The Central Connecticut football team won its second straight game and its Northeast Conference opener with a 26-15 win on the road at Sacred Heart on Saturday night. The win moves the Blue Devils to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in NEC action. It's the third straight victory for the Blue Devils over the Pioneers.
The Blue Devils defense forced five SHU turnovers and blocked a punt. Senior Jarrod Cann posted a pair of interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. Central ended the game with three sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries as the defense held the Pioneers to 15 points, their second lowest total of the season.
Central took the early lead on a six-yard scoring run from sophomore Drew Jean-Guillaume with 5:42 left in the first quarter. The score capped a quick three-play drive and took place following a blocked punt from redshirt freshman DJ Exilhomme.
The lead stretched to 10-0 on a 20-yard field goal from senior Frankie Palmer with 8:22 to play before halftime. The kick finished off a seven-play, 89 yard drive that took just over three minutes. A 78-yard pass to junior Courtney Rush highlighted the drive.
Sacred Heart kicked a field goal to cut it to 10-3, but the Blue Devils answered quickly, needing less than one minute to drive the length of the field and score their second touchdown of the game. Junior quarterback Jacob Dolegala hit Jean-Guillaume out of the backfield and the sophomore sprinted 70-yards for the score. The PAT was no good and the lead for CCSU at the half was 16-3.
The lead reached 19-3 on a 28-yard field goal from Palmer with 4:53 to play in the third quarter.
The Pioneers cut the lead to 19-9 with 12:18 on the clock on a 13-yard scoring run from quarterback Kevin Duke. SHU went for two but their pass attempt was incomplete and the lead remained 10 for the Blue Devils.
Central drove the length of the field on their next possession but was stopped short on a fourth down and goal from the one yard line as Dolegala's sneak attempt came up just short. They turned the ball over on downs.
However, on the next SHU possession Central stretched the lead to 26-9 when Cann intercepted an SHU pass, his second of the day, and ran it back 50 yards for a touchdown. Cann ended the game with a game-high 13 tackles, eight solo, to go along with his two interceptions.
SHU scored a final touchdown with 43 seconds to play but their onside kick attempt was no good and CCSU ran out the clock.
Senior Cameron Nash rushed 21 times for 157 yards in the game, finishing four yards shy of his career-high of 161 yards set vs. New Hampshire during the 2015 season. Dolegala finished the game 9-of-21 for 209 yards and a touchdown. Jean-Guillaume scored a pair of touchdowns, one in the air and one on the ground.
The Blue Devils are back in action at home next weekend hosting Penn on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. on Homecoming. For tickets visit CCSUTickets.com.