Chargers Take the Gold
November 15, 2016
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Now that the regular season is in the books, the University of New Haven Chargers move on to their Northeast-10 Conference playoff game against rival Southern Connecticut State.
The Chargers are coming off a victory in their final regular season outing against the Bentley Falcons. Quarterback Ajee Patterson led his team on Senior Day with 160 yards and a touchdown in the air. His backfield mates, Andre Anderson, and Lemar Thomas, combined for 138-yards on the ground and Anderson scored the only touchdown on the day. Defensively, linebacker Tyler Condit led the team with 15 total tackles and a sack, as the team held the Falcons to only an early first quarter touchdown.
Southern is coming off a slim, three-point victory against the Saint Anselm Hawks. Quarterback Ray Catapano had a 278-yard performance, 235 of which came in the air, adding four passing touchdowns to his stat line. Running back Vochan Fowler was one yard shy of a hundred-yard rushing performance. On the defensive end, the Owls had a total of 5 sacks on the day, while linebacker Kayjuan Bynum led the team in tackles with 11. Southern kept the Hawks down for the whole game, including a late fourth quarter rally.
The last time these two rivals met was week five of the regular season on the Blue and Gold’s home turf. The Chargers pulled out a 38-20 victory on Family Day, as Patterson threw for 257-yards and three touchdowns, while Anderson rushed for a season-high 151-yards and added two touchdowns to his name. The game was a quarterback duel of sorts, since Catapano threw for 264-yards and two touchdowns, but Southern’s run game was no slouch either, as the Owls Sophomore running back rushed for 105-yards on the day. Both defenses played well, but the Chargers kept the Owls off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Defensive back Stefano Bicknese led the charge defensively, racking up 11 total tackles, and defensive end Nigel Davis helped out the defensive effort with two sacks on the day.
On a cold November afternoon, the two rivals were amped and ready to square off for the second time this year. The Chargers kicked off the scoring on an interception return for a touchdown by defensive back Mark Clements. After a missed Danny Stock extra point, both teams went scoreless for the rest of the first quarter.
U.N.H. started out the second quarter with the ball, proceeded to drive down the field and made their way to pay dirt on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Ajee Patterson to tight end Jesse Tate. The Owls would answer back shortly after with a rushing touchdown from running back Vochan Fowler.
The Blue and Gold would go into the half up by a score of 13-7. Following a U.N.H. three-and-out, the Owls would take the lead on Fowler’s second touchdown on the day. It wouldn’t be long before the Chargers took the lead back on the strength of a one-yard Lemar Thomas touchdown run. Southern would close the gap down to just two points after a field goal from Freshman kicker Joe Rice. The Chargers would push the lead back to nine points on a three-yard Patterson touchdown pass to Jesse Tate.
The Owls would attempt to make a late fourth quarter comeback as they would drive down the field and seven more points to their side of the scoreboard to make the score 26-24. The Chargers would get the ball back with about two minutes left to play and all they had to do was run the clock down to zero and that’s exactly what they did. U.N.H. would win their final game of the year by a score of 26-24.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Chargers were led by Senior Ajee Patterson, who played his last game as a Charger on Saturday. Patterson threw for 187-yards and two touchdowns on the day. Lemar Thomas took over the running back duties as starter Andre Anderson was not suited up for the game; he finished the game with 82 yards and a touchdown. The receivers were led by Senior Ty Headen, who had 83-yards on 6 catches, while Jesse Tate was on the receiving end of both of Patterson’s touchdown passes. Defensively, the team’s all-time leading tackler, Senior linebacker Tyler Condit, led the charge with 13 total tackles and a sack and combined with defensive end Ralph Jonathas for half of another. Mark Clements had the team’s only interception on the day.
With the season completely over, the Chargers are looking to move on to bigger and brighter things. While they may have to fill the shoes of 16 starters, eight on both offense and defense, there is no shortage of young guys ready to step up and fill those spots. Some of those guys include Freshman running back Ryan McCarthy and Junior quarterback Kellen Croce.