NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Behind big plays from junior quarterbackAjee Patterson (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) and junior running backAndre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse), the University of New Haven stormed back to bring the Elm City Trophy back to West Haven for a sixth-straight year defeating Southern Connecticut State 28-14. With the victory, the Chargers improve to 3-1 and 3-0 in the Northeast-10, while the Owls remain winless at 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the NE-10.
Patterson closed out the night hitting half of his attempts, 12-of-24, for a total of 176 yards and one touchdown. He also showed off his speed and moves on the ground with six carries for 64 yards gained, including a 53-yard run that led to a Chargers touchdown.
Anderson led the ground efforts for the Chargers finishing with a career-high 175 yards and three touchdowns, the first time a Charger has rushed for three touchdowns since September 20, 2013. Among Anderson’s 17 carries and three touchdowns was an impressive 55-yard dash in the fourth quarter that resulted in seven points and the final 14-point margin.
Patterson relied on six targets in the air assault, with the lone touchdown catch coming from Ty Headen (Newark, N.J./American History) as he completed the first scoring drive with a 22-yard grab. The longest completion of the day was pulled in by Trevor Officer (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury), a 48-yard grab for his only reception. Officer also ran the ball 10 times for 40 yards. Henry Adegunle (Rockaway, N.Y./Channel View) and Devin Martin (Staten Island, N.Y./Tottenville) finished with the most receptions, three each. Among Adegunle’s three catches was a spectacular 31-yard grab at the one-yard line, setting up an eventual Anderson touchdown.
Defensively, the Chargers were led by graduate linebacker Matt Zakrzewski (Traverse City, Mich./Saint Francis / Indiana) who finished with nine tackles, seven of which were solo stops. Sophomore defensive back Mark Clements(Mays Landing, N.J./Oakcrest / Worcester Academy) finished just behind him with eight tackles, six of which were single handed. As a team, the Chargers finished with five tackles for a total of 18 loss yards, while also recording four sacks. Two of those sacks came from Stefano Bicknese (Somers, N.Y./Somers / USMAPS) as he drove the Owls back eight yards.
FIRST QUARTER NOTES
- The Chargers defense, pinned at its own 30, came up big on Southern Connecticut’s opening drive as seniorRalph Jonathas (Everett, Mass./Everett) sacked the Owls quarterback Rob Nittolo five yards back as the Owls tried to convert on a fourth and seven opportunity.
- Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) carried the Chargers on their opening possession, running for 30 yards on three carries, including a 13-yard run that resulted in a New Haven first down.
- Defensively, the Chargers were led by graduate linebacker Matt Zakrzewski (Traverse City, Mich./Saint Francis / Indiana) who finished with four tackles. Jonathas, Tyler Condit (Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) andMark Clements (Mays Landing, N.J./Oakcrest / Worcester Academy) all added two.
SECOND QUARTER NOTES
- Pinned deep in their own half, Ajee Patterson (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) came through with his longest pass of the season when he drilled a 28-yarder on the number to Henry Adegunle (Rockaway, N.Y./Channel View)keeping the Chargers drive alive on a third and four.
- Patterson finished the quarter with 32 yards in the air, completing three of his six attempts.
- Defensively, Stefano Bicknese (Somers, N.Y./Somers / USMAPS) led the way with a trio of tackles in the second quarter, including a six-yard sack on a third and four opportunity.
THIRD QUARTER NOTES
- On New Haven’s second drive of the second half, the Chargers turned to Ajee Patterson (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) to complete a scoring drive that began at their own 18. Patterson’s first big play came as he escaped a sack deep in the New Haven half to complete a pass to Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) resetting the downs. He followed that up by airing out a 48-yard completion toTrevor Officer (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury), putting the Chargers deep in the Owls zone. The final play of the drive came as the fourth completion from Patterson as he connected with Ty Headen (Newark, N.J./American History) for a 22-yard score.
- On their next drive, the Chargers made quick work, marching 74 yards to tie the game at 14 following a pair of big runs. The first came by way of a quarterback keep for Patterson as he drove straight up the middle of the field gaining 53 yards before he was brought down. That run set up a 21-yard run for Anderson, completing the scoring drive in just 41 seconds.
- Patterson finished the half completing six of his 10 attempts for 114 total yards. On the ground, the Chargers were led by Anderson who finished with four carries and matched his first half running yards with 37, giving him 74 total through three quarters.
- Defensively, the Chargers held Southern Connecticut to just one first down on possessions. Leading the way was Matt Zakrzewski (Traverse City, Mich./Saint Francis / Indiana) and Mark Clements (Mays Landing, N.J./Oakcrest / Worcester Academy) who each finished with a pair of tackles.
FOURTH QUARTER NOTES
- Another pair of big plays set up the Chargers go-ahead score with 8:26 remaining in the game. The first of those plays came on the ground as Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) broke through the middle of the defense to gain 34 yards. With New Haven facing third down, Ajee Patterson (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) aired out another pass corralled in by Henry Adegunle (Rockaway, N.Y./Channel View) at the one yard line, setting up first and goal. Junior Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse)completed the drive with a short run after a roughing the kicker penalty gave New Haven a fresh set of downs.
- The Chargers would again make quick work of the Owls defense, scoring a second touchdown in a 63-yard drive that took less than a minute. On the second play of the drive, Anderson broke through the defense and took off down the sideline and didn’t stop until scoring the Chargers fourth unanswered touchdown.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- New Haven’s 3-0 start in league play is the fourth time the Chargers have opened the Northeast-10 schedule 3-0, most recently in 2013 when they opened the conference season 5-0. That season, The Chargers defeated Pace, Saint Anselm and LIU Post in their first three league games.
- The three touchdowns for Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) is the most rushing scores for a single Charger since September 20, 2013 when Mike DeCaro scored three times on the ground against Saint Anselm.
- Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) finished with 175 total yards on the ground and three touchdowns, both setting career-highs.
- Two Chargers finished with runs of 50 or more yards, both in the second half. The first of those was a 53-yard run by quarterback Ajee Patterson (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) which set up a 22-yard TD run for Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse). The second 50-plus yard dash came from Anderson as he broke through for 55-yards scoring from the Owls 45.
TWEETABLES (140 characters or less)
- Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) drove for a career-high 175 yards and three touchdowns, the most rushing touchdowns for a Charger since 2013.
- The Chargers rallied back from a 14 point deficit, scoring four unanswered touchdowns in the second half.
- Ajee Patterson (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) finished his second career start with 176 yards in the air and 54 yards on the ground, while completing one touchdown pass.
- The Chargers defense finished with five tackles for a total of 18 loss yards, while sacking the Owls QB four times, twice by Stefano Bicknese (Somers, N.Y./Somers / USMAPS).
- Two Chargers ran for 50 or more yards in a single play, a 53-yard run from Ajee Patterson (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) and a 55-yard TD run by Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse).
The Chargers return to DellaCamera Stadium for Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, October 3 when they host the Merrimack Warriors. The Chargers enter the NE-10 battle against Merrimack searching for a sixth-straight win over the Warriors with that current streak dating back to 2010. Kickoff in next week’s home contest is slated for 1 p.m.