PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Five different players scored touchdowns as the Southern Connecticut State University football team cruised to a 55-12 win over Pace on Saturday afternoon. The Owls captured their Northeast-10 Conference opener in the process. The contest also featured the longest touchdown pass in program history when freshman quarterback Jacob Jablonski (Gales Ferry, Conn.) connected with redshirt freshman wide receiver Carlton Staggers (West Haven, Conn.) on a 92-yard strike in the third quarter. The old mark of 87 yards had set the standard for the last 48 years.
SCSU is now 1-2, 1-0 in league play. Pace is 0-3, 0-1.
After senior defensive back Richard Kirkland (Paterson, N.J.) put an abrupt end to Pace’s opening drive with an interception, the Owls needed just one play to take the lead for good. Quarterback Kevin Lynch (Medfield, Mass.) found Andre Privott (Middletown, Conn.) on a 26-yard pass. Christopher Hazelton (Bristol, Conn.) added the PAT to take a 7-0 lead.
The Owls struck on their next drive with a four-play, 85-yard march that culminated on a 73-yard strike from Lynch to Willie Epps (Norwalk, Conn.). Hazelton’s PAT extended to the cushion to 14-0.
On the next SCSU drive, Lynch hit Brian Tourtelott (Latham, N.Y.) on a 26-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 after the PAT from Hazelton.
Southern pushed its lead to 28-0 before the end of the opening quarter when Rashaad Slowley (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) scored from three yards out.
A nine-play, 60-yard drive came to closer early in the third when Lynch threw his fourth touchdown strike of the day, a 14-yard pass to Privott.
Pace answered with a nine-play, 77-yard touchdown drive that cut the lead to 35-6 after the Owls blocked the PAT.
Slowley added an eight-yard touchdown run with 2:16 left in the opening half to make it a 42-6 game after the PAT at halftime.
Hazelton hit on a 20-yard field goal just 4:45 into the third quarter to extend the lead to 45-6. Later in the frame, facing a third-and-long, Jablonski aired it out to Staggers. Ironically, it was the first collegiate pass for Jablonski and the first collegiate reception for Staggers.
Pace cut the lead to 52-12 after three quarters before Hazelton capped the scoring with a career-long 37-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Lynch finished 12-of-16 for 232 yards and career-best four touchdowns. Vaughn Magee (Mastic Beach, N.Y.) led the ground game with 15 rushes for 95 yards. John Wiechman (Buxton, Maine) had eight rushes for 74 yards, while Slowley had 11 carries for 70 yards and two scores.
The Owls are back in action on Thursday night at 8 p.m. when they host AIC in a nationally televised contest on the CBS College Sports Network.