The Central Connecticut football team fell to #15/19 James Madison by a score of 38-14 on Friday night in the 2013 season-opener for both teams. The game matched the Dukes and the Blue Devils for the second time in three seasons.
Central fell behind 13-0 in the first quarter as James Madison scored on a pair of rushing touchdowns by quarterback Michael Birdsong.
In the second quarter, senior quarterback Andrew Clements and the offense settled down and marched down the field on a 12-play, 71-yard scoring drive. Clements connected on a pair of long completions on the drive, which was capped with a beautiful 14-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Denzell Jones. The score made it a 13-7 game with 3:03 left in the second quarter.
Unfortunately, the Dukes were able to score again in the second quarter on a three-yard touchdown pass from Birdsong to Deane Cheatham. JMU's scoring drive was eight plays, 45 yards and took just 2:21 off the clock.
CCSU pushed into JMU territory thanks to a long passing completion to junior Tyrell Holmes, but the Blue Devil drive stalled and the game went to the half with JMU leading 21-7.
Clements finished the first half 8-of-16 passing for 123 yards and a touchdown. Holmes and Jones both had a pair of catches and freshman Matt Braddock and junior Scott Benzing also had receptions.
The game began to slip away from the Blue Devils early in the second half as CCSU's opening drive stalled after three plays and JMU's Dae'Quan Scott ran the ensuing punt back 54 yards for a touchdown.
CCSU's next drive ended on an interception by JMU's Dean Marlowe. The Blue Devil defense held strong on the short field and forced a field goal. Key stops were made by junior Josh Alaeze and senior Chuck Watson as the Dukes started the drive deep in CCSU territory.
The next CCSU possession also ended in an interception, this time by JMU's Taylor Reynolds who returned it for a touchdown. The interception return made it a 38-7 game.
Sophomore Nick SanGiacomo entered the game at quarterback in the fourth quarter and led CCSU on a scoring drive that culminated in a touchdown recption by Holmes. The score made it a 38-14 game, the eventual final score.
Clements finished the game 10-of-24 for 127 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Sophomore Rob Hollomon rushed 27 times for 66 yards, and Darius Lee carried 12 times for 56 yards. Holmes had four catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. Jones added two catches for 27 yards and his first half touchdown.
Defensively Alaeze and David Rose each had seven tackles. Alaeze had a fumble recovery and added a tackle for a loss.
The Blue Devils return to action next Saturday on the road at Lehigh. The game will air live on Fox Sports Radio 1410, as well as iHeartRadio.com and FoxSportsRadio1410.com, beginning at 12:15 p.m. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.