#16 Chargers Earn Big Homecoming Win Over Bentley, 45-38

Charger Athletics

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The University of New Haven football team, nationally ranked No. 16, defeated Bentley University 45-38 Saturday afternoon in front of over 4,000 fans


on Homecoming Day at Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium. The Chargers improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the Northeast-10 Conference with the win. The Falcons dropped to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in conference play.

Saturday’s game featured a total of 997 yards of total offense between the two teams. New Haven ran for 160 and passed for another 306 to gain 466 total yards.

Bentley received the ball first to start the game and scored three minutes later on a 36-yard touchdown pass to set the tone for an offensive showdown. The extra point attempt was blocked and the Falcons held a 6-0 lead early on.

On the Chargers first possession, Ryan Osiecki (Seymour, Conn./Seymour / Univ. of Louisville) threw for three straight first downs with completions to Chris Ruffin (New York, N.Y./Phillip Randolph), Jason Thompson (Stuart, Fla./South Fork ) and Demetrius Washington-Ellison (Rahway, N.J./Rahway / Univ. of Maine). Osiecki would eventually end the drive with a touchdown run from one yard out, his first of five scores on the day.

New Haven would add two more scores eary in the second quarter. Anthony Tillman (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway) put the Chargers ahead 14-6 on an 18-yard touchdown run and less than five minutes later, Osiecki found Washington-Ellison for a 35 yard touchdown.

The lead would not last long, however. At the 7:55 mark, Bentley scored on a touchdown pass from Bryant Johnson to Mike Sumrell. New Haven put another three points on the board but on the Falcons ensuing drive, Johnson and Bill Kiley connected on a 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play. They would convert a 2-point conversion and eventually followed that up with a 46-yard field goal to end the half and head into break tied at 24-24.

The Chargers, as they have done all season long, came out hot in the second half. In just one minute and 36 seconds into the third quarter, Osiecki found Kameel Lashley (Boston, Mass./Boston Comm. Leadership Academy) for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The drive started at New Haven’s own 31 yard line and lasted three plays for 69 yards.

Bentley added another score on a four-yard touchdown run from Lorenzo Warren as the teams entered the fourth quarter in a 31-31 tie.

New Haven put together back-to-back touchdown drives that lasted close to five minutes each. The first one featured a nine-yard pass from Osiecki to Chris Higgins (Cumberland, Maine/Bridgton Academy ). The following possession began with three straight first-down conversions and ended on what would eventually be the game-winning score as Osiecki escaped from defenders and found the corner of the endzone for a nine-yard rushing touchdown.

Down 45-31, Bentley would not go away easily. With just over five minutes remaining in the game, the Falcons put together a 12 play, 83 yard drive in one minute and 32 seconds to cut the deficit to seven. They attempted an onside kick but New Haven recovered. With two timeouts remaining, Bentley forced a three-and-out to get the ball back with 2:18 left on the clock. The Falcons converted a deep third down and drove to the New Haven 25-yard line. However, three straight incompletions gave the ball back to the Chargers as they kneeled the following play to claim a 45-38 win on Homecoming Day.

Osiecki put together another stellar performance, throwing for 264 yards on 16-of-22 and three touchdowns. He also ran for another 32 yards on eight carries and rushed for two more scores. Tillman led the rushing game with 67 yards on 12 rushes and one score. The receiving core was led by three 60-yard receiving games from Lashley, Ruffin and Washington-Ellison.

Defensively, Desmond Anderson (Jacksonville, Fla./Edward H. White / Becker College), Bernard Risco (Philadelphia, Pa./James Hillhouse) and Charlie Hatchet (Bridgeport, Conn./Stratford / Santa Monica College) all recorded seven total tackles. Anderson had six solo and Risco added a sack. Tom Herd (Sparta, N.J./Sparta ) added 1.5 sacks to his impressive season and was assisted by Raheem Stanley (Hartford, Conn./Weaver ).

Saturday’s game did not feature a turnover for either team as New Haven went on to win its fifth straight game and remain undefeated in both the Northeast-10 Conference and Division-II.

New Haven will return to action on Saturday, October 29 when it travels to Merrimack College in another Northeast-10 Conference battle. Game time in North Andover, Mass. is set for 1:00 p.m. For complete coverage throughout the week, stay posted to NewHavenChargers.com