Blue Devils Football Continues Losing Streak


Andrew DeCapua, Contributer

A road loss at Sacred Heart University on Saturday, Oct. 16, followed by a loss at home against Long Island University on Saturday, Oct. 23, extends Central Connecticut State University’s losing streak to five games.

The Blue Devils went into Campus Field, home of the Pioneers, hoping to pull out a big conference victory over an in-state rival. The game against SHU started a streak of six consecutive games against Northeast Conference opponents.

Sophomore quarterback Romelo Williams led the Blue Devils in passing with 101-yards and completed ten out of twenty passes. Senior running back Nasir Smith led the team in rushing with 88-yards and a touchdown.

The Blue Devils were outgained in total offense by the Pioneers, 373-312, and lost the turnover battle 3-2. CCSU was outplayed by SHU and lost the game with a final score of 27-17.

CCSU managed to score first with a 98-yard drive that lasted sixteen plays and was topped off with a 5-yard touchdown run from senior running back Nasir Smith for the first half’s only touchdown. The Pioneers eventually answered the Blue Devils’ touchdown drive with a second-quarter field goal from first-year kicker Sam Renzi.

The Blue Devils only held a narrow 7-3 lead at halftime despite winning the turnover battle in the first half. CCSU extended their information on the second half’s opening drive to 10-3 with a 23-yard field goal from junior kicker Joe Zoppi. However, SHU quickly answered back with a 22-yard field goal from Renzi.

The Blue Devils fumbled on their next two drives, opening the door for the Pioneers to pull ahead. Sacred Heart then jumped ahead and would hold the lead for the rest of the game thanks to three straight rushing touchdowns from junior running back Malik Grant on consecutive drives. Central tried to fight back into the game with a 2-yard touchdown run from junior running back Aaron Dawson in the fourth quarter but the Pioneers were able to hold off the Blue Devils comeback attempt.

One week after the loss to SHU the Blue Devils hosted LIU for another shot at their second victory in conference play. The Blue Devils went into the game against LIU with a 1-5 overall record and a 1-1 conference record.

Graduate student quarterback Shonn Mitchell replaced Williams as the starting quarterback against LIU and threw for 201-yards on 20-38 passing with one touchdown and one interception. Dawson led the team in rushing with 31-yards on eleven attempts. Senior wide receiver Tyshaun James led the team in receiving by hauling in six catches for 113-yards.

The Blue Devils struck first with a 25-yard field goal from Zoppi, but the Sharks responded with a 20-yard field goal from senior kicker Paul Inzerillo. CCSU added three points to their total when Zoppi drilled a 42-yard field goal to put the Blue Devils up, 6-3, in the second quarter. The Sharks responded on their next possession with an 8-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Camden Orth to graduate student wide receiver Derick Eugene. A second field goal from Inzerillo gave LIU a 13-6 lead at halftime.

The Sharks started the second half scoring off with a long 47-yard field goal from Inzerillo and followed that up with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Orth to junior wide receiver Owen Glascoe before the Blue Devils could muster a single score. CCSU’s only score of the second half came with 8:15 left in the fourth quarter when Mitchell threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to James to make the score 23-13. LIU added one more touchdown in the final minutes of the game when sophomore running back Kevin Wilson punched it in for a 23-yard touchdown run to put the final score at 30-13.

After the loss to the Sharks, the Blue Devils now hold a 1-6 overall record and a 1-2 record in conference play. Head coach Ryan McCarthy takes blame for the team’s poor play on the field that has resulted in a losing record.

“We’re not a good football team, and it starts with me. I am responsible for what was out there today,” McCarthy said. “It had to do with me, the staff, and not getting what we should be getting out of those players,” he said.

Up next for the Blue Devils is another conference matchup at Merrimack College on Saturday, Oct. 30.