AVE MARIA, Fla. – Freshman receiver Markell Lee scored the first touchdown for Florida Memorial University football program in 62 years and sophomore quarterback Antoine Williams set a new modern-era record for the longest pass completion, but the Lions couldn’t overcome Ave Maria University Saturday – falling 42-6.
Lee’s historic grab came late in the second quarter as the Lions, who will travel to Lake Wales, Florida next Saturday (Sept. 26) to face Warner University, drove the ball deep into Gyrenes territory. Williams scrambled to his right to evade pressure and threw back to his left, Lee went to the ground to make the catch amidst multiple defenders in the middle of the end zone.
After a brief discussion amongst the officials, they award Lee and the Lions their first touchdown of the season. FMU missed the ensuing extra point, but made history and cut Ave Maria’s lead to 21-6.
The Gyrenes ultimately took a 28-6 lead into halftime and tacked on a pair of touchdowns in the second half to manufacture the final 42-6 margin, in a game that was delayed 51 minutes due to inclement weather just before the opening kickoff.
Saturday’s final score wasn’t completely indicative of the improved performance by Florida Memorial (0-2, 0-1 Mid-South Conference), however.
Positively, FMU showed the ability to make plays through the air. Williams connected with multiple receivers but may have found his new favorite downfield target in freshman Favion Harden. Midway through the fourth quarter, Harden got behind the Ave Maria defense and Williams dropped a pass right into his hands in stride – allowing Harden to race up the sideline for a 66-yard gain.
Harden’s long catch and run set up one of two fourth-quarter red-zone trips for the Lions. Unfortunately, Florida Memorial was unable to cash in on those trips deep into Gyrenes territory – including losing a fumble on the Ave Maria 3-yard line in the waning minutes.
Courtesy: FMU Athletics