Faulkner begins Charlie Boren era with 34-20 win - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Faulkner begins Charlie Boren era with 34-20 win

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LAKE WALES, FL (Faulkner Athletics) - It was a "lights out" kind of night for the beginning of the Charlie Boren Era at Faulkner.

Three outages of the light banks at Legion Field totaling close to 90 minutes did little to slow down the Eagles' season opener and Boren's first game as head coach, with 10th-ranked Faulkner grabbing control early and never completely letting go en route to a 34-20 victory here Saturday night.

The Eagles (1-0) led 24-6 at halftime and built a 34-6 before the final 30-minute outage midway through the fourth quarter. The Warriors (0-1) scored their only two touchdowns in the final six minutes of the game primarily against Faulkner reserves.

The victory for Boren, despite its oddities, was obviously special.

"I'm just excited for everybody, not just me," he said. "I've said before that being the head coach at Faulkner is my dream job, so winning that first game really means a lot. But like I told our team after the game, I'm so proud of the effort they gave tonight. Late in the game when it was obvious we were going to win, we made the decision to make sure no starters got hurt. And we do need to build some depth defensively anyway. All-in-all, it was a great way to get it all started."

Leading 24-6 midway through the third quarter, Faulkner essentially put the game away with a short touchdown drive following a blocked punt by the Eagles' Aramis Calloway. Running back Joe Jones scored his second touchdown of the night from 7 yards out, and Cameron Golob's extra point made it 31-6. The lead grew to 34-6 on Golob's second field goal of the night with 11:16 to play in the game. The lights then played tricks again, and Webber's two late touchdowns made the game appear closer than it actually was.

"We controlled the game, and I was pleased to see that," Boren said. "Webber is a good football team, and they will win some games, there's no doubt about that."

Faulkner quarterback Terrell Robinson had a solid night in his first game, completing 15 of 24 passes for 252 yards. He also had 19 yards rushing on seven carries, including a couple of key drive-saving scrambles.

"I thought Terrell played really well, managing the game like we needed him to," Boren said. "The more comfortable he gets in our system, the better he'll be. He has a high ceiling on what he can do on the football field."

Faulkner ended the game with 382 yards of total offense, while holding Webber to just 232. The one glaring short-coming for the Eagles came in the penalty department, having committed 19 fouls for a total of 150 yards. Webber wasn't much better, called for 10 penalties for 110 yards. The Faulkner pass defense was excellent all night, holding the Warriors to just 68 yards through the air while intercepting three passes, all coming in the decisive first half.

"We have a lot of things we can improve on," Boren said. "And as hard as our kids work, we fully expect to be better in all areas next week."

Faulkner drove 82 yards on six plays to take the lead midway through the first quarter, with Raquis Hale tight-roping the right sideline to the end zone from 26 yards out for the score. Golob's extra point made it 7-0 with 7:36 on the opening-quarter clock.

On the Warriors' next possession, Eagle freshman defensive back Ladarian Smiley stepped in front of a floater from Webber quarterback Billy Pavlock for an interception and sprinted 46 yards for a touchdown. Golob added the point-after to push the lead to 14-0.

Scrambling for extra yardage early in the second quarter, Robinson fumbled and the Warriors' recovered at the Eagles' 26, leading to their first points. Daniel LeZotte drilled a 30-yard field goal to make it 14-3 with 11:54 to play in the half. Faulkner answered right back, however, marching 71 yards in just five plays to find the end zone again. Jones powered it in from the 2, and Golob's kick pushed the advantage to 21-3.

Golob's 22-yard field goal came at the end of another long Faulkner drive, staking the Eagles to a 24-3 lead with 4:01 to play in the half. LeZotte kicked a 36-yarder in the final minute before the break, as Faulkner took a 24-6 lead to the locker room. In the first half Faulkner outgained Webber 231 yards to 102, with Aaron Thompson and Dushonta Brough both adding interceptions in the opening 30 minutes.

Faulkner welcomes Southeastern to Billy D. Hilyer Stadium next Saturday night for its home opener. The game, Southeastern's first in intercollegiate competition, kicks off at 7.

"I hope we can get a big crowd at the stadium, because I'm pretty sure Southeastern is bringing a big crowd since it's their first-ever game. I know how excited our team and our staff will be too. It should be a fun night."

(Courtesy: Faulkner Athletics)

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