Sep 15, 2018
The Central Connecticut football team was outscored by Columbia, 41-24, on Saturday night at Arute Field in New Britain, CT. The Lions scored 13 straight points spanning the second and third quarters to build a double-digit lead over the Blue Devils. Central travels to Fordham on Saturday, Sept. 22, for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.
The Blue Devils are now 1-2 overall on the year. Columbia is 1-0
The game was controlled by both teams' defenses in the early going. The Lions' took advantage of a CCSU turnover to open the game's scoring. Mike Hinton came up with a sack and forced a fumble on the play. Sean White recovered the ball at the CCSU two yardline and Ty Lenhart scored on first down to give Columbia a 7-0 lead at 8:09.
The CCSU defense forced a three-and-out after Columbia got the ball back following a Blue Devils punt. On the ensuing punt, junior Tajik Bagley fielded the punt and avoided the Lions coverage team, taking the kick back 82 yards for the touchdown to tie the game 7-7. It was the first punt return touchdown for Central since Nov. 1, 2003.
The Lions came back with a nine-play, 61 yard drive to retake the lead. Josh Bean would connect with Kyle Castner on third down from 15 yards out just before the end of the first quarter to go ahead 14-7.
The Blue Devils would tie the score on their opening drive of the second quarter, going 68 yards in seven plays. On third down, senior Jacob Dolegala would complete a nine-yard pass on the left side of the endzone to sophomore Tyshaun James to make it 14-14.
Columbia took the lead just before halftime with a field goal. On a fourth-and-11, the Lions drew an offsides penalty on CCSU to pick up five yards and setup a 44-yard field goal attempt for Chris Alleyne. His kick was good to make it 17-14 at the intermission.
Alleyne would hit his second field goal of the game early in the third quarter, making a 36-yard attempt to push the Columbia lead to 20-14.
On the ensuing kickoff, Columbia caught Central offguard with an on-side kick that it recovered. Although, the Blue Devils forced a three-and-out, they woud muff the ensuing punt and the Lions recoved to take over on the three-yard line. Ty Lenhart would score from a yard out to give the Lions a 27-14 lead.
Central would respond with an 11-play, 71-yard drive to cut the deficit to 27-17. A third down completion for 23 yards from Dolegala to sophomore Antwann Anderson kept the drive alive. Junior Francis Cole would cap it off with a 21-yard field goal, the first of his career, to end the third quarter.
Columbia would respond with a pair of touchdowns to take control of the game. On fourth down from the Central two-yard line, Dillon Davis connected with Emerson Kabus on a shovel pass to push the lead to 34-17. On the next Lions drive, Dante Miller took a handoff 83 yards to close out the visitor's scoring.
The Blue Devils would get a score with 1:12 to play, going 80 yards in five plays. A 44-yard reception by Anderson would lead to a two-yard run by sophomore Aaron Dawson to make it 41-24.
Central finished with 365 total yards, while Columbia had 324 yards of offense. Dolegala finished the game 28-of-43 for 320 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jose Garcia led Central with 72 yards on five receptions, while senior Courtney Rush collected five balls for 50 yards. Junior Enyce Walker led CCSU with 37 yards on four carries, an average of 9.2 yards.
Central travels to Fordham on Saturday, Sept. 22, for a 1 p.m. kickoff.