Football Falls For the Last Time

Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

Football hosted Slippery Rock University in the NCAA Division II Second Round on Saturday, Nov. 24.

The game did not go as planned for the Chargers, who were defeated 59-20. This is the program’s worst loss since they were defeated by Southern Connecticut State 54-20 in 2009.

Slippery Rock came out of the gate with momentum, and the Chargers could not keep up. The Chargers’ defense was the focal point as they gave up a season-high 526 yards. They also gave up a season-high eight touchdowns.

The scoring started in the first quarter when Slippery Rock took over on downs on their own 27-yard line after a long New Haven drive. They went 73 yards and scored on a three-yard run by running back Wes Hills, his first of three touchdowns of the day.    

After a three and out by the Chargers, Slippery Rock took control again, and closed out the first quarter and opening up the second with another touchdown, for a 14-0 lead.

2018 NE-10 MVP Ajee Patterson took over on his own 23- yard line and took the Chargers downfield. After five completions for 68 yards, Patterson called his own number, and ran for a five-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-7.

After another touchdown by Slippery Rock, the Chargers were able to answer with a field goal to bring it to 21-10 with 2:58 to play in the first half. After a mirage of rushes by Hills, Slippery Rock was able to score again, and pushed New Haven’s deficit to 28-10. With 57 seconds left in the first half, Slippery Rock got the ball again and capitalized, capping off the first half 35-10.

Slippery Rock received the ball to start the second half and continued their dominance. In under four minutes, Slippery Rock gained 73 yards in eight plays, pushing the deficit to 42-10.

After eight plays for 69 yards, Patterson again called his number, and scored on a four-yard run to give the Chargers a fighting chance. New Haven was able to score one more field goal before Slippery Rock scored their final touch-down to seal the win.

Patterson finished the game going 20 for 31 with 271 yards passing, two rushing touchdowns and an interception. Graduate student Ju’an Williams led the Charger receivers with six receptions for 136 yards. Senior Chris Liggio led the ground game for the Chargers, with 10 attempts for 36 yards. New Haven finished the season 9-3 overall and 8-1 in the NE-10 Conference. The eight conference wins were the most for the Chargers since the 2012 season.