Hounds Go Down; New Haven Scores 27-21 Win over Assumption to Remain Unbeaten in NE10
WEST HAVEN, Conn. – After a scoreless first quarter, the New Haven football team (6-1, 6-0 NE10) scored three times before intermission and never looked back as they defeated the Assumption Greyhounds 27-21 in front of crowd of 2,251 at Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium. Leading the Chargers on the day was transfer wide receiver Ju'an Williams (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Central), the Connecticut National Guard Player of the Game, who hauled in four passes for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Williams two touchdowns were part of four total from senior quarterback Ajee Patterson (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) as he completed all but six of his pass attempts, 15-of-21 (71%), for 241 yards. Williams 94 yards led eight different players who completed at least one reception with sophomore Chris Carlyle (Rockville, Md./Walter Johnson) and graduate student Joe Caico (Hopedale, Mass./Worcester) each hauling in touchdowns, including the first ever for the graduate receiver. Carlyle followed Williams in leading the team with 37 yards, all of which came on his touchdown catch in the second quarter.
New Haven closed out the game just shy of 200 rushing yards, led by junior Ryan McCarthy (Montclair, N.J./Bergen Catholic) who finished with a career-high 131 yards on 20 carries. Among his carries was the longest run of the day, a 25 yard gain, while he registered just one rush for loss on the day. Following McCarthy was senior Chris Liggio (Mount Laurel, N.J./Holy Cross) who ran for 43 yards while Patterson picked up the remaining 12 yards.
Defensively, senior linebacker Jordan Francklin (Queens, N.Y./Holy Cross) led a defensive unit that held Assumption 12 points below their average for the season, limiting the Greyhounds to just 97 rushing yards, 114 shy of their season average. Franklin led New Haven with eight total tackles, three of which came by himself. Junior defensive back Austin Cascio (Hollister, Calif./San Benito) followed him with six tackles while sophomore defensive back Shawn Tafe (Bronx, N.Y./Fort Hamilton) iced the victory with an interception on a Hail Mary pass by the Greyhounds as time expired. The interception by Tafe was the only turnover of the day for either team.
After four-straight scoreless drives for both teams, including a missed field goal from 51 yards by the Greyhounds Jacob Tondel, New Haven was finally able to put the first points on the board with a 10-play 66-yard drive that ended in the second quarter courtesy of a nine-yard pass from Patterson to Williams. That touchdown for Williams was the first of the season for the transfer wide receiver that went for less than 29 yards.
After taking over at their own 34 yard line following the missed field goal, the Chargers opened up the drive with back-to-back first down runs of 14 and 10 yards by McCarthy. Facing long yardage on third down, McCarthy picked up 12 yards before the Chargers converted on fourth-and-five as Patterson found Williams for a 15-yard pickup to the Assumption 22 yard line.
Three straight rushing players of four, six and three yards led New Haven with second and seven from the Greyhounds nine yard line where Patterson once again found his graduate receiver, this time in the end zone to break the stalemate.
The Chargers defense responded on the next drive, forcing the Greyhounds to punt facing fourth-and-16 at their own 49 yard line. That led to New Haven taking over on their own 17 yard line following a 34-yard punt, however Patterson would turn to the air again, this time finding Chris Carlyle (Rockville, Md./Walter Johnson) in the end zone from 37 yards out for a second-straight scoring drive from the Blue and Gold. Overall in the drive, Patterson completed all three of his pass attempts for 60 yards.
New Haven would make it three straight drives finding the end zone after limiting Assumption to a three-and-out. The Chargers would take over nearly at midfield following what was a 26-yard punt that went out of bounds at the New Haven 47 yard line. After converting three first downs, including one a 15-yard completion to AJ Greene (Middle Island, N.Y./Newfield), the Chargers faced fourth-and-seven from the Assumption 25 yard line. Getting the first down wasn't the only thing on Patterson's mind on the fourth down play, reaching the end zone was as he connected with Williams for a second time, this time for 25 yards and a 20-0 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
Coming out of the intermission, New Haven's defense didn't let up as they limited Assumption to a pair of three-and-out series on its first two drives of the half before the Chargers added to their total once more thanks to another touchdown pass from Patterson.
After taking over at their own 43 yard line, Patterson showed off his arm on the second play of the drive, airing out a 45-yard completion to Williams who had a defender over his shoulder as he hauled in the catch. That put the Chargers at first-and-goal from the Greyhounds eight yard line where a pair of short rushes picked up five yards. Patterson then went to the play action pass, finding Caico wide open in the end zone off the right side of the line for a 27-0 lead.
The Greyhounds weren't going to go down without a fight, scoring three times over the next 20 minutes. After their final touchdown, Assumption would attempt an on-side kick, however the Chargers Brett Huber (Milford, Conn./Foran) sniffed out the kick, falling on it before it even reached 10 yards, setting the New Haven offense up at their own 42 yard line.
Assumption would force New Haven to punt once more with the Greyhounds taking over at their own 40 yard line. New Haven's defense quickly put the Greyhounds on their heels, facing fourth-and-11 as Cody Williams found Kyle Sonnie for a first down, but that left just four seconds remaining in the game. From the New Haven 49 yard line, Williams sent a deep pass towards the end zone where Tafe was able to pick off the Hail Mary attempt, icing the victory.
UP NEXT New Haven will return to the road for a single game to close out the month of October at Stonehill College on Saturday, October 27. The Chargers look to maintain its strong record in the all-time series which dates back to New Haven's first season in the NE10, 2009. In the nine meetings against Stonehill, New Haven holds a 7-2 record, while a victory in this season's matchup will be the fourth time in the last five years New Haven has defeated Stonehill. Kick off against the Skyhawks at W.B. Mason Stadium is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.