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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Haven football midseason review

With second half of the season beginning tomorrow, let’s take a look at where we stand with some of the preseason questions and storylines.
Five storylines

TOO BIG TO FAIL?: The Chargers are the talk of the Northeast-10. New Haven won the conference last season and enters this season ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll. Starting senior quarterback Ryan Osiecki won Offensive Player of the Year in the conference last season and just about everyone is back from last season’s team. All signs point to another successful season for the Bolts. Can they live up to the hype?
WHERE WE STAND: With a 4-0 record and 3-0 conference record the Chargers have lived up to the hype. New Haven has outscored opponents 158-49. The Chargers have also done it without senior starting quarterback Ryan Osiecki, who injured his shoulder in Week 2. Senior back up Ronnie Nelson has passed for 552 yards and nine touchdowns this season. New Haven’s run defense has only allowed 151 rushing yards and just 57 in the last three weeks.
AIR CHARGERS: Last season New Haven’s offense outscored opponents 523-307. The Chargers averaged 40.2 points per game last season and scored 69 touchdowns as well. Osiecki, who passed for UNH single season records of 3,336 yards and 36 touchdowns, is back and has senior receivers Josh Smart, Demetrius Washington-Ellison and Jason Thompson. The Chargers could have the most potent passing attack in the Northeast.
WHERE WE STAND: The air show is still on as the Chargers pass offense has amassed 880 yards. Thompson has 279 yards on 16 receptions and four touchdowns. Washington-Ellison has 248 yards on 12 receptions and three touchdowns. Osiecki has passed for 319 in just five quarters.
POW POW D END: During training camp coach Pete Rossomando said senior defensive end Tom Herd has a legit shot at winning NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year this season. The coach has a good point. Herd looked good in camp, he was active and was able to use his athleticism to get in the backfield consistently. Last season Herd collected 68 tackles, 36 solo and a team-high 12 sacks. Herd also recovered three fumbles.
WHERE WE STAND: Herd has recorded a team-high four sacks and eight tackles. He has an interception he returned 27 yards for a touchdown in Week 1, forced two fumbles and recovered one. Good pick coach.
CENTER OF ATTENTION: Center may not be the most glorified position in football. However, if a team has strong play at center it is noticeable. The Chargers welcome in Zach Guy at the center spot. All signs in camp pointed to Guy being ready and able to control the line of scrimmage and keep Osiecki protected in the pocket.
WHERE WE STAND: Guy did a fine job at center, but after senior offensive lineman Lance Chapman broke his foot, Guy was moved over to his spot.
LAST MAN STANDING: For the first time in the NE-10’s history, there will be a conference championship game. The Big Game will involve the top two teams in the conference and take place at the higher seed’s stadium. The game will be the week preceding the start of the NCAA Division II tournament on Saturday, Nov. 10. Also, the third place team will play host to the sixth place squad, the fourth place team will host the seventh place team and the fifth place team will play the eighth place team. The ninth place team will not play on Championship Saturday.
WHERE WE STAND: New Haven is the top team in the conference with Stonehill right behind them at 3-1, 3-0. The Chargers meet the Skyhawks on Oct. 18 at W.B. Mason Stadium in Easton, Mass. The game will be live on the CBS Sports Network.

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