No. 23 football takes down Bentley 21-13 on the road

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Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Tyler Wells.

Players on the New Haven football team celebrate after a touchdown against AIC, Sept. 17, 2022.

Tyler Wells, Editor-in-Chief

In their first Northeast-10 conference game on the road in 2022, the New Haven football team walked out of the hostile Bentley University environment with a 21-13 win on Friday night. It was a cold and windy game, making the offensive attacks on each side limited. However, the New Haven rushing attack stepped up in a big way, carrying the offensive load as the defense held stout enough.

New Haven running back Christopher Ais got the night started on the ground, exploding for a 42-yard rush through a gap in the defensive line – hurdling a member of the Bentley secondary before being tackled at the 12-yardline. After a two yard gain by fellow RB Hunter Cobb, Ais punched in the touchdown with a 10-yard rush to take a quick 7-0 lead.

Benltey responded with a field goal in their next drive to make it a 7-3 game, which would be the last score of the first quarter.

At the start of the second quarter, Ais once again took to the ground to gash the Bentley defense with smaller gains, leading the offense down to the one-yard line. Quarterback Connor Degenhardt took it from there, sneaking into the end zone and giving New Haven a 14-3 lead.

Bentley ended the half strong though, responding with a touchdown of their own to trim the lead to just four at the break.

The offenses slowed in the second half, as the sides traded possessions in the third quarter with no points being registered. However, the first Bentley drive of the fourth ended with a field goal, giving New Haven a slim one-point lead.

Momentum was heavily in the Falcons’ favor when they held New Haven to a three-and-out, forcing a quick punt to get the ball back. The punt, with a swirling wind and colder weather, only went 18 yards to give Bentley premium field position down by one with just 10 minutes left.

On the first play of the Bentley drive, their quarterback rolled out of the pocket looking for room to rush. New Haven defensive lineman Jack Quander reached the QB, knocking the ball out of his hand and forcing a fumble that rolled away in the open. It was recovered on the run by New Haven linebacker David Onyemem and returned for a touchdown to give the Chargers a 21-13 lead and crippling the Bentley momentum.

From there, the New Haven defense remained stout and didn’t give Bentley anything more on offense. The ball finally ended up back in the Chargers hands as they kneeled and ran out the clock, giving New Haven their third straight win.

Degenhardt finished with 62 passing yards on just 13 attempts because of the weather, while Ais led all rushers with 136 rushing yards and a touchdown. Cobb added 25 yards of his own on the ground, while wide receiver Kasi Hazzard led the team with 32 receiving yards. On defense, defensive back Khyon Fitzpatrick returned from injury in a big way this week, leading the team with nine tackles. Linebacker Damon Burton Jr. tallied eight of his own while Onyemem had six tackles and the fumble recovery for a touchdown.

With the win, New Haven improves to 3-1 (2-0 NE-10) and extends their winning streak to three games. On the other side, Bentley falls to 2-2 (0-1 NE-10).

The Chargers return to action on Saturday as they travel to New Hampshire for a matchup with Saint Anselm College. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. as New Haven looks to continue their win streak and remain undefeated in conference play. More information on the game can be found at NewHavenChargers.com.