New Haven wins by 47 on a day bigger than football


Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Krista Smith.

The New Haven football team runs through a “Chargers Conquer Cancer” banner before the game against Post, West Haven, Oct. 15, 2022.

The New Haven football team handled business on Saturday against a winless Post University, as multiple players scored during the 67 point onslaught. As those in the crowd largely donned pink, the play on the field took a backseat to the recognitions that were bigger than just football.

The New Haven Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) coordinated a Make-A-Wish reveal for Middlebury, Conn. native Anthony Izzi. Prior to the game, Izzi was given an honorary jersey, and flipped the opening coin toss. Members of SAAC, all student-athletes, also handed out summer gear to fans throughout Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium, including beach balls and pool noodles, in preparation of his wish reveal. Then, after the first quarter, Izzi was welcomed onto the field.

After a wave of applause and cheers from the crowd of 2,162, a video of former NFL offensive lineman and two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Snee played on the jumbotron. Snee, who played for Izzi’s favorite NFL team, the New York Giants, congratulated Izzi and wished him luck. This is when Izzi’s wish was revealed: the university helped raise money to build him a pool.

It was also the annual Pink Game, sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, to recognize the countless number of people that have been impacted by cancer. Former New Haven football player Sam Sorbello, who established the Pink Clover Foundation in honor of his late wife, was recognized prior to the game, while members of the Colleen Sorbello Research Laboratory in Dodds Hall were highlighted at halftime.

The Pink Clover Foundation works in conjunction with the laboratory located on the UNH campus and the University of Pennsylvania to provide meaningful and in-depth research on breast cancer treatments. Since 2018, the foundation has raised over $507,000 and helped 23 women as part of their COMFORT program. They took donations at the game, with many cancer survivors sharing their experiences and handing out pink beaded necklaces to fans around the stadium.

University assistant professor Anna Kloc and biology: biochemistry senior Ashley Jones were also honored for their studies on the effect of Epstein Barr Virus on myocarditis to see if the virus is a potential “causing agent to diseases associated with the heart,” according to Jones.

“It felt amazing to be honored for my work,” she said. “I’ve spent a lot of countless hours in the lab screening over 60 samples. It feels nice to know that my hard wok and effort is being noticed… and more attention is being brought to undergraduate research.

I hope that more of our faculty and students get recognized and acknowledged by the university.”

On the field, New Haven wasted little time in letting the underdog in the game. After starting the game on defense, the Chargers forced a quick three-and-out to get the ball back. On offense, running back Christopher Ais started the day with three rushes for 16 yards before quarterback Connor Degenhardt took over. He connected on two passes, one for seven yards to wide receiver Dev Holmes and another for 25 yards to WR Chris Carlyle. Degenhardt finished the drive with a four-yard touchdown rush to put New Haven up 7-0.

After Post put together a pair of passes to cross midfield, the New Haven pass rush pressured the QB and forced an errant ball right into the hands of linebacker Damon Burton Jr. for the interception. With the ball again, Ais broke through the Post line and dashed to the end zone for the 59-yard touchdown.

Just like that, New Haven was up 14-0 and never looked back.

After a New Haven punt was blocked and recovered for a score, Degenhardt responded with his first passing touchdown of the afternoon to Holmes. He added three more passing touchdowns in the second quarter, finding WR Zhyaire Fernandes, tight end Jermaine Coggines and Holmes again. When the half ended, the Chargers finished with a 41-14 lead.

In the second half, New Haven turned to RB Hunter Cobb, who has become an important piece of the team’s running attack. On the first drive, he broke off a 43-yard rushing touchdown to push the Chargers’ lead to more than 30. He added another touchdown on their ensuing drive, this time a seven yard rush.

With the 54-14 lead, New Haven head coach Christopher Pincince turned to his depth to end the game. RB Jake Conlin, who played a big role last year during the team’s Northeast-10 (NE-10) championship run, got his second touchdown of the year, on a short two-yard rush. QB Jack Chandler followed this up with a rushing touchdown of his own, sneaking the ball into the end zone from the one-yard line.

This would be the final touchdown for New Haven, who went on to keep the ball on the ground to close out the game. When it became official, the final score was 67-21, with a lopsided victory in the Chargers’ favor.

Offensively, New Haven was led by a balanced attack. Degenhardt finished with five touchdowns, four passing and one rushing, and 259 passing yards. Ais led all rushers with 118 yards, with nearly all of that coming in the first quarter, and added a touchdown of his own.Cobb finished just behind him with 105 yards, but scored two touchdowns. To round out the rushers, Conlan finished with 66 yards and freshman Christian Shine, playing in his first career game, ran for 48 yards. Holmes was the standout among receivers, hauling in four catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

On defense, a number of players got into the mix. Burton Jr. led the team with five tackles and an interception, while four other players registered four tackles of their own. Defensive backs Devonta Myles and Khyon Fitzpatrick both came down with interceptions as well.

With the out-of-conference win, New Haven improves to 6-1 (4-0) NE-10 and extend their winning streak to six. The loss keeps Post winless on the year, dropping their record to 0-6.

New Haven now has a bye next week with a chance to recover before heading into a big matchup against Assumption University that will likely determine the NE-10 champion. For more information on the game, visit