The Central Connecticut football team dropped a 35-25 decision on the road at Dartmouth on Saturday. With the loss the Blue Devils are now 1-3 overall on the season, heading into next week's home non-conference game vs. Rhode Island. Dartmouth improves to 1-0 on the season, the game was their season-opener.
Dartmouth wasted no time getting on the scoreboard on their first drive of the season and took a 7-0 lead.
Central answered on their second drive of the game, fueled by the play of freshman quarterback Tavion Pauldo. Pauldo hit junior Aaron Berardino from 18-yards out for his first scoring pass of the season. The extra-point was blocked and the Blue Devils trailed 7-6 with under seven to play in the first quarter.
On the next Dartmouth drive sophomore Asia Bolling sacked the Dartmouth quarterback and caused a fumble, recovered by senior Andrew Murdock. Six plays later sophomore Darius Cohen rushed it in from one-yard out to give the Blue Devils the 12-7. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
Pauldo led a 15-play, 81-yard drive that lasted 6:16 and finished with him running into the end zone from one yard out, for his first career rushing touchdown. The drive spent most of the time on the ground as the CCSU offensive line led the way for Pauldo and senior Rob Hollomon.
Dartmouth answered with a quick scoring drive before halftime to cut the lead to 19-14. They opened the second half with a second scoring drive, taking a 21-19 lead with 12:53 on the clock. The drive went seven-plays for 75 yards and took just over two minutes.
The Blue Devils drove deep into Dartmouth territory on their next drive, but a 32-yard field goal attempt from sophomore Ed Groth was blocked and Dartmouth took possession with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter.
The Big Green scored on their possession after the blocked field goal, this time on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Dalyn Williams to Ryan McManus. It was the third straight possession with a touchdown for the Big Green.
The Blue Devils drove inside the Dartmouth 10-yardline on their next possession, aided by the second fake punt of the night from Groth. On fourth down junior Nick SanGiacomo's pass went incomplete and the Blue Devils turned it over on downs. The Big Green answered again, this time marching 91 yards for the score to take a 35-19 lead in the fourth quarter.
On the next Central drive SanGiacomo hit freshman Joey Fields with his first career touchdown reception to cut the lead to 35-25. The two point conversion pass was broken up by the Big Green and the lead remained 10 with 7:13 to play in the game.
The Blue Devils had one final drive toward the end zone, but a fourth down conversion attempt fell incomplete and the Big Green took over on downs to run out the clock.
The CCSU offense totaled 475 yards, including 312 through the air.
SanGiacomo was 23-of-41 for 260 yards and a touchdown. Pauldo was four-of-four for 52 yards and a score.
Hollomon led the ground attack with 75 rushing yards. Pauldo rushed eight times for 50 yards, while sophomore Brenden Lytton rushed for 23 yards on five carries.
Fields caught four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown, all of which are career-highs for the first year receiver.
The Blue Devils return home next week to host Rhode Island beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are encouraged to avoid the game day ticket line and purchase tickets online at www.CCSUTickets.com.