Elm City Trophy remains in West Haven

The New Haven Chargers football team defeated the Southern Connecticut State Owls on Saturday, Sept. 15, 37-18.

The warm fall day was New Haven’s home opener on the blue turf of DellaCamera Stadium. In front of nearly 4,300 spectators, QB Ajee Patterson nailed 15 of 23 passes to 6 different receivers, totaling a mere 193 yards with three touchdowns. Two of these scores went to graduate student Ju’an Williams, who comes to New Haven from American International College, where he smoked New Haven’s defense last year with 128 yards on 14 catches.

Williams finished the day with 3 receptions for 90 yards against the Owl’s. The other touchdown reception went to junior receiver Damon Rodgers, his second touchdown of the year. Rodgers finished the game with 4 receptions for 35 yards.

The Chargers’ defensive push was the main cause of Southern Connecticut’s inability to score. The group effort was shown with 7 players having more than five tackles.  Sophomore defensive back Shawn Tafe lead the way with 10 total tackles. Although only one sack was recorded by senior defensive lineman Markel Johnson, pressure on Southern Connecticut’s backfield only allowed the Owls to record 111 yards in the air, along with an interception recorded by senior Miles Pease. The Chargers were a force up front stopping the Owls on 4th and one on the two-yard line early in the first quarter. The Chargers also forced a fumble on the goal line with 6:36 left in the second quarter to set up Rodgers’ touchdown just before halftime.   

On the offensive side of the ball for New Haven, rushers combined for 210 yards of ground-and-pound football. The six main runners were Zach Mauro (6 carries for 33 yards), Nyshere Woodson (8 carries for 32 yards), Chris Liggio (9 carries for 25 yards), Ajee Patterson (3 carries for 12 yards), Nick Robins (2 carries for 7 yards), and Ryan McCarthy, who led all rushers with 6 carries for 96 yards. Most of McCarthy’s yards came on a 79- yard TD run in the first quarter, his first this season, giving the Chargers a 7-3 lead.

With the victory over their Elm City rivals, the blue and gold now have a record of 2-1, with both victories coming over NE-10 foes. The Chargers have now won 10 consecutive games against the Owls.  

New Haven is looking to remain undefeated in NE-10 play at their next game on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Merrimack College, with a kickoff at 6:00 p.m. In last year’s matchup, Merrimack traveled to West Haven and won in the season’s final game, 31-21. The Chargers return home to DellaCamera Stadium Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1:00PM, taking on the Bentley University Falcons.