Assumption Powers Past Chargers, 45-28

Andy Beardsley

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The University of New Haven football team opened Northeast-10 Conference play on Saturday afternoon, welcoming Assumption College to DellaCamera Stadium. In a battle of the unbeatens, the visiting Greyhounds outlasted the Chargers in a high-scoring affair by the final score of 45-28. With the loss, New Haven dropped to 2-1 overall, 0-1 in the NE-10 while Assumption improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the league.

After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, the Greyhounds wasted very little time revealing their game plan for the afternoon. Uly Gibson and the Assumption offensive line opened the game with 65-yard drive with 60 of those yards courtesy of the ground attack. Andrew Kupec capped off the drive with a five yard run for an early 7-0 lead, after the extra point.

On their first series of the game the Chargers managed to move the ball 56 yards, however were plagued by two penalties for a loss of 10 yards. The field goal unit was called on for a 45-yard try, but missed to the left granting the Greyhounds great field position.

On its ensuing series, Assumption used three passes of over 15 yards to move its way to the New Haven three-yard line. Just over one minute into the second quarter, Gibson crossed the goal line for another Greyhound score, leaving the Chargers 14 points behind.

On their next possession penalties once again restricted the Chargers’ offense, forcing a punt from Chris Scifo. With just 60 yards to go to the UNH end zone, Andrew Kupec connected with Mark Gately for a 34-yard catch-and-run on the first play of the drive. Gibson took over from there, rushing for nine and 17 yards on two plays for his second touchdown of the game. The Greyhounds took a commanding 21-0 lead.

After another three and out for the home team, the Chargers’ defense finally provided the spark that UNH needed. Charlie Hatchett batted down a lateral pass from Andrew Kupec to the one-yard line and pounced on the ball for possession. Victor Jones took the ball in for the score on the next play, cutting the Chargers’ deficit to 14 again.

The New Haven defense did its job again on the next Assumption series, forcing a turnover on downs from the Greyhound’s offense. Ryan Osiecki connected with four different receivers on five plays for 77 yards, capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Washington-Ellison. After the extra point, UNH trailed by only seven with one minute remaining in the half.

Unfortunately for New Haven, Andrew Kupec led the Greyhounds 63 yards down the field in that one minute span for a score just before halftime. With three seconds on the clock, Nowak connected with David Canney for a 31-yard touchdown pass, increasing their lead back to 14 points at 28-14.

After the break in action, New Haven opened the second stanza with the ball on its own 36 yard line. The Chargers’ offense failed to move the chains, resulting in a Chris Scifo punt. The Greyhounds resorted back to their ground attack on their next drive, advancing the ball 72 yards for another score. Gibson and Kupec combined for 15 plays, eventually leading to a one-yard touchdown run from Kupec, putting the Greyhounds in front, 35-14.

In their next series, the Chargers assembled their best drive of the game behind the arm of Ryan Osiecki. After a 25-yard run from Victor Jones, Osiecki connected with four different receivers continuously moving the chains. With the ball on the Assumption 13-yard line, Osiecki found Washington-Ellison in the corner of the end zone for their second touchdowns of the game. New Haven trailed 35-21 entering the final quarter of action.

After a Greyhound field goal, the Chargers’ offense was able to inch closer again with another score on the offensive end. New Haven took advantage of a personal foul assessed upon the Greyhounds’ kickoff, leaving terrific field position for the Chargers on the Assumption 47 yard line. Osiecki hit five receivers on the drive, capped off by a one-yard rushing touchdown. After the Osiecki score, New Haven trailed by 10 points with 6:52 left in the game.

The special teams unit came onto the field on the next play and nearly recovered an onsides kick. Instead, the Greyhounds were left in great field position again, leading to the game’s final touchdown. Gibson ran for his third score of the game, finalizing a 45-28 score at DellaCamera Stadium.

Osiecki finished with 234 yards passing, three touchdowns (one rushing) and six yards on the ground in the losing effort. Demetrius Washington-Ellison caught five passes for 48 yards and two scores, while Sharieff Hall amassed 85 yards on six catches. Victor Jones led the ground attack with 66 yards on 13 carries.

Defensively, Charlie Hatchett led the way with 14 tackles, one force fumble and a fumble recovery. Mike Gomes registered 12 tackles while Robert Hill and Akaki Ramishvili each chimed in with eight.

The Chargers return to action on Friday, September 24 with their second contest away from home. UNH heads to Waltham, Mass. to take on the Bentley Falcons at 7 p.m.