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Owls storm West Point in triumphant opener

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Temple began Year 3 under coach Al Golden last night at Army, where the Black Knights burned the young Owls a year ago with a few game-changing plays.

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Temple began Year 3 under coach Al Golden last night at Army, where the Black Knights burned the young Owls a year ago with a few game-changing plays.

When the teams got together again for a nonleague game at Michie Stadium, the tables were turned in front of a crowd of 21,822.

On the strength of a pair of fumble recoveries - the second, by defensive end Morkeith Brown, was returned 17 yards for a touchdown - Temple seized control in the first two quarters and returned home with a 35-7 victory.

The Owls led by 21-0 at the break after holding Army and its new option-based offense to nothing much. The Black Knights didn't score until running back Tony Dace went in from 1 yard out with 7 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

"We hung in there," Golden said. "We didn't know what they were going to do on offense and defense. It was different from their approach last year. It was the first time since I've been here that we produced in all three phases."

Temple, which hadn't won its first game of the season since downing Richmond, 34-7, at Franklin Field in 2002, had a 28-0 lead after Jamal Schulters took the second-half kickoff and raced 98 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown.

Last season, when Temple finished 4-8, the squad didn't get its first win until defeating Northern Illinois on Oct. 6, a week after falling to Army.

Temple's next game is next Saturday against visiting Connecticut, a defending Big East cochampion, which registered a controversial win at home over the Owls last fall.

What was apparently a touchdown as time was running out, one that would have made a winner of Temple, was disallowed. Replays later showed that the points should have counted.

Last year, when the host Black Knights beat the Owls, 37-21, the score was 21-21 at halftime.

Army scored 16 unanswered points in the last two quarters, including a punt return and a 69-yard pass that went for scores. A first-half kick return and a fumble recovery had given the team 12 points.

In last night's rematch, quarterback Adam DiMichele was picked off on Temple's first possession when his pass to Travis Shelton hit the wide receiver's hands and caromed to defensive back Richard King.

That was about all that went wrong for the Owls in the first two quarters.

After Temple punted on its second possession, the Owls' offense went back on the field when defensive back Tommie Williams got downfield to dislodge the ball from return man Carlo Sandiego. Williams also recovered the fumble to give his team a first down at the opponent's 8-yard line.

DiMichele then teamed with wide receiver Bruce Francis on a 5-yard pass that gave Temple a 7-0 lead with 6:06 left in the first period.

"It was a slant, where you take two steps and run to the pylon," Francis said. "It was just a matter of faking out the defense. It just came open."

The score was 14-0 after a DiMichele-to-Steve-Maneri touchdown pass with 31 seconds remaining, from Army's 7-yard line.

"Getting the ball down deep in Army's territory - from there it's simple," DiMichele said. "The defense put us in a good position. Bruce made a good play, and Maneri ran a good route."

Maneri, a tight end who scored only once last season, capped a 10-play, 71-yard drive.

Brown added his touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter when he picked up the loose ball after a simple handoff went awry for Army.

"I was just doing my job and doing what the coaches told me to do," Brown said. "We work on scoop-and-score every day. It's second nature."

Temple's Dominique Harris intercepted a pass in his own end zone with 23 seconds remaining before intermission, and the Owls headed to the locker room with a three-touchdown advantage.