Payne Runs for 207 Yards but Central Connecticut Tops Pioneers, 49-33
Nov. 3, 2007
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (November 3, 2007) - Sacred Heart senior running back Jason Payne (Cortlandt Manor, NY) rushed for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns but the Central Connecticut offense proved to much to handle as the Blue Devils rang up a 49-33 Northeast Conference win Saturday night. CCSU ran for 277 yards as a team, converting 10-of-13 on third down and scoring on their first four possessions in the win.
The Pioneers (3-7, 0-5 NEC) moved the ball in the first half but turned the ball over twice, proving costly as CCSU scored off both SHU fumbles. The Blue Devils led 21-0 when the Pioneer offense finally finished off a drive with quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL) hitting Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) on a 15-yard post over the middle.
The rest of the first half belonged to the Blue Devils as senior quarterback Ryan Holmes capped a 12-yard drive with a seven yard touchdown run to make it 28-6 and then helped his team tack one more on as the half ended. Facing what would have been a 37-yard field goal attempt into a brutal wind with six seconds left, CCSU opted for a fake field goal trick play with Holmes, the right up-back, taking a pitch out left and hitting his tight end Tyler Rossnagle for a 20-yard scoring pass and a 35-6 lead at the half.
The Blue Devils (7-3, 4-1 NEC) made it 42-6 on their first possession of the second half as CCSU's other quarterback Aubrey Norris found Jermaine Roberts from 23 yards out with 11:55 on the clock. Payne struck pay dirt for his first score of the afternoon on the Pioneers ensuing possession, ripping off a 42-yard touchdown run, but SHU missed their second-straight point after to trail 42-12.
Norris put the cap on the Central scoring with 2:56 to go in the third as he scampered in from 19-yards out to give his team a dominating 49-12 lead. Nine Blue Devils ran the ball Saturday night yet none topped the 100-yard mark as they used a balanced attack that averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Junior Jo Jo Freeman led his team with 66 yards on 18 carries and two scores.
Payne struck again before the end of the third this time from 23 yards out and SHU tacked on a pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes from Fink to close the game. The senior tailback finished over a 100-yards for the third-straight game and had his second 200-yard plus game of the year. Payne went over the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the season in the loss, entering his final collegiate game next Saturday with 1,097 yards on the year. He has nine touchdowns rushing on the year.
Fink completed 25 of 47 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Fink hooked up with Tedesco for a pair of scores and hit his tight end Chris Rapp (Ridgefield Park, NJ) for his first career touchdown. The redshirt-freshman signal caller has 20 touchdown passes on the year, a mark that lead the NEC.
Tedesco finished the night with eight catches for 91 yards and the two scores. He has caught a touchdown in four-straight games and has eight scores over that stretch. The sophomore wideout set a new school record for catches in a season, as he now has 56 receptions on the year. Senior wide receiver Corey Bundy (Selden, NY) became SHU's all-time reception's leader in the loss, pulling down six balls for 32 yards. Bundy passes Chris Wilkinson (1997-00) for career receptions with 116.
The Pioneers close out the season next Saturday as they travel out to Moon Township, Pennsylvania to take on the Robert Morris Colonials. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 pm.