The Bowling Green Falcons added yet another win over the weekend with a 37-5 blowout against the Western Michigan Broncos at home in the newly formed MAC opener.
Though it was a very lopsided score, it doesn’t reflect the effort the Broncos played with until the very final whistle. The outcome was expected as Bowling Green continues their reputation of dominance; however the Bowling Green staff knows not every game is going to be like this one.
“A few years ago, we might’ve been able to get away with putting a 2nd XV team out there,” Bowling Green coach Roger Mazzarella said. “Those days are long gone and it’s very exciting. Knowing that coming into a game with the wrong attitude can result in an upset keeps us on our toes and seeing the competition stepping up is really great.”
The Falcons piled it on early and often starting with a penalty kick from new scrumhalf and man of the match Mike Powell for an early 3-0 lead. Coming into the game, the scrumhalf position was a big question-mark for Bowling Green, but Mazzarella said it’s now one they can check off the list.
“Unbelievable performance from Mike having to come in and replacing four year starter Ben Marshall,” Mazzarella said. “He put together a great performance that cemented him in that position for the long haul.”
Next to get his name on the scoresheet for the Falcons was center Trent Szente, who was set up by some excellent passing and then bulldozed his way over the tryline for the game's first try.
Bowling Green put one more on the scoreboard before the halftime with credit to fullback Matt Marquette who found space on the outside to go into the half up 15-0.
In the second half, Western Michigan avoided the shut out by intercepting a pass and taking the ball down the 5-meter line. A few rucks and short yardage runs later, the Broncos were celebrating their only score of the afternoon for a 15-5 score.
However, Bowling Green found their rhythm soon after with a series of methodical plays that simply wore down the Western Michigan defense. With powerful runs by center Dominic Mauer and lock Alex Gaurant and speed from wing Nolan Cavano from 25-meters out, the Falcons put up 22 second half points and showed their balance as a team. Powell kicked two conversions while Trent’s brother Dane, a prop, kicked the other for a final of 37-5.
After the game, Mazzarella had plenty to say about his team, their opponent and the new look of the league.
“No doubt this conference has a new face lift, so to speak, with the new teams and the new skill level, this year is going to be very competitive until the end,” he said. “You must put your best foot forward every week otherwise there will be upsets.”
Upsets like the one Ohio took against Northern Illinois 31-12.
“We are really going to found out about ourselves this year and talent that is around us,” Mazzarella said with a smile on his face. “There are no rollovers in this league like year’s past. We had a great game, but now we get on the road and get to see if that score was just a fluke or if Northern Illinois is for real.”
Bowling Green 37
Tries: Szente, Marquette, Mauer, Cavano, Gaurant
Convs: Powell (3), D. Szente
Western Michigan 5