New Haven Football Picks-Up Inaugural NE-10 Win, Defeats Stonehill, 23-16

The Charger Bulletin

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Down 16-15 with 21 second left on the clock, University of New Haven quarterback Ryan Osiecki connected with Sharieff Hall in the end zone to take the final lead of the game. New Haven picked up its first NE-10 win, defeating Stonehill, 23-16, on Homecoming weekend at Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium.

With 3:18 remaining in the fourth quarter, UNH found themselves on the short end of a 16-15 score. That’s when the Chargers mounted their first game-winning drive of the season at the newly dedicated Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium. Led by Osiecki, the Chargers’ offense took the ball 70 yards on 12 plays to score the game-winning touchdown with 21-seconds remaining. Osiecki’s TD pass to Hall was his sixth completion of a drive in which he took the team on his shoulders. The quarterback went 6-for-11 for 59 yards through the air and added the final 11 yards of the drive on the ground. On the 10th play of the drive the Chargers were faced with a 4th-and-10 from the Stonehill 37 yard line. With a 50-plus yard field goal out of the question, New Haven went for it with under one-minute remaining. Osiecki connected with Chris Ruffin on and 18-yard juggling catch to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, the Chargers capped the drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass.

For the second week in a row, the Chargers opened scoring in the first quarter off a Michael Herrara field goal. He split the uprights after a 10-play 48-yard drive with took the first 5:03 of the opening quarter.

Stonehill answered with their own field goal drive minutes later. Brendan Gorey connected from 37-yards after an 8-play 36-yard drive to even the score at 3-3.

On New Haven’s next drive, running back Mike DeCaro saw his first action of the season after suffering an ankle injury prior to opening day. He carried the ball three times for 8-yards before suffering his first fumble of the season, which was recovered by the Skyhawks at their own 41 yard line. Stonehill took advantage and drove the ball 59 yards for a touchdown. The 12-play drive took 6:26 off the clock and gave the Skyhawks a 10-3 advantage.

With 1:01 remaining in the first half, UNH took advantage with their no-huddle offense and put a quick 6-play 35-yard touchdown drive together before halftime. Osiecki led the team down the field with four completions, including a 5-yard touchdown toss to Jason Thompson with 4-seconds left in the period. The point-after attempt was blocked by the Skyhawks, so the Chargers trailed 10-9 going into halftime.

It took just over 11-minutes in the third quarter for either team to score. Each team had three possessions before the Chargers capitalized with an 11-play 69-yard touchdown drive. Osiecki led the team down the field, going 4-for-8 for 71 yards. Osiecki and Ruffin connected on two completions during the drive, one for 38 yards and one for 21 yards on a third-and-10. Running back Victor Jones capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 14-seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Chargers 2-point conversion attempt was intercepted, but the Chargers took a 15-10 lead.

After forcing two Stonehill punts, the UNH defense could not stop the Skyhawks a third time in the fourth quarter, as the Skyhawks capped a 9-play 66-yard drive with a 4-yard pass from Tim Morrison to Jordan Smith with 3:25 left in the fourth quarter. The Skyhawks started at their own 34 yard line and marked down the field mostly on two passing plays – a 31-yard pass from Morrison to Cory Wright and a 15 yard connection by Morrison and Wright.

On the ensuing UNH drive, which started with 3:18 on the clock, Osiecki led the Chargers on the game-winning drive, from his own 30 yard line. The drive started with a 6-yard pass to Jones. Then Osiecki carried the ball for 11-yards, giving New Haven a first-and-10 from their own 47 yard line. A 4-yard pass, an incomplete pass and another 4-yard pass brought up fourth-and-2 for UNH. Osiecki connected with Thompson for 8-yards to give the Chargers a fresh set of downs. Three incomplete passes from the Stonehill 37 yard line, gave the Chargers a tough fourth-and-10 situation with 41 seconds left. On the fourth down conversion, Ruffin tipped Osiecki’s pass into the air and grabbed the air as he was falling to the turf at the Stonehill 19 yard line. After an incomplete pass, Hall caught his third touchdown of the season, giving New Haven a 21-16 lead. A successful two-point conversion gave the Chargers a 23-16 lead with 21-seconds remaining.

The Skyhawks threw up two incomplete hail merry passing which were unsuccessful on the ensuing drive, giving the Chargers their first victory at home since 2002.

Osiecki threw 48 times on Saturday and completed 30 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked once and threw the one two-point conversion interception. Hall grabbed seven catches for 71 yards and one touchdown, while Ruffin made six catches for 122 yards. Thompson added six catches for 41 yards and one touchdown. The Chargers rushing attack struggled to establish itself, while eight runners tallied only 32 yards. Bernard Risco led the group with two rushes for 14 yards. DeCaro had five carries for eight yards, while Jones carried the ball six times and added the touchdown.

The Charger defense held Stonehill to 280 yards, including just 55 rushing yards. Akaki Ramishvili led the defenders with 12 total tackles, including eight solo stops and three tackles-for-loss. Linebacker Cody Wallace made eight total tackles and nose guard Raheen Stanley grabbed six total tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Cornerback Desmond Anderson registered five tackles, a pass break-up and an interception. As a team, the Chargers tallied 10 tackles-for-loss.

The Chargers return to action on Friday, October 2 when they travel to cross-town rival Southern Connecticut State University. Game time is set for 7 p.m.