Football team falls to Assumption, 60-50
Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer
High-powered performances on offense from Southern Connecticut and Assumption College, led the Owls to fall to the Greyhounds 60-50 last Saturday night under Jess Dow Field’s lights.
Despite the Owls managing to get a season-high 50 points, it wasn’t enough to put away the No. 1 team in the Northeast-10 Conference.
“Their offensive line played very good today,” said head coach, Tom Godek. “They’re number one in the league and on offense. They got good players that made big plays, but unfortunately it went to the other team.”
Over 2,700 were in attendance to witness Southern’s annual Homecoming game, as Assumption downed Southern to a 2-5 record, while the Greyhounds improve to 6-1 on the season.
Redshirt freshman Robert Nittolo put on a star-studded performance for the Owls with three rushing touchdowns, three passing touchdowns, completed 28-of-49 passes for 357 yards, while rushing 16 times for 85 yards.
In addition, Nittolo set two new SCSU single-game records. One for most offensive plays with 65, beating out Jason Hawes’ 60 in 1990. While the other for most total offense yards with 442, passing Kevin Lynch’s 438 in 2011.
“Sometimes things don’t go your way,” said Nittolo. “We were doing our best fighting, then a few stupid penalties on offense, defense, special teams all together cost us.”
The Owls started off leading 7-0 early in the first quarter after Nittolo found Seimou Smith for an 11-yard touchdown, but two minutes later Deonte Harris 14-yard pass from Brendan Tobey level the game at sevens.
With four minutes left in the first came Nittolo’s first rushing touchdown, resulting the Owls to be up 14-7.
10 seconds into the second quarter, Nittolo was scrambling in the pocket when he then found Smith on the right corner of the end zone, adding to the Owls lead 21-7. Smith finished the night with two touchdowns and a season-high 138 yards.
However, a minute later the Greyhounds would respond with a 29-yard field goal, bringing the game to 21-10. Right after, Assumption shrunk Southern’s lead again after Tobey rushed in for a six-yard touchdown, Owls still leading 21-17.
Nittolo second rushed touchdown came with five minutes left in the second quarter, but again the Greyhounds would answer with their own touchdown a minute later. The quarter came to a close and Southern was up 28-24 at halftime.
After the break, both teams got a pair of touchdowns early in the third quarter. John Moscatel four-yard rush and Ashton Grant 29-yard touchdowns brought the game to 35-31 heading into the final quarter.
The Owls stayed silent to start the fourth, as the Greyhounds had three straight scoring plays uncontested. A 19-yard run touchdown, a fumble in the end zone that resulted in a safety and a monster 79-yard run by James Ward, made the game 46-35 with Southern trailing.
But with seven minutes left in the final quarter the Owls cut the lead to three, Nittolo finding Austin Jones for a nine-yarder. The Owls now trailed 46-43 after a successful two-point conversion by Devante Jenkins.
Then came a huge 54-yard touchdown by the Greyhounds that increased their lead to 10 points. Followed by a 22-yard run with four minutes left in the fourth for Assumption to lead 60-43.
With 38 seconds left in the game, Nittolo rushed for his last touchdown and end the game 60-50.
“It was very disappointing,” said Nittolo. “We were expecting to come out and win the [homecoming] game. The team as a whole made mental mistakes, but we got to forget about this one and worry about Saint Anselm on Saturday.”
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor