Sophomore running back Chris Tolbert rushed for a career-high 162 yards and senior Brian Fowler rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns as the Central Connecticut football team topped Robert Morris 31-24 on Saturday afternoon.
The win for the Blue Devils snaps a six-game losing streak and moves them to 3-7 overall and 2-5 in Northeast Conference play. RMU falls to 2-7 overall and 2-4 in the NEC.
The Blue Devils racked up a season-high with 485 yards of total offense on the day. They had 279 yards rushing, also a season-high.
Senior quarterback Gunnar Jespersen, one of 15 seniors honored prior to kick-off, finished the day 15-for-20 for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the victory.
Seven different receivers caught pass in the game, and senior Raul Debenendittis had five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in his final game on Arute Field.
Junior Deven Baker had three catches for 71 yards, and sophomore David Sabilia caught his first career pass, a touchdown, in the second quarter. Sabilia was playing tight end, he is listed as an offensive lineman.
The Blue Devils scored first, on a nine-yard touchdown run from Brian Fowler in the first quarter. Following a bad snap on a Robert Morris punt, Fowler ran in for the score on the first play to give CCSU the lead.
Robert Morris would score 10 straight to take a 10-7 before the Sabilia touchdown pushed the Blue Devils ahead 14-10. Jamie Cobb caught a 14-yard pass from Matt Layman to give RMU a 17-14 lead at halftime.
The Blue Devils responded after halftime, as Jespersen hit Debenendittis from 15-yards out to give the Blue Devils the lead for good with 3:47 left in the third quarter.
The lead stretched to 28-17 on the second touchdown of the game from Fowler. Juan Duque kicked a 31-yard field goal to cap the scoring for CCSU with 2:46 remaining.
Robert Morris scored quickly to cut it to 31-24, but the Blue Devils recovered the onside kick to secure the victory.
Freshman Tyrell Holmes recorded his third interception of the season in the fourth quarter, stopping a key Robert Morris drive and leading to a CCSU score. With the Colonials driving, Holmes picked off the pass in the end zone, and the Blue Devils responded with the field goal from Duque which capped a 14-play, 66-yard scoring drive and took 7:55 off the game clock.
Central held the ball for 34:31 in the game, including 19:47 in the second half. They ran 76 offensive plays in the victory.
Chris Linares, Antwione Reese and Lorenzo Baker all had seven tackles to lead the defense. D.J. Radich and senior Charles Williams each had a sack.
Central will be off next week before finishing the season on the road at Bryant on Nov. 19 beginning at 12 p.m.