Blue Devils Split First Two Games of the Season

Andrew Decapua, Contributor

The Central Connecticut State football team split the first two games of the season with a week one loss to Southern Connecticut State University and a week two conference victory over Wagner College.

The Blue Devils were defeated by the Owls at Arute on Friday, Sept. 3 with a final score of 28-21. Central struck first with a 42-yard first quarter touchdown pass from junior quarterback Romelo Williams to freshman running back Kenyata Huston on their opening drive of the game.

The Blue Devils’ next drive ended with a turnover when senior running back Nasir Smith fumbled the ball and was it recovered by Southern Connecticut’s Ray Belton late in the first quarter.

The Owls answered in the second quarter with two touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Jackson Ostrowsky. Ostrowsky’s first touchdown pass came on the opening drive of the second half and was caught by junior Tim O’Shea for 17-yards. The second of Ostrowsky’s touchdowns was a 19-yard pass to senior Tye Hodge to take a 14-7 lead with 6:32 left in the first half.

Central tied the game just before the end of the first half with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Williams to senior wide receiver Everett Wormley.

Both teams would remain tied throughout the third quarter. The game changing play came in the fourth quarter when Romelo Williams was intercepted by the Owls’ senior Richard Williams Jr., who returned it for a 90-yard touchdown. Southern Connecticut followed up the “pick six” with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Ostrowsky to senior Izaiah Sanders on their next possession.

After the interception the Blue Devils decided to take Williams out and go with graduate student quarterback Shon Mitchell. Mitchell’s first drive would last only three plays and net a total of negative ten yards. Mitchell’s next drive was much more impressive, connecting on 41-yard touchdown pass to standout senior wide receiver Tayshaun James.

Despite the loss to SCSU, the Blue Devils were able to bounce back in week two against a conference foe. Central’s second game was a road game against Wagner on Saturday, Sept 11 that the Blue Devils won with a final score of 21-19.

The Blue Devils offense looked a little stale at the start of the game, either punting or turning it over on their first five drives of the game. The Seahawks came out of the gates scoring on their first drive of the game with a 5-yard touchdown run by sophomore Naiem Simmons giving them an early 7-0 lead. They followed that up with an 18-yard field goal by freshman Austin Hosier.

Central’s offense came alive late in the second quarter when they drove 50-yards and finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Romelo Williams to junior Jiovany Pierre before the end of the first half.

Wagner opened the second half of the game with a 38-yard field goal from Hosier giving them a 13-7 lead over the Blue Devils. Central answered right back with a touchdown on their next possession. It was a 70-yard drive that was largely created by a 50-yard completion from Williams to Wormley that got them all the way down to the Wagner nine-yard line. The drive was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams giving the Blue Devils a slim 14-13 lead going in to the fourth quarter.

Central scored again in the fourth quarter when Williams connected with Wormley on a 34-yard touchdown pass that gave them a 21-13 lead in the fourth quarter. Wagner’s senior quarterback Jaalon Frazier was able to drive the team down the field and cap it off with an 18-yard touchdown pass to junior Jayvin Little to bring them within a two-point conversion of tying the game. The Blue Devils defense showed up in crunch time and denied the Seahawks two-point conversion attempt. Wagner had one last attempt to win the game on the foot of Hosier, but he missed the 43-yard field goal that would have given them the lead in the final seconds of the game.

Next up for the Blue Devils is an out of conference home game at Arute field Saturday, Sept. 18 against Southeastern Louisiana University. Where they will look to improve their overall record to 2-1.