Senior Gunnar Jespersen threw for 238 yards and a pair of touchdowns and the Central Connecticut defense came up with a huge interception late in the fourth quarter, as the Blue Devils came away with a 28-24 Northeast Conference road victory at Wagner on Saturday.
Sophomore Chris Linares posted his second interception in as many weeks as the Blue Devils move to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in league action. They return to play at home next week against Monmouth at 12 p.m.
The Blue Devils took a 14-0 lead at 7:04 in the second quarter on a two-yard run from Jespersen. They had taken the lead on the first drive of the game. Freshman Andrew Murdock forced a fumble on the opening kickoff, and then CCSU went seven plays and 35-yards for the game's first score, making it 7-0. Senior Brian Fowler scored his first rushing touchdown of the season from five-yards out. Jespersen's rushing touchdown capped an impressive seven-play, 83-yard drive to give Central the 14-0 lead.
Wagner answered before halftime, cutting the lead to 7-0 on a two-yard run from Dominique Williams. His second score of the game tied it at 14-14 with 14:41 to play in the third quarter. The Blue Devils received the second half kickoff, but fumbled on the first offensive play, giving Wagner the ball. Williams ran just once for the score and the tie.
Senior Deven Baker took a Jespersen pass 73-yards for the third score of the game for the Blue Devils, and the 21-14 lead in the third quarter. The scoring play is the longest of the season for the Blue Devils and the longest of Baker's career. He now has three scoring catches on the season.
Wagner answered again, this time on a three-yard run from quarterback Nick Doscher, tying the game with 14:10 left in the fourth quarter.
But the Blue Devils answered one final time, this time on a 36-yard scoring play from Jespersen to sophomore wideout Denzell Jones. It was the first scoring catch in the career of Jones, and the deciding touchdown in the victory.
With the score 28-24, Linares had his second interception of the season, sealing the victory. The Blue Devils have now intercepted five passes in the first three games of the season.
Jespersen finished the game 12-for-19 for 238 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was intercepted once. Fowler rushed 12 times for 63 yards and the score.
Sophomore Antwione Reese led the defense with 12 tackles. Senior Isaiah Boddie had seven.
The Blue Devils return home next week, where they hold claim to the nation's longest home winning streak at 15 games, to face Monmouth at 12 p.m.