Chargers Top Lincoln 30-0 in 2010 NAACP Harmony Classic

Andy Beardsley

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The University of New Haven football team opened play at DellaCamera Stadium with a bang, downing Lincoln University by the final score of 30-0 on Saturday afternoon at the 2010 NAACP Harmony Classic. Mike DeCaro and Victor Jones led a potent ground attack that amassed 143 yards, coupled with a formidable defense that allowed just 206 total yards of offense from the Lions.

With the win, New Haven improved to 2-0 on the season, while the Lions dropped to 1-1 through their first two games. In two meetings with Lincoln University, the Chargers are now 2-0, outscoring the Lions 63-10.

The Chargers’ defense set the tone early on in the opening quarter. UNH forced the Lions into a difficult situation at 4th and 21 in their first series, leading to a punt at the 12:48 mark.

On the first offensive set from the New Haven offense, Ronnie Nelson connected with a wide open Sharieff Hall for an 86-yard touchdown pass for an early 6-0 lead. Chris Scifo tacked on his first of three extra points on the afternoon.

After the quick burst of offense in the first quarter, neither team was able to muster much of an attack through the remaining 12 minutes. UNH finished the opening stanza with 126 yards passing and six yards on the ground.

However, when the whistle sounded for the second quarter, once again the Chargers’ offense wasted very little time moving the chains. A short punt left UNH in great field position with just 39 yards to go to the goal line. Victor Jones rushed for 17 yards on five carries and Ryan Osiecki completed a pass for six yards leading the a 28 yard field goal from Scifo. The Chargers now controlled a 10-0 advantage.

The defense stunned the Lions offense in the next series, giving the offense another chance with just over eight minutes remaining in the half. Ryan Osiecki led a nine play, 78 yard drive for the next score of the game. The Chargers held possession for 3:57, eventually leading to a four-yard touchdown pass from Osiecki to Jason Thompson. Mike DeCaro was crucial in the drive, rushing for 24 yards on five carries, propelling the Chargers to a comfortable 17-0 lead.

New Haven’s defense followed the score with another strong showing in the ensuing series. J.D. Chalifoux intercepted Laquan Williams near midfield, returning it to the Lincoln 12-yard line. Chris Scifo connected on a 45-yard field goal, closing out the scoring summary in the first half of action.

After the intermission, the offense went quiet from both squads. Neither team managed to score in the third stanza, leaving the score at 20-0 entering the final quarter.

The Chargers’ defense held strong, forcing another turnover on fourth down from the Lions. This one provided great field possession for the home team, leading to another Chargers’ field goal early on in the fourth quarter. Scifo split the uprights for the third time, this one coming from 38 yards out. Osiecki and the offense generated 17 yards on seven plays on the drive.

The Lions moved the chains once on their next drive, but could not reach the scoreboard. After a turnover-on-downs, UNH controlled possession for the next six minutes of action.

Victor Jones, Ronnie Nelson and Ryan Osiecki put together a 57 yard drive on nine plays, ending with an 11-yard rushing touchdown from Jones. The score capped off the scoring column for the game, finalizing a 30-0 victory on the blue and gold turf.

Osiecki led an offense that amassed 317 yards in the non-conference affair. He finished with 88 yards passing, six yards rushing and one passing touchdown. Sharieff Hall collected five catches for 109 yards and one touchdown, while Demetrius Washington-Ellison registered 47 yards in the air. Victor Jones and Mike DeCaro each recorded 60 yards on the ground, with Jones crossing the goal line for a touchdown run.

On the defensive side of the ball, Charlie Hatchett and Robert Hill led the way with 11 and 10 tackles respectively. Hatchett also forced a fumble whereas Hill registered 2.5 tackles for a loss of eight yards. As a team, the Chargers forced five fumbles, recovered two and allowed just 58 yards on the ground.

The Chargers return to action one week from today with their Northeast-10 Conference opener. UNH welcomes Assumption College to Ralph R. DellaCamera Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff.