Owls Comeback Bid Falls Short

Owls Cunningham celebrates a TD

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Southern Connecticut State University football team scored 21 consecutive points in the second half, but fell just short to Central Connecticut State in the 2011 season opener for both squads on Saturday. The Owls closed to within seven, 28-21, with 2:31 remaining, but the Blue Devils returned the ensuing onside kick back for a touchdown to create the final margin of victory.

Kevin Lynch (Medfield, Mass.) finished 22-of-39 for 223 yards and a touchdown in the contest. Rashaad Slowley (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) rushed for 50 yards on 27 carries, but did score two touchdowns. Andre Privott (Middletown, Conn.) led the receivers with six catches for 61 yards.

Steven Teague (Hamden, Conn.) had eight tackles to lead the defense in that department. Michael Escobar (Danbury, Conn.) and Mustaqiim Plair (New Haven, Conn.) each added an interception.

The Owls took the opening kickoff and quickly drove down to the CCSU 1. However, SCSU was unable to punch in a touchdown, and the Blue Devils forced a turnover on downs.

The game stayed scoreless until the final minute of the first quarter when the Blue Devils converted points off a SCSU interception on a four-yard touchdown pass.

Central Connecticut then extended its lead to 21-0 with two scores in 49 seconds midway through the second quarter. After an eight-yard touchdown pass and successful PAT made it 14-0, the Blue Devils forced a fumble that went back the other way for a touchdown on the ensuing Owls’ possesion. CCSU would add one more score before the break to make it 28-0 at halftime.

The tide shifted quickly in the second half. Escobar’s interception gave the Owls the ball in CCSU territory, and Slowley eventually scored on a one-yard run. Christopher Hazelton (Bristol, Conn.) added the PAT to make it 28-7.

The score stayed that way into the fourth quarter, but the Owls stayed close. Slowley’s second one-yard touchdown run of the day closed the gap to 28-13 midway through the fourth. Lynch then found Jerome Cunningham (Waterbury, Conn.) on an 11-yard scoring strike to make it 28-19. Lynch then hit Willie Epps (Norwalk, Conn.) on a good two-point try to make it 28-21 with 2:31 remaining.

Southern Connecticut returns to action on Sept. 10 in a 1 p.m. start at West Liberty.

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