ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Thursday, September 22, 2011

SCSU opens home slate with Pace

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW HAVEN — Setting the school record for touchdowns was only half the job for Southern Connecticut State’s Rashaad Slowley last weekend. Convincing his mother that he had indeed broken the mark was the other.
“I scored two touchdowns in the first quarter (and another in the second quarter) but my mom and three of my aunts didn’t get there (midway) through the second quarter,” Slowley said. “After the game my mom came over to me and asked, ‘How’s that a record? I’ve seen you score three touchdowns before.’”
Slowley told her about his big start to the game and watched her wide smile match his equally-large performance. Slowley, a senior, broke the SCSU’s all-time record with six touchdowns in a single game in Southern’s 59-34 win over Saint Anselm’s on Saturday.
The Owls look for their third win in a row when they make their home debut tonight at Jess Dow Field against Pace University .
Slowley deferred most of the credit for his performance to the play of his offensive line and Southern’s balanced offensive attack. But Slowley did have huge aspirations for this season.
“Playing this game you have to have a short-term memory,” Slowley said. “Whether you run for 59 yards in a game or six touchdowns you have to take it one game at a time. Our offense is stating to get into the flow.
“Certain teams like to pack the box to stop the run but coming into this season I think more people were worried about stopping our passing game.”
Slowley said that he was a bit fortunate to score his sixth touchdown because the game was still relatively close. He finished the contest with 205 yards on the ground on 35 carries. Slowley scored on runs of 11 and 7 yards in the first quarter and 4 yards midway through the second quarter. He then scored on runs of 12, 5, and 3 yards in the second half.
“I’m sure if it still wasn’t close I would have come out after scoring four touchdowns it’s just the circumstances of the game,” he said. “But if I was still out there I would try to seven or eight touchdowns. I’m never going to stop trying to score.”
The Owls have certainly rebounded well from its season-opening loss to Central Connecticut State. In that game Southern took the opening possession down the field but the drive stalled at the 1-yard line.
“It’s tough to be an offensive player and get down to the 1-yard line and not get it in,” Slowley said. “It kind of brought back a flashback from last year’s New Haven game. One thing we spoke about this year was to not make the save the same mistakes.”
But Southern has apparently corrected those ails in a hurry. Slowley scored two touchdowns on short runs against Central in a 35-21 loss. He then added another one in a win against West Liberty before hitting pay dirt six times last week.
Said Slowley: “I talked to the team (in the Central game) and said that can’t happen anymore and after that we’ve been doing a good job of getting it in (the end zone). We haven’t been stopped again so far.
“It’s a collective effort.”
Slowley has nine touchdowns on the season rushing for 369 yards on 87 carries.
The Owls (2-1, 1-0 Northeast-10) certainly know the importance of the next few weeks. With a huge conference game against New Haven looming on Oct. 7 Southern has to stay focused on each opponent.
That’s never been a problem for Slowley who relishes the times that his mother, Patricia Williams of Mount Vernon, N.Y., can watch him play.
“It’s always only been just us two,” Slowley said. “I’m an only child and she’s a single mom. We only have each other.
“She’s a registered nurse who is getting her masters so she’s away a lot. There’s been whole seasons when she couldn’t come but when I’m always so happy.”
Saturday’s performance was certainly special for the pair even if his mom didn’t get to see it all.
Contact Bill Cloutier at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking sports news first — simply text the word “nhsports” to 22700. Standard msg+data rates may apply.

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