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Tampa’s Phillip Ely leads to Toledo to victory in Boca Raton Bowl

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The Toledo Rockets took over a close game in the fourth period to win the Boca Raton Bowl Thursday night.

The Rockets led 12-9 going in the final period but scored 20 in the final period to win a 32-17 victory over Temple and enable Jason Candle to win his first game as head coach. It was Temple’s fourth loss in seven games after starting the season 7-0.

The Rockets finished 10-2 and hope to crack the Top 25 for the first time since 2001.

Phillip Ely, a graduate of Tampa’s Plant High and a transfer from Alabama, hit 20 of 28 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Cody Thompson caught four passes for 119 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown.

Temple lost running back Jahad Thomas, who rushed for 1,257 yards this year, after eight carries for only five yards. Toledo’s strong red zone defense held Temple to field goals three times.

Candle took over three weeks ago after former head coach Matt Campbell took over Iowa State.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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