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New Haven Powers Past American International, 34-20

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WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The University of New Haven football team stayed undefeated in the Northeast-10 Conference with a 34-20 victory over American International College Saturday afternoon at

A SAMANTHA MATHEWSON PHOTO

Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium. With the win, the Chargers improved to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Yellow Jackets fell to 4-3, 3-2 NE-10.

AIC won the opening toss and deferred to the second half. Despite receiving the ball first, the Chargers could not capitalize and threw an interception at their own 44-yard line. Six plays later, the Yellow Jackets connected on a 23-yard field goal to gain a 3-0 lead in less than four minutes of play.

New Haven would retaliate on their following possession. Starting at their own 38-yard line, Ryan Osiecki (Seymour, Conn./Seymour / Univ. of Louisville) and Ronnie Nelson (Stuart, Fla./South Fork ) orchestrated a nine-play, 62 yard drive in under five minutes to go ahead, 7-3. The drive was capped off by a 17-yard touchdown pass from Osiecki to Jason Thompson (Stuart, Fla./South Fork ).

The Chargers were stopped on a three-and-out to start the second quarter. After punting away to AIC, the Yellow Jackets took advantage on a series of rushing plays. On a fourth-and-seven, Cesar Vaca-Hurtado hit a 34-yard field goal attempt but a roughing the kicker penalty drew an automatic first down. The following play, Terrell Williams rushed in from nine yards out to put AIC ahead, 10-7.

Both teams exchanged field goals the rest of the way as the Yellow Jackets held a 13-10 advantage at the break.

The Chargers have played great second half football all season long and that trend continued on Saturday. Robert Hill (Suffield, Conn./Suffield / Dean Junior College) forced an AIC fumble on the very first play of the second half and was picked up by Bernard Risco (Philadelphia, Pa./James Hillhouse) who rushed in for the score. Just eight seconds into the second half, New Haven had regained the lead as they went up, 17-13.

The Yellow Jackets had to punt on their following two possessions and with 8:16 remaining in the third quarter, New Haven would begin their second offensive drive resulting in a touchdown. The Chargers relied on their rushing game as Mike DeCaro (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay ) finished the drive with three straight rushes for 10 yard and a score. New Haven took a two-score lead to close out the third quarter, going ahead 24-13.

Chris Scifo (Coral Springs, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas / Central Connecticut State University) connected on his second field goal early in the fourth to give the Chargers a 14-point advantage. However, AIC quickly responded and in less than two minutes, Anthony Enderle rushed in from one yard out to cut the deficit to seven.

With 11 minutes left in regulation, New Haven began a scoring drive at their own 29-yard line. After a few rushes from DeCaro, Nelson found Thompson in the endzone for his second score of the game. The 22-yard completion gave the Chargers their second 14-point lead. Thompson’s touchdown marked his third straight game with two touchdown receptions and fourth straight with at least one.

AIC marched down the field on the following drive and got all the way to the New Haven eight-yard line. On first-and-goal and a chance to make it a one score game, Raheem Stanley (Hartford, Conn./Weaver ) tipped a pass at the line and Kervin Edouard (Somerville, Mass./Somerville ) picked it off. New Haven was able to run the clock out as they claimed their fourth straight win and remain undefeated in the Northeast-10 Conference.

Osiecki went 12-for-22 with 124 yards, a touchdown and one interception. DeCaro led the rushing attack with 45 yards on 11 carries including a touchdown. The receiving core was led by Chris Ruffin (New York, N.Y./Phillip Randolph)’s 80 yards on five receptions and Thompsons two-touchdown performance. He also gained 62 yards on four catches and completed a 37-yard pass to Ruffin.

Defensively, Risco had a team-high 10 total tackles. Mike Gomes (Brockton, Mass./Brockton ), Charlie Hatchett (Bridgeport, Conn./Stratford / Santa Monica College) and Raheem Stanley (Hartford, Conn./Weaver ) all recorded seven total tackles and Kendrick Butler (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard / ASA College) broke up two passes.

As a team, the Chargers gained 340 yards of total offense, 225 through the air and 115 on the ground. AIC went for 143 yards rushing and 203 yards passing for 346 yards of total offense.

New Haven returns to action on Saturday, October 22 when it hosts Bentley University in its 2011 Homecoming game at DellaCamera Stadium. Game time is set for 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. For complete coverage throughout the week, stay posted to www.NewHavenChargers.com.

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New Haven Powers Past American International, 34-20