Football Celebrates Homecoming with Win

The New Haven Chargers football team defeated the Stonehill Skyhawks 23-22 at their homecoming on, Oct. 14. The Chargers are now 5-1 for the year, and 4-1 in the NE10.

In front of a crowd of 5,600 fans on a brisk day, New Haven began slowly. Exchanging three-and-outs with the Skyhawks for the first five minutes of game time, Stonehill began moving. With six minutes off the clock, Stonehill led, 7-0.

On the following drive, New Haven responded explosively. Quarterback Ajee Patterson pushed the drive with two early completions, but then running back Ryan McCarthy scored.  After a  69-yard rush, McCarthy tied the game at 7, which remained the score until the end of the first quarter.

The answering Skyhawk drive showed New Haven’s resiliency. The Chargers defense gave up 356 total yards for the day, which is above their season average of 348. The drive for Stonehill put the team at the 4-yard line, but they were unable to reach the end zone. They settled for a field goal, and led the game 10-7.

On the next drive for the Chargers, running back Greg Orekoya did not disappoint. After a 20-yard pass from Patterson to receiver Justin White, Orekoya made his own mark and scored on a 39-yard rush. After a Danny Stock kick for the extra point, New Haven led 14-10. Stonehill went on to score a touchdown, but failed the extra point, which gave the team a 16-14 lead going into halftime.

The Chargers got the ball after the half with a 12-play, six-minute drive that culminated in a missed field goal by Stock. That was no big deal, as the Skyhawks began their drive at their own 22-yard line, resulting in a three-and-out. After a couple of failed drives, the Chargers took control of the ball with 4:51 left in the third quarter, but did not score again until the fourth. A Stock field goal gave New Haven the 17-16 lead.

Stonehill scored and took the lead 22-17 with 2:09 left, but the team knew that Big Blue had played most of their games this season tight, and they are one missed field goal away from being undefeated.

On the next Charger drive, after passes to receiver Justin White and McCarthy, Patterson unloaded downfield to receiver Damon Rodgers, who hauled it in for a 48-yard touchdown. New Haven took the lead, 23-22. On the following drive, a Nigel Davis interception gave the Chargers the ball back, and the game was over.

New Haven had 437 total yards on the day. Patterson went 19 for 27, with 280 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. McCarthy had 17 rushes, for 103 yards and a TD. The passing attack was evenly distributed, with Rodgers catching five for 99 yards, White catching four for 79 yards, and Devin Martin catching six for 74 yards. Jordan Franklin led the Blue on defense, with 17 total tackles, followed by Stefano Bicknese and Javeon Ensley, with 11 each.

The Chargers return to DellaCamera Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1:00 p.m. against the American International Yellow Jackets.