
The Owls held the Marauders for almost the entire second half, limiting their opponents to scarce conversions. By the closing minutes, Temple had already looked to bench players to finish out the game.
Temple has a bye for the upcoming week and will play the Hawks at St. Joseph’s University on Saturday, November 5th, in hopes that this newfound intensity continues.
Maxwell Reil can be reached at email@example.com.