ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thoughts on New Haven's win over SCSU

After Southern loss to New Haven 59-38 on Friday night, I asked SCSU defensive back Steven Teague what was the difference.
He talked about a couple of missed assignments and then gave New Haven a lot of the credit.
"They're a good team," Teague said. "(Ryan Osiecki's) a good quarterback."
You can say that again.
Osiecki was clearly the difference in the contest and he was picture perfect on his deep balls.
New Haven stayed away from the middle of the field probably trying to avoid SCSU's great linebacker corps. And they threw over the top of Southern's fantastic secondary where the taller UNH receivers made the grabs.
It was a fantastic show by Osiecki and his receivers.
"We're a good team, too," Teague added. "And we'll be back to prove it."

Here was Saturday's game story:

NEW HAVEN — For three quarters the only thing bigger than the hype were the numbers on the scoreboard.
Two teams, separated by a mere couple of miles, displayed the promise of the region’s top Division II programs in a tense battle royale.
But when it was all said and done New Haven quarterback Ryan Osiecki turned a game of “Anything you can do, I can do better” into his personal highlight reel.
Osiecki threw for 423 yards on a precision-like 29-for-37 effort, including three touchdowns, and ran for another score as New Haven rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to clobber Southern Connecticut State 59-38 at Jess Dow Field Friday night.
While the conference implications were heightened by the heated rivalry, which was reflected in a pre-game scuffle well before kickoff, it was the Chargers who took a stranglehold on the Northeast-10 Conference lead and gained an inside track to an NCAA playoff berth.
No. 21 New Haven improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference with its second straight win in the series while Southern falls to 4-2 and 3-1.
New Haven leads the battle for the Elm City Trophy 15-6-1.
“We watched a lot of film on them,” Osiecki said. “As an offense and when it comes to passing, we feel like when we’re clicking we’re extremely hard to stop. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.
“These are the best games to be a part of. To come out and go back and forth, that’s football. That’s why I love playing it.”
The 12 touchdowns in the game was a new conference record and the majority of them came from the New Haven side. Southern took a 30-17 lead scoring on its first possession of the second half but New Haven went on to outscore them 42-8 the rest of the way to turn a taut affair into a rout.
The turnaround was stunning.
“Osiecki was outstanding,” SCSU coach Rich Cavanaugh said. “We could have played better and I thought our kicking game let us down but Osiecki played so well. You really have to give them credit. We had protection problems with our offensive line but their defensive line played really well.
“We couldn’t sustain anything in the second half and we had to match their scoring. We didn’t do it.”
Osiecki threw a flurry of passes for over 30 yards on the night hitting his tall receivers on deep routes as they towered over the smaller but talented SCSU secondary. Jason Thompson finished with
See UNH, B3
seven catches for 179 yards and Demetrius Washington-Ellison had four catches for 84 yards.
“(Their height) definitely helps,” Osiecki said. “But they’re just complete receivers.”
Said New Haven coach Pete Rossomando: “I think they may have been a little banged up in the secondary. We had Jason Thompson, who just caught fire and Ryan really liked some things out there. We were able to protect him.”
New Haven also got two touchdown runs from tailback Mike DeCaro. Subbing for the injured Victor Jones, DeCaro returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and then scored on runs of 2 and 7 yards in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Osiecki, who had two of New Haven’s four turnovers in the first half with two interceptions, connected with Thompson on touchdown passes of 29 and 12 yards. But it was his 17-yarder to Washington-Ellison in the corner of the end zone at the 11:38 mark of the fourth quarter that gave New Haven the lead for good.
Southern led the game 30-17 early in the third quarter after Rashaad Slowley capped a quick drive with a 22-yard run. Slowley finished with three touchdowns and ran for 184 yards on 24 carries.
“They’re a run, play-action team and it helps when you can make them one-dimensional at times, which wasn’t easy,” Rossomando said. “Slowley is a heck of a running back. He broke a lot of tackles. But we contained him enough that we were able to make plays and get Lynch out of his comfort zone.
“We like to play better defense. But they’re a good offense. They have a good quarterback and their receivers are outstanding. So we knew we were going to have to score some points to win.”
SCSU quarterback Kevin Lynch was battered by the blitzing New Haven defense. Lynch was inaccurate at times and hurried most of the other and threw for 220 yards on 15 of 36 passing. In the wild affair in front of a crowd of 4,204, Lynch threw just one touchdown pass, an 18-yarder to tight end Jerome Cunningham.
It was a forgettable night for the senior signal-caller. Twice Lynch fumbled the ball on sacks and Robert Hill returned one of the fumbles 48 yards for a score that gave New Haven a 31-30 lead. In all Lynch was sacked five times and forced to pull the ball down and run with it on several other occasions.
Osiecki made it 38-30 with a 12 yard keeper late in the third quarter. Southern responded with Slowley’s third touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run and Lynch dove into the end zone to tie the game at 38 with the two-point conversion.
Contact Bill Cloutier at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on twitter @BillCloutier

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