Chargers Bounce Back


(Photo by Charger Athletics)

Quentin Walker

Coming off a week eight loss against the Assumption Greyhounds, and with just two games left on the docket, the New Haven Chargers went into week nine looking to make the most out of their second to last game of the season. A game in which they would be facing the 3-5 American International Yellow Jackets.

Last week’s loss to the Greyhounds was a tough one for the Blue and Gold, as they went head to head with the number 16 ranked team in all of Division II football. The Chargers fought hard, but they just couldn’t keep up with Assumption’s offense, dropping the contest by a score of 38-24. The backfield duo of Ajee Patterson and Andre Anderson combined for 346 yards of offense and 3 touchdowns, one of them coming on a Patterson touchdown pass to Anderson. Defensively the Chargers were led by Tyler Condit and Junior defensive back Nigel Davis, who finished with 12 and 11 total tackles, respectively.

On the other side of the scorecard, the Yellow Jackets are coming off a loss to the number 14 ranked LIU Post Pioneers.  The Jackets could only muster 7 points, as the team as a whole could only gain 51-yards rushing with their leading rusher being Sophomore running back Willie Brown IV with 30-yards. Quarterback Kwame Jarvis had a decent game, certainly not one to write home about as the redshirt Sophomore threw for 114-yards and an interception to make the loss just that much more bitter. AIC was lead on defense by the redshirt Senior linebacker, Jerrod Shelby, who had 14 total tackles.

The last time the teams squared off, the Chargers came out on the right side of a 19-point victory, as the Jackets had no answer for Patterson and the Chargers’ electrifying passing attack. Patterson finished the day with 236-yards and a touchdown in the air and he did work with his legs as well, rushing for 54-yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense was led by Condit who finished with 13 tackles and an interception.

With only two games left for both teams, the chances for a Conference Championship appearance is almost nonexistent, more so for AIC than New Haven considering the Yellow Jackets’ losing record, both overall and in conference play. That did not give either team less of a reason to play hard though, and the Chargers, despite taking what seemed like an eternity to get the first points of the game, showed how fired up they were. Speaking of the first score of the game, that would come on a short 3-yard Lemar Thomas touchdown run late in the first quarter.

After that score, the floodgates were opened; the Blue and Gold started their next drive with good field position at the AIC 45-yard line and proceeded to push it down field and eventually into the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown toss from Patterson to senior tight end Jesse Tate. The Chargers’ next score wouldn’t come on conventional terms, so to speak; their next score would come by way of a blocked AIC punt, blocked by Sophomore defensive lineman Markel Johnson, that would by returned 11-yards for a touchdown by Stefano Bicknese.

U.N.H. wouldn’t stop at a 21-0 lead, and it didn’t seem like the Jackets were doing a very good job at trying to stop them. Thomas would go on to score his second touchdown of the game, this time from 13 yards out.

Down 28-0 going into the half, two questions that definitely arose: “Can AIC stop U.N.H.?” and “Will AIC ever score their first points of the game?” Two questions that would be answered by the end of the contest.

Before then, the Blue and Gold made it a point to push their lead to 35 points on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Patterson to Rishawn Harris. Eventually the Chargers would be stopped, as neither team would reach pay dirt for the rest of the game. Yes, that means AIC never scored a single point; an upsetting outing for them on two fronts considering the fact that it was Senior Day and in their last three games, including this one, they managed to score all of 10 points.

The victorious Chargers were led offensively by Patterson, who threw for 144-yards and two touchdowns which heavily outweighed the one interception he threw. The rushing attack was led by Lemar Thomas and Freshman Ryan McCarthy as they combined for 134-yards on the ground, which outgained the Yellow Jackets by 100 yards. Rishawn Harris led the receivers with 3 receptions for 55-yards and one of Patterson’s two touchdown tosses.

The defense was led Tyler Condit, who had a record breaking performance with his 11 tackles, his second of the game made him the All-Time leading tackler in Northeast-10 history and his tenth pushed him past Erik Lesinski to become the All-Time leading tackler in New Haven Charger history.

Next week the Chargers will close out their regular season with a home matchup against the Bentley Falcons as they will honor 20 seniors who will put on the blue and gold one last time on Senior Day.