Chargers Victorious over Shaw University

The New Haven Chargers football team defeated the Shaw Bears on Saturday (Sept. 2), 31-20. After a 2016 season that left a record of 7-4 (6-3 in the NE10), the Chargers travelled to Durham, North Carolina unknown what to expect after losing their powerhouse of 2017 seniors.

The losses of key players such as NE10 Offensive Lineman of the Year Zach Voytek, the NE10 all-time leader in tackles (452) LB Tyler Condit, and RB Andre Anderson, who rushed for over 2670 yards and 41 touchdowns in his career raised unknown expectations for the Chargers.

After their walk-through at Duke University’s facilities on Friday, the Chargers were ready to showcase their talent. After two dueling three-and-outs, Shaw looked to have something going for them. Their seven- play drive travelled only 28 yards, and culminated in a turnover on downs after a fourth and four pass was dropped. The following two drives were uneventful, but the Chargers were getting ready to strike.  

A first down pass from quarterback Ajee Patterson to speedy wide receiver Justin White was good for 17 yards, and the offense was in Bear territory. A balanced attack of White through the air and running back Ryan McCarthy on the ground powered the Chargers. A 19-yard dime from Patterson to wide receiver Collin Hill set up New Haven at the Shaw 10- yard line. From there, McCarthy zipped untouched into the turf end zone of Durham County Memorial Stadium. Kicker Danny Stock nailed the point after, earning New Haven the 7-0 lead. The scoring drive lasted eight plays, 62 yards, and a little over three minutes elapsed.  

Shaw received the kickoff, and did their best, but to no avail. New Haven took over, looking to extend their lead, but a fumble on their first play ended those hopes swiftly. Shaw took over, needing 21 yards to add a score of their own. After five plays, they did exactly that, and tied the game 7-7.

Receiving the kickoff, the Chargers were stopped at their own 16- yard line, marring their hopes of taking the lead. After three solid gains via wide receiver Devin Marty, McCarthy, and White, New Haven had big aspirations. Dropping back to pass from his own 33, Patterson went deep to White. The ball landed in his hands and the receiver’s blazing speed did the rest. He charged into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown reception, and the early second quarter exclamation point summarized the day for New Haven. A Stock kick gave the Chargers the 14-7 lead, and they never looked back.  

In the third quarter, the Chargers held a 17-14 lead, when Patterson struck again. A 64- yard bomb downfield to Martin this time gave them the 24-14 lead, as Shaw missed a field goal attempt on the ensuing drive.

New Haven’s first drive in the fourth seemed to be the dagger. A nine-play, 58- yard drive that ate up over four minutes of clock time culminated in another McCarthy rushing touchdown. Stock’s point after sealed the win for the Chargers 31-14. Shaw ended up scoring again with 45 seconds left in the game, to set the final score at 31-20.

At the end of the day, the Chargers had 328 yards of passing and 71 yards rushing. Not to be overlooked, the defense stayed true to blue and held the Bears to only 163 yards passing, and gave up 120 on the ground. 

This was the first time that New Haven and Shaw, of the CIAA, have played in football. This is also the first time that the Chargers have won their first game since 2012, when they defeated Merrimack, 45-18.

The Chargers return home to DellaCamera Stadium this upcoming Saturday, Sept. 9 at 1:00 p.m. when they take on the LIU Post Pioneers.