High-Powered Offense Leads No. 23 Chargers Over Stonehill, 52-23

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WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The University of New Haven football team, powered by 507 yards of total offense, defeated Stonehill College 52-23 Saturday

a Samantha Mathewson photo

afternoon at DellaCamera Stadium. Running back Mike DeCaro (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay ) ran for 139 yards, while quarterback Ryan Osiecki (Seymour, Conn./Seymour / Univ. of Louisville) threw for 252 yards and five touchdowns. With the win, New Haven improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Northeast-10 Conference. Assumption fell to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

New Haven won the toss and elected to receive to begin the game. Their first drive featured two first downs including a fourth down conversion on a six-yard run from Osiecki. However, on third-and-three, the Skyhawks got in the backfield and sacked Osiecki to end the drive short and force a punting situation.

Stonehill gained possession at their own 26-yard line and found the endzone four minutes later  on a 16-yard pass from Logan Meyer to Daniel Oakes, completing a 12 play, 74 yard drive as the Skyhawks got on the board first. However, the field goal attempt was blocked and Stonehill was up 6-0.

New Haven got the ball back and in just under three minutes, they went ahead 7-6.  Osiecki found Jason Thompson (Stuart, Fla./South Fork ) wide open for a 32-yard touchdown, completing a five play, 62 yard drive.

Stonehill added three more points at the 13:30 mark in the second quarter but would not score again in the half. After 11 minutes of scoreless play, the Chargers regained a lead with a 25-yard pass from Osiecki to Kameel Lashley (Boston, Mass./Boston Comm. Leadership Academy).

After a Skyhawks three-and-out, New Haven got the ball at their own 37-yard line and completed back-to-back passes to Josh Smart (New Haven, Conn./Hamden ) for a total of 32 yards. Chris Scifo (Coral Springs, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas / Central Connecticut State University) would then kick a 47-yard field goal with just one second remaining in the half to put New Haven ahead, 17-9 at the break.

At halftime, Osiecki was 8-for-12 with 115 yards, two touchdowns and 24 yards rushing while DeCaro rushed 10 times for 59 yards. Smart hauled in 53 yards on five receptions and Thompson added 37 yards on two catches and a touchdown.

On the first possession of the second half, Stonehill took the ball just 23 yards on six plays before New Haven regained the ball at its own 18-yard line. The Chargers then marched the ball 82-yards on eight plays, over the course of just three-minutes and 50-seconds, and a 19-yard touchdown pass from Osiecki to Thompson sparked a scoring spree.

New Haven wasted no time forcing Stonehill to give the ball back after just five plays on their next drive. After a Skyhawk punt, the Chargers took over at their own 49-yard line. New Haven then threw an incomplete pass and DeCaro stumble on a rush for no gain, but on third-and-10, Osiecki hit Nick Music (West Milford, N.J./West Milford ) on an out pattern near the Skyhawks’ 40-yard line. Music then scampered along the sideline and dodged a number of defender to complete the 51-yard touchdown. A Scifo extra point gave the Chargers a commanding 31-9 lead with 6:03 left in the third quarter.

New Haven’s defense then stopped the Skyhawks early in their drive, once again. On Stonehill’s second play of the drive, New Haven’s Brian LaSure (Newark, N.J./University West Side / Southern Connecticut) picked off a Logan Meyer pass and gave UNH the ball back on Stonehill’s 30-yard line. The Chargers then needed just one play to widen the lead. Quarterback Ronnie Nelson (Stuart, Fla./South Fork ), traditionally known for his running abilities, connected on a deep touchdown pass with Demetrius Washington-Ellison (Rahway, N.J./Rahway / Univ. of Maine) for a 30-yard touchdown, improving UNH’s lead to 38-9 with 5:16 left in the third.

Stonehill finally got on the board in the second half with a long 13-play, 78-yard touchdown drive following the Chargers’ 38th point. A three-yard Meyer pass was caught by Zaire Reiph and with a successful extra point, the Skyhawks cut the score to 38-16 with 49-seconds left in the third quarter.

New Haven took over the ball at its own 37-yard line and once against went on another touchdown drive. UNH took the ball 63-yards on eight plays and capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run by DeCaro, who earned his final yards of the afternoon on the play.

Stonehill regained possession at its own 31-yard line and once again mounted a scoring drive. The Skyhawks quickly went 69-yards on six plays in just 1:49 and completed the drive with a 21-yard touchdown from Meyer to Jamal Johnson out of the backfield. Another extra point gave the Skyhawks their final points of the game and brought the score to 45-23.

On New Haven’s next drive, Brian Alston (Robbinsville, N.J./Robbinsville) and Anthony Tillman (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway) got most of the carries with Nelson. The three carried the ball to the Stonehill 39-yard line before an Osiecki touchdown pass to Chris Ruffin (New York, N.Y./Phillip Randolph) capped the drive with 6:33 left in the fourth quarter.

The UNH defense then forced a three-and-out before UNH’s offense ran out the clock on its final possession.

As a team, UNH totaled 507 yards of offense and held Stonehill to 346 yards. UNH ran for 225 yards and held the Skyhawks to just 91-yards rushing. New Haven held a slight 32:04-27:56 advantage in time of possession and was successful on 2-of-2 attempts inside the red-zone.

Nelson was the Chargers’ second leading rusher with 45 yards, while he also threw one pass for a touchdown of 30-yards. Smart led the receiving corps with six catches and 63 yards, while Thompson grabbed three for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Osiecki finished the day with 15 completions on 20 attempts for 252 yards and five touchdowns.

Defensively, New Haven was led by Charlie Hatchett (Bridgeport, Conn./Stratford / Santa Monica College) with 10 total tackles. Scott Lowery (Elmwood Park, N.J./Paramus Catholic ) added eight tackles and Kendrick Butler (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard / ASA College) added seven.

New Haven returns to action on Friday, October 7 when it travels to cross-town rival Southern Connecticut State University. Kickoff at Jess Dow field is set for 7 p.m. For complete coverage throughout the week, visit

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High-Powered Offense Leads No. 23 Chargers Over Stonehill, 52-23