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Charger Football Recap

Quentin Walker

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The 1-2 New Haven Chargers looked poised and ready to come out of week four with another win under their belts, the only thing standing between them and that win would be the 0-3 Pace University Setters.

The last time the two teams met, the Chargers took a stand on Senior Day last season downing the Setters by a score of 34-3. Quarterback Ajee Patterson threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns on the day, while running back Trevor Officer, who rushed for 79 yards and a pair of touchdowns, led the team in rushing. The defense played stellar all day, holding the Pace offense to only 179 yards all together. Linebacker Tyler Condit as usual had a good game, finishing with 11 tackles, a team high. However, Condit wasn’t the only one who would have a day, the Charger defense forced three fumbles on the day, defensive end Ralph Jonathas, defensive back Mark Clements, who amounted a sack on the day as well, and linebacker Devin Porchia were responsible for one each. The Chargers would recover two of these fumbles, one would be scooped up by defensive lineman Drake Harris for a 69-yard touchdown.

The Chargers, showing signs of new life, are coming off their first win of the season, in which they proceeded to crush the Saint Anselm Hawks by a score of 52-21. Patterson would put up career numbers finishing the contest with 326 yards passing and three touchdowns; his backfield partner didn’t have a bad day either. Running back Andre Anderson finally broke out of the rut he started the 2016 campaign in, ending the day with his first two touchdowns of the year and his first 100-yard rushing game, firsts of what Charger Nation hopes to be many. The defense definitely stepped up as well,  Condit, a man of consistency, was up to his usual antics finishing the day as the team’s leading tackler with 17 tackles, but it felt he had more than that as he was involved in almost every play. New Haven had one sack on the day and half of it went to, who else, but Condit, the other half went to linebacker Corey Mitchell. Junior defensive back Nigel Davis would have the Chargers one and only interception on the day.

On the other side, the Setters are coming off of their third straight loss on the year, this one coming at the hand of the American International Yellow Jackets by a score of 3-0. The Yellow Jackets kicked a field goal early in the first quarter and that was all they needed. The Pace offense just couldn’t get going, sophomore quarterback Dan Anerella only threw for 47 yards on eight completions and ended up throwing two interceptions on the day. The passing game wasn’t the only problem for the offense however, senior running back Michael Scotman didn’t have much of anything to write home about either, only rushing for 79 yards on 22 attempts. Fortunately for Pace, the defense played outstanding football, finishing the game with six sacks and an interception, redshirt senior Olatayo Ishola was the team’s sack leader with two to his name, while junior defensive back Chukwuemeka Njoku-Obi had the team’s one interception.

Both teams are looking to continue their great play, the Chargers on both sides of the ball, while the Setters are looking for someone on offense to step up this weekend as they try to avoid starting their season dropping four straight games. On the other hand, the Patterson-led Chargers are looking to continue their winning ways as they try to notch their second straight.

The Chargers started off the game just as hot as they ended the last one, the same was true for Patterson and Anderson. While their first drive ended with a field goal from junior Danny Stock, the Chargers didn’t let that get them down as they came out on their next drive and scored the game’s first touchdown on a Patterson 1-yard touchdown run, giving them an early 10-0 lead over the Setters. New Haven didn’t look back, while Pace’s passing woes continued as they tried out redshirt junior Jason Habash at quarterback instead of Anerella.

Just when it looked like Pace was going to turn things around after a fumble recovery by the punt team; specifically, junior linebacker Myles Martin, a play later Habash was picked off by junior defensive back Matt Olivo. From there the Charger offense went to work again, this time looking for their third score of the day and trying to take Pace out of the game early. The Blue and Gold did exactly that on a 61-yard laser off the right arm of Patterson to senior wide receiver Rishawn Harris, putting the Setters into a 17-point hole, not even out of the first quarter at the time.

The second quarter spelt much of the same for both teams: Pace’s offense couldn’t get going and the Chargers just kept charging ahead to what seemed like their easiest win so far. However, UNH wouldn’t let their foot off the gas pedal yet, as Patterson threw 12-yard strike to Rishawn Harris, the second time the two would find the endzone. New Haven wouldn’t stop there though, as Anderson would get in on the touchdown parade, reaching pay dirt from one yard out and then again, a Pace three-and-out later, this time from five yards out giving the Blue and Gold a 38-0 lead going into the half.

Coming out of halftime, the Setters felt that a quarterback change would spark their offense so, they made the switch to junior quarterback Fautino Saucedo. This proved to be a smart decision for Pace as they finally got on the scoreboard, after playing six straight quarters of scoreless football, with a 27-yard touchdown pass off the arm of Saucedo to junior wide receiver Tyler Mason. This time it was the Setters that wouldn’t take their foot of the gas, but that didn’t affect New Haven’s play in the slightest as the Chargers would kick a 26-yard field goal making the score 41-7 and giving Pace even more ground to make up. Apparently, the admission of Faustino Saucedo into the game breathed new life into Pace’s offense and the offense would take a 10 play, 75-yard drive and turn it into another touchdown score on the legs of senior running back Scotman. Again, Pace’s resurgence didn’t faze the Chargers at all as they continued to put points on the board and this time a new name would be called as the ball would cross the plane, that name would be freshman running back Ryan McCarthy scoring his first touchdown as a part of the New Haven Chargers.

The game looked to be pretty much over and done with as the Chargers had what looked to be an insurmountable lead with not a lot of time left in the final quarter, but once again, Pace had other plans, even though, everyone figured that Pace was just playing for pride at this point, given the fact that as the game went on the two teams really seemed to be jarring back and forth with each other after almost every play in the second half resulting in a unusually high amount of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. In reality, they were looking to make a statement, but they had a case of too little, too late, as Saucedo would score his second touchdown on a 74-yard bomb to sophomore receiver Alex Toplyn. That score would mark the end of Pace’s supposed rally and add another win to the win column for the Blue and Gold making this their second straight after dropping their first two games.

Patterson would end the day with another stellar performance, throwing for 319 yards and two touchdowns on 19 for 27 passing, this performance almost on par with that of his career high numbers from last week’s contest. Freshman Ryan McCarthy would finish the day as the game’s leading rusher with 73 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries, whereas Andre Anderson, who also had a big game last week, would quiet down a bit only rushing for 69 yards, but he would have a pair of short touchdown carries on the day. Rishawn Harris would be the team’s leading receiver with three receptions, 78 yards and two touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, Mr. Consistency himself, linebacker Tyler Condit, although he had a relatively quiet day, as did the rest of the defense, he would still find a way to lead the team in tackles with six total, a spot he would share with defensive back Stefano Bicknese. The defense couldn’t amount any sacks on the day and Matt Olivo would have the team’s only interception.

The Chargers look as if they are playing a different brand of football than they were in the first two weeks of the season. They look to continue their play as they take on crosstown rival Southern Connecticut State. SCSU is coming off a comeback win against American International by a score of 21-20, putting them at .500 football with a record of 2-2, 2-1 in Northeast-10 conference play. The last time the two rivals squared off, the Blue and Gold bested the Owls by a score of 28-14 and they look to do it again next week on their home turf as the university celebrates Family Day.

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Charger Football Recap